Westcoast Energy Inc. in of search of “industrial or previously cleared land” in the Mackenzie-McLeod Lake area large enough to house up to 700 workers

A camp large enough to house 700 workers could be in store for the Mackenzie-McLeod Lake area if a proposed expansion of Enbridge Inc.’s T-South pipeline goes ahead. 

The project is being pursued through the company’s B.C. subsidiary, Westcoast Energy Inc., and remains subject to approval from the Canadian Energy Regulator, according to a presentation given to the FFGRD board of directors during their May meeting.

The work would entail installation of a new compressor at its Azouzetta Lake compressor station and the addition of loops of 42-inch pipeline at five spots along the pipeline’s right of way: north of Azouzetta Lake (18 km); south of McLeod Lake (13.6 km); between Summit Lake and Salmon Valley (19.7 km); east of Woodpecker (4.8 km); north and south of Hixon (20.9 km).

The presentation says Westcoast is looking for 22.5 acres of “industrial or previously cleared land” in the Mackenzie-McLeod Lake area for the work camp.

Mackenzie Mayor Joan Atkinson said Thursday it’s too soon to know how such a camp will affect the community of about 3,700 people, situated 114 kilometres north of Prince George.

“Right now things are in the preliminary stages, so I don’t know where that camp is going to be built, whether it’s two kilometres from the community or 60 kilometres from the community,” Atkinson said. 

“My understanding is it’s going to be self-sufficient with all the cooking facilities and they will have medical staff on-site, so right now it’s really hard to predict what the impact will be on the community.”

Atkinson said the community’s past experience with an Enbridge project was positive.

“Their subcontractors were very good to our community,” Atkinson said. “We’ll see how it plays out.”

Westcoast plans to submit an application to the CER sometime during the second quarter of this year. It will spark 450- day review and hearing process.

If all works out, lodging set up at the camp would occur during the first quarter of 2027 with occupancy to begin during the second quarter and reach its peak during the third quarter. Demobilization would occur through 2028 as work is completed.