The first segments of pipe for the Trans Mountain expansion are in the ground.
The pipeline went in the ground in the Edmonton area, Trans Mountain reported Dec. 18, releasing a photo of the historic milestone.
The first spread of construction includes 50 kilometres of pipeline running from Trans Mountain's Edmonton terminal in Sherwood Park to Acheson, Alberta.
Crews are busy with activities to facilitate pipe installation, including clearing, grading, utility relocation and preparing worksites for the series of trenchless crossings being employed in the Greater Edmonton area, Trans Mountain said.
SA Energy Group is carrying out the work.
“Getting shovels in the ground in Alberta and kicking off pipeline construction is a pivotal moment for Trans Mountain,” Ian Anderson, president and CEO of Trans Mountain, said when construction commenced at a ceremony on Dec. 3.
Construction is expected to begin shortly in the second spread of the expansion through Alberta's Yellowhead County. Crews are finishing up pre-construction activities and environmental surveys in that area, Trans Mountain said.
Meanwhile, construction at the company's marine terminals at Burnaby and at pump stations in Alberta has been ongoing since August.
Fort St. John pipeline contractors Surerus Pipeline and Macro Industries have joint ventures selected to build nearly one-third of the expansion through southern B.C.
Surerus shares a 50% stake with London-based J. Murphy & Sons in the Surerus Murphy Joint Venture, selected to build 180 kilometres of pipeline between Black Pines and Merritt.
Fort St. John’s Macro Industries and France’s Spiecapag have a joint venture selected to build 85 kilometres of pipeline in the Coquihalla-Hope area.
Work is expected to begin in Kamloops by this spring, and through the Coquihalla area by late summer or fall 2020, subject to receiving all the necessary permits and permissions, Trans Mountain said.
More than 2,200 people have been hired to work on the project so far, Trans Mountain said.
At the same time, First Nations continue to challenge the project's approval in the Federal Court of Appeal.
A recent survey found majority support for the pipeline project in B.C., with 56% of residents agreeing with the federal government’s decision to reapprove the expansion, while more than a third (35%) are opposed and 10% are undecided.
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