Aug 6 2020

Coastal GasLink mainline pipe installation begins this month

Posted by Coastal GasLink
cgl pipe install 640x600.jpg

The most important image for any pipeline project is pipe in the ground. Thanks to recent pipeline crossings at Kitimat and Groundbirch – the two locations that bookend the 670 km Coastal GasLink route  – the natural gas pipeline project now has images of its own.
“We have varied crews working on pipeline installation including specialized crews who install pipe sections at road and water crossings, and mainline installation crews who install the bulk of pipe in trenches along the route. Both types of installation are important in pipeline construction with specialty sections taking more time, and mainline installation being the primary type of installation that landowners and communities will see,” explains Dan Bierd, Vice-President, Pipeline Implementation.

August will see the beginning of mainline pipeline construction that’s expected to continue through 2021 and employ over 2,000 individuals primarily through our prime contractors. Four different groups will execute this task along the pipeline right-of-way, each focused on one or two of Coastal GasLink’s eight sections.

“Mainline pipe installation is like a moving assembly line. Once the land is cleared and graded, crews can line up pipe sections roughly 20 m in length along the route to bend, weld and coat. Then, pipe is lowered into the ground and covered. The entire process for placing segments of pipe can happen over a few days to weeks, including backfilling the trench,” says Dan.

“There’s no question this is an exciting development of the project, but just as important is the continued health and safety of our workers and stakeholders, focus on our communities and Indigenous partners, and consideration for the environment,” says Dan.


Sean Surerus, Chairman of Surerus Murphy Joint Venture, the Coastal GasLink prime contractor for sections 1 and 2, is proud of the recently completed first Groundbirch road crossing pipe installation, adding, “every step forward on Coastal GasLink is important. For SMJV, completing the Groundbirch crossing was five years in the making for us, and we were excited to do so ahead of schedule.”

Sean estimates that his company will complete over 8,000 welds along sections 1 and 2 alone, a 140 km stretch on the east side of the route.   

“I know all of the prime contractors on this project have been putting in a lot of effort, and we’re committed to sharing best practices and delivering safe and quality work as we move ahead.”

Stay up to date on constructionSign up to receive our monthly construction updates right to your inbox.