Work will soon begin on the $7.4 billion Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. In a press release, the company says it has issued “Notice to Proceed” directives to some of its contractors, which will trigger the “mobilization of the initial workforce necessary to build the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.”
According to the release, contractors now have 30 days to mobilize equipment and begin the process of hiring workers, procuring goods and services, and developing detailed construction plans.
Construction will soon be underway in a number of communities along the route, including along the right-of-way in Alberta between Edmonton and Edson, and in the Greater Edmonton area. As well, work at the Burnaby Terminal and on land at the Westridge Marine Terminal will begin immediately.
The company says specific start dates in the remaining construction areas are still subject to final regulatory approvals and permits.
Ian Anderson, President and CEO of Trans Mountain Corporation said “With the first wave of regulatory approvals complete, we are confident that we have a path forward by which the Expansion Project construction can commence.”
In the coming months, Trans Mountain says it expects to receive clearance for all other outstanding regulatory approvals and permits for the remaining construction areas.
Trans Mountain says the pipeline will be in service by mid-2022, should it receive approvals as anticipated.
Construction on the project was halted in August of 2018 when the Federal Court of Appeal quashed cabinet approvals. The court said the federal government did not consult adequately with Indigenous groups. It also said the project would impact marine life in the waters off the coast of BC.
On June 18, 2019, following consultations with First Nations and consideration of coastal marine life, the Trudeau government re-approved the project which will more than double the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline.
With construction soon to begin, Trans Mountain says it is committed to “prioritizing and maximizing Indigenous, local and regional hiring to the greatest extent possible.” The company says hiring by its prime contractors is underway and 4,200 workers are expected to be employed in a number of communities along the pipelines corridor by the fourth quarter of 2019.
“We are committed to ensuring the Project incorporates all appropriate measures to protect the cultural, environmental and local Indigenous interests in the lands and waters through construction and into operation,” said Anderson.
Despite past delays, Anderson says “I firmly believe that we are finally able to start delivering the significant national and regional benefits we have always committed to.”