LNG Canada resumes construction activities
LNG Canada and project contractor JGC Fluor joint venture are gradually returning to construction activities at the project site in Kitimat, following a COVID-19 outbreak in November and December.
LNG Canada will build and operate a terminal for the liquefaction, storage and loading of LNG on the west coast of Canada, in the port of Kitimat, British Columbia.
The project aims to produce its first cargo by 2025.
The company reported COVID-19 outbreak in November, followed by further cases in December among transportation workers for the project.
In December, the British Columbia government issued a set of conditions to resume the five major industrial projects in British Columbia including the LNG Canada project, which is to be adopted in January 2021. The Order prescribes a staged return to work and an incremental increase to the workforce, noting that “the current seasonal slow-down in large-scale industrial operations provides an opportunity to help break the cycle of transmission of COVID-19 associated with them”.
LNG Canada was allowed to return 400 workers by 6 January, bringing the total to 850. It may then add another 250 workers by 20 January.
The LNGC project, as well as others, needed to submit a formal restart plan that details how the increase of workers at the site will be managed in a way that does not “increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19, both onsite and in the surrounding communities”.
In 2021, the LNG Canada Project continues to implement enhanced COVID-19 protocols. One of those is a mandatory COVID-19 rapid screening program that will require workers to be screened for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen test before they return to the site.
In addition to rapid screening, there are on-site medical facilities staffed by more than a dozen healthcare professionals and emergency response team members. Also, isolation wings for those with symptoms or infection are established with on-site swabs and increased supplies of medical oxygen. Finally, LNG Canada has forbidden its non-local workers from leaving the project site or any other work areas, or visiting public establishments. The only exception to this rule is in case of a medical emergency.