It appears shovels could soon hit the ground on a new pipeline expansion north of Coquitlam, and it would mark 10 years since the project was first presented to local communities.
FortisBC says it's one step closer to the twinning approval of its 47-kilometre Eagle Mountain – Woodfibre Gas Pipeline, which would see a second tube connected to a stream of natural gas that flows to an industrial site in Squamish.
Its main tenant, Woodfibre LNG, is set to build a LNG processing and export plant.
The twin pipe from Coquitlam is set to boost capacity for natural gas, with construction beginning as early as 2023.
As well, two new electrically driven compressor stations would be built by Eagle Mountain Park and the BC Hydro Coast Meridian substation.
In an update provided to the Tri-City News today (April 5), FortisBC major projects spokesperson Alex Munro says the company was given the green light to an amendment application for the project and was recently finalized with Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation).
The amendment addressed four key elements, including two impacting the Coquitlam side of construction:
- Increasing the size of the two planned compressor units to accommodate the expansion within its existing footprint
- Constructing an additional three-kilometre section of a 24-inch pipe adjacent to the existing line, near the Eagle Mountain Compressor Station, to add capacity and increase reliability of natural gas supply
- Adding new location for the Squamish Compressor Station at the Woodfibre LNG site, based on feedback from the local community
- Rerouting an eight-kilometre section of the new gas pipeline in Stawamus Valley to minimize impacts and reflect input from Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw
"These changes reflect years of community engagement and detailed project planning," adds pipeline project director Darrin Marshall.
"It’s through listening and engagement that we’ve strengthened and refined this project, and we’re grateful for the input we’ve received."
The Eagle Mountain pipeline was initially approved in 2016 following talks with Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and the province's environmental assessment office.
FortisBC says it started pitching the connector and expansion to all communities involved in 2013.
It also hosted a series of public information sessions in spring 2020 to Westwood Plateau residents set to be impacted by the construction, and another one is currently slated for next month in hopes of keeping the community informed about the project's status and impact.
FortisBC officials will be at the Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club on May 3 from 5 to 8 p.m.
For more information on the Eagle Mountain pipeline proposal and the upcoming in-person information session, you can visit the company's website.