Coquitlam-to-Squamish gas pipeline project advances

While there are still a few hurdles to clear, the Eagle Mountain gas pipeline project took a step closer to becoming a reality, following recent approval from BC’s Environmental Assessment Office.

The revised project, which also won approval from Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), involves adding 47 kilometres of gas pipeline from Westwood Plateau to the planned Woodfibre LNG project outside Squamish.

image supplied FortisBC

The plan also involves building a three-kilometre section of 24-inch pipeline alongside the old natural gas pipeline. While the old pipeline is within the Coquitlam River Watershed, the new line is located outside the watershed in order to “minimize environmental impact,” according to a release from FortisBC.

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Power and sound

In order to keep the gas flowing through the pipeline, the plan also involves upgrading the Eagle Mountain compressor units from 20,500 horsepower to 26,000 horsepower. The change is expected to result in a “minor increase in noise,” according to FortisBC communications advisor Alex Munro.

A company spokesperson previously said the maximum volume of the compressors would rise from 41 to 43 decibels.

“We will also be completing a sound level survey within six months of the new station starting operations to ensure noise remains within expected limits,” Munro added, adding that noise levels should be well within B.C. guidelines.

The bigger compressor stations will stay within the current site envelope, Munro added.

Crunch dollars

In recognition of the disturbance the construction could cause around Eagle Mountain Park, FortisBC has pledged to pay $3 million to the City of Coquitlam. That money is earmarked for Coquitlam Crunch improvements.

FortisBC is slated to hold an information session at the Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club on May 3. Register here.

Tentative schedule

While construction is tentatively slated to begin in 2023, the project still needs to secure project permits, agreements with Indigenous groups as well as approval for workforce lodging. Woodfibre LNG previously pitched an idea that would have housed 400-600 workers on a barge.

Construction was previously slated to begin in mid-2022 and to wrap up in 2025.

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