Plans coming together for TransGas project

Natural gas line will serve Nutrien Rocanville

June 24, 2020, 10:32 am
Kevin Weedmark

The gas transmission route will be built from northeast of Moosomin to the Nutrien Rocanville minesite.

A crew of up to 220 workers will be based in Moosomin starting this summer to build a new natural gas transmission line for TransGas to Nutrien Rocanville.

The workers will be coming into the area this summer, and will overlap with 250 workers currently coming into the area with Banister Pipelines and Enbridge to complete surface remediation work, meaning up to 470 workers will be in the area working on the two projects this summer.

Casey MacLeod of TransGas said the project is necessary to increase TransGas’s capacity for delivering natural gas to the Nutrien potash mine.

“The project we are working on is to install a new transmission line which will serve to increase the natural gas capacity to the Nutrien facility,” MacLeod said.

There are two components to the plan, a 32-km, eight-inch diameter transmission gas line to increase capacity at the Nutrien Rocanville mine site, and a new metering facility will also be installed at the end of the gas line to regulate service to Nutrien.

“The TransGas system expansion in the area is needed to increase the natural gas supply to the area, including to the Nutrien Rocanville site for current and future operational needs,” said MacLeod. “This project benefits TransGas as well, as the new transmission line can also be used to increase overall natural gas system capacity and reliability in the area.”

The gas line will tie into the TransGas existing system approximately 14 kilometres northeast of Moosomin and run north to the Nutrien Rocanville mine site.

The project will take place over several months later this year.

Construction will start in August of this year, and the in-service date will be January 2021.

TransGas, the gas distribution arm of SaskEnergy, will have some employees in the area, and there will also be contractors working on the project. All will be subject to extra safety requirements due to Covid-19, said MacLeod.

“There will be a mix of contractors as well as some of our own internal resources,” she said.

There will be a project team of about 30 people from TransGas on the project, as well as an estimated 150 contractors at peak working on the gas line, and another 30-40 working on the meter station.

Some of the contractors on the project are local. Not all of the contracts for the project have yet been awarded.

Covid has an impact
MacLeod said plans have been impacted by Covid-19 and the need for extra precautions.

“Through our own construction group as well as our operations group, we’ve implemented extra health and safety protocols in light of Covid-19, making sure proper PPE is worn, that people are following proper physical distancing, putting protocols in place involving cleaning of tools and everything that needs to be done to keep people safe,” she said.

“In addition to the major gas line construction and inspection services, we’ll also be contracting for horizontal directional drill services.”

Health, safety top concern
“The health and safety or employees, contractors, and the public continues to be our top priority during the spring/summer work season,” MacLeod added. “Detailed accommodation plans are not known at this time, as the mainline construction contract has not yet been awarded. Contractor accommodation plans will be reviewed to ensure it is in alignment with the SaskEnergy Pandemic Preparedness Plan, and that risks associated with Covid-19 are managed appropriately. In instances where hotel stays are necessary, SaskEnergy will be following its pandemic plan guidelines, as well as the provincial guidelines and health orders.”

Precautions may add time
She said impacts from pandemic-related restrictions will be factored into the final construction schedule for the project.

“As a Saskatchewan Crown corporation, SaskEnergy is following the directives implemented by the government of Saskatchewan, as well as recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the energy industry,” MacLeod said.

“Our plans include proactive measures to protect the health and safety of our employees and the public during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

“Frontline groups have been provided with protocols to be followed during operations and construction activities, including customer interactions, field and shop work, construction site processes, and when working within customer facilities.”

Some of these measures include:

• proper respiratory and personal hygiene practices;
• physical distancing practices;
• wellness monitoring;
• use of proper PPE; and
• enhanced cleaning practices (tools and vehicles).