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    CGL Workforce in Canada Down 83% on Covid Orders


Project hopes to double workforce in February

by: Dale Lunan

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CGL Workforce in Canada Down 83% on Covid Orders

The workforce along the 670-km Coastal GasLink (CGL) route in northern British Columbia has been slashed by 83% from December as project managers work to comply with Covid-19 related orders, CGL said in a January 21 construction update.

In a late December effort to slow the spread of Covid-19, BC’s Northern Health Authority (NHA) issued orders to several major construction projects in the northern part of the province, including CGL and the LNG Canada project site in Kitimat, which the CGL pipeline will serve. 

The orders limited CGL to 400 workers effective January 1, but a January 12 amendment allowed an increase to 623 by January 16. Of those, 261 are housed in various workforce lodges, some of which remain closed to non-essential personnel. In December, prior to the holiday break, 3,677 were at work on the CGL project, with 3,177 housed at accommodation lodges.

“We are currently working closely with our prime contractors on meeting the requirements in the order and to develop a plan that, once approved, would enable an incremental increase in workforce in early February,” CGL president Tracy Robinson said. “While this will not enable a full remobilisation of the project in the near term, additional critical activities may be initiated at this time.”

The amended order provides for the possibility to increase the entire CGL workforce to 1,223 after February 1, pending review and approval of CGL’s worker reinstatement plans by the NHA and Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s public health officer.

The workforce limitations will impose “significant impacts” on CGL’s ability to ramp up its workforce and “progress project construction,” Robinson said, although she didn’t indicate whether completion would be delayed, or by how much the current C$6.6bn (US$5.2bn) project cost might be affected.

At the LNG Canada site, meanwhile, the January 12 amendment raised the baseline workforce to 512 from 450, while phased additions under the original order allowed an increase to 1,162 by January 20.