FortisBC will be conducting upgrades to an existing gas line in the Sparwood and Elkford area starting in spring 2020. File Photo

Gas line upgrade to begin near Sparwood and Elkford

FortisBC will be starting a gas line upgrade project expected to last five years

FortisBC will be launching an upgrade project to a gas line in the Sparwood and Elkford areas beginning in spring 2020.

The electricity and natural gas company is planning on upgrading 29 natural gas lines in communities throughout British Columbia in an effort to ensure their Inland Gas Upgrade project meets requirements from the BC Oil and Gas Commission.

The FortisBC website states that all of the lines in question have an excellent record for both safety and reliability. However, the upgrades, combined with ongoing inspection and maintenance, will make sure that the lines continue to provide “safe, reliable service for many years to come.”

Beginning in spring 2020, FortisBC will be upgrading a six to eight inch diameter natural gas line in the Sparwood and Elkford area. The company anticipates that the upgrade project will take five years to complete and will be finished in 2024.

According to FortisBC, the works will occur in two major phases.

“First, our crews will work to remove known restrictions in the gas lines, such as sharp bends and restrictive valves, so that inspection equipment can easily pass through the line and gather information on the condition of the infrastructure,” said Blair Weston, community and indigenous relations manager for FortisBC in a letter.

This first phase will also include gas line replacements at certain road and railway crossings in the area. In order to complete these upgrades, FortisBC has applied to the BC Oil and Gas Commission for multiple construction permits.

The second phase of the project will see crews running an inspection tool through the gas lines in order to identify any remaining restrictions. If restrictions are still found, FortisBC crews will carry out further excavations so that the upgrades can be successfully completed.

On the project website, FortisBC states that “while the vast majority of this work will take place on existing rights of way, it could mean construction will take place in your community or surrounding areas.”

More information about the gas line upgrade in the Elk Valley can be found at Talkingenergy.ca/inlandgasupgrades. Residents are also encouraged to reach out via email at InlandGasUpgrades@fortisbc.ca for further information on how this may affect our community.



editor@thefreepress.ca

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