BC Health Approves LNG Canada Return to Work [UPDATE]
(Updates with comments from LNG Canada)
British Columbia’s Northern Health Authority (NHA) has approved LNG Canada’s return to work plan following a January order restricting work at five northern industrial projects, the consortium and its joint venture contractor said February 11.
The workforce restriction order, first issued in late December 2020 and amended mid-January, provided for the workforce at LNG Canada’s Kitimat site to be increased incrementally, reaching 1,162 by January 20.
“Our approved restart and measured workforce increase at the project site will continue over the coming months,” LNG Canada and JGC Fluor said in a statement posted to the project web site.
Subsequent to January 20, LNG Canada and JGC Fluor submitted a restart plan for approval by NHA and the provincial health officer. That plan was ultimately approved, an LNG Canada spokesperson said in an email to NGW.
“The LNG Canada project currently has approximately 1,200 workers at site and will gradually increase that number to approximately 3,000 workers this spring,” the spokesperson said. “All increases are based on prudent Covid controls and involve appropriate engagement with public health authorities.”
Those controls include enhanced coordination, testing and reporting protocols, including implementation of mandatory Covid-19 rapid antigen testing for all workers prior to their return to the Kitimat site. Project workers who refuse the test will be denied entry to the site.
Rapid screening was first implemented by LNG Canada in early January at its charter air hubs in Edmonton and Calgary. The programme will be expanded in February to other hubs in Vancouver, Kelowna and Nanaimo, as well as to the Kitimat site.