Canada’s first major LNG pipeline is nearing completion

TC Energy Corp. has completed construction of the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline after five years of construction, marking the completion of the first system in Canada to deliver feed gas to an export plant.

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CGL held final assembly of 402 miles of pipeline near where it will connect with the pipeline LNG Canada final destination in Kitimat, about 392 miles north of Vancouver on the Pacific coast.

The Golden Weld event, as it has been dubbed, completes a “mechanical completion” for CGL, the company said. All 402 miles “of pipe were welded, coated, trenched, rigorously tested and backfilled.”

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TC has completed a jumbo pipeline capable of delivering up to 5 Bcf/d to Kitimat, more than double Canada’s first phase LNG export capacity of 1.8 Bcf/d, which is expected to come online by 2025. The second Kitimat project, so called native Haisla Nation led Cedar LNG Projectalso has environmental and commercial approval to use CGL supplies.

Work continues on site remediation, reclamation and erosion and sediment control, followed by engineering completion and operational commissioning to start gas flows by 2025.

CGL’s costs jumped to nearly $11 billion, more than double the initial forecast of about $4.6 billion. The Covid-19 pandemic, protests and harsh northern weather disrupted construction and added to the price tag.

Coincidentally, when most of the work was finished, defendants Logan Staats and Hannah Hall pleaded guilty to contempt of court charges as the trials of the project’s original enemies began.

Other defendants accused the Royal Canadian Mounted Police of violating their rights. Protests by proclaimed warriors for ceremonial “traditional chiefs” phased rail closurestorch-throwing assemblies and debris from supply equipment during construction.

Despite protests, the majority of northern British Columbians supported the project. TC Energy secured participation in the elected councils of all 20 tribes along route a agreed to the sale 10% share in the system 17 of them.

Canada’s first LNG pipeline is a strong economic driver, according to CGL. Benefits include 27,500 jobs, $248 million in taxes and $3 billion in orders for BC supplies and suppliers. Including gas development, the CGL-LNG Canada combination is expected to be worth more than $30 billion.

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