Cost of Coastal GasLink project to see another 'significant' hike

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The cost of the Coastal GasLink project will see another “significant” rise

Rising cost is partly related shortage of workers, according to TC Energy.

Canadian company TC Energy expects to significantly increase the cost of the Coastal GasLink pipeline project under construction in British Columbia, four months only after doubling its estimates to $11.2 billion.

The company said it could provide a new amount of the total cost of the project in the very beginning of 2023. however, mentioned a significant increase in costs.

TC Energy blames this anticipated increase on the difficulty of finding labor which is also in great demand on the construction site of the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline in southern British Columbia.

We have 6,300 workers on our site, [Trans Mountain] has 12,000 to do half of our jobs. […] Attracting and retaining our workers and contractors is a challenge when these two projects overlap, said Ben Wirzba.

He added that disagreements with contractors have also emerged in recent weeks over the quality of their work. TC Energy expects to recover money from these disputes, but not before construction is complete.

The mountainous terrain also complicates construction to the point where the company uses ski lifts to transport the pipes.

Measures to prevent erosion have added a layer of complexity to the site, according to Ben Wirzba. The company has received more than 50 warnings for non-compliance with the environmental conditions of construction of its natural gas pipeline since the start of work in 2019.

A photo taken in April 2022 by a provincial inspector showing soil erosion on a portion of the Coastal GasLink right-of-way violating company license conditions.

Environmental authorities even temporarily suspended work at various locations, including for 5 days in late October in the Anzac River Valley where TC Energy had violated rules for building near sensitive waterways. /p>

The declared drought in the province has also delayed hydraulic testing of certain sections of the pipeline.

Despite these obstacles, the company hopes to complete the construction at the end of 2023.

The project has already faced many obstacles over the years. Demonstrations by environmental activists and members of the Wet'suwet'sen First Nation have repeatedly suspended construction.

In the past, budget overruns have also caused friction between TC Energy and LNG Canada, the company responsible for constructing and operating the natural gas liquefaction facility and port terminal in the Kitimat district.

Opponents of the Coastal GasLink pipeline have set up camps like this, from 2020, along the pipeline route.

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