Large infrastructure modules too big for road are on their way to Kitimat

The versatility of transporting goods and equipment through the Port of Prince Rupert can be seen with two massive processing modules sitting in the harbour being readied for the final leg of their journey to the Kitimat LNG Canada facility on June 12.

The heavy transport vessel Forte arrived in Prince Rupert on June 5, after a 21-day voyage from Qindao, China, carrying the equipment too big to transport by land. The machinery is currently berthed in city waters near Rushbrook Floats.

“The heavy lift vessel FORTE is currently anchored in the inner harbour for provisioning, and a crew change,” Katherine Voit, manager of corporate communications for Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA), said on June 9. “The vessel is bound for Kitimat, and it’s estimated that it will depart this weekend.”

The two modules were fabricated in China at facilities designed to build and deliver complex LNG infrastructure that can not be transported by land to the Kitimat site, a spokesperson for LNG Canada told The Northern View.

“The two large modules are used in the process to liquify natural gas, and specifically to remove impurities from gas ahead of the cooling process,” LNG Canada spokesperson said.

The critical pieces of infrastructure are more than 10 stories high and take up the deck of the MV Forte, which is 216.7 metres long and 43 metres wide. One module is 70 metres long, 45 metres wide, and 43 meters in height, weighing 6,615 tonnes, with the other 72 metres long, 40 metres wide and 47 metres high, weighing 6,972 tonnes.

The company stated that the Forte would carry the two modules and other equipment to the LNG Canada material offloading facility in Kitimat, where they will be carefully moved to their permanent location at the LNG plant site.

As construction continues at the Kitimat export facility, LNG Canada will receive more of these enormous processing pieces through the Port of Prince Rupert in the coming weeks and months.

The first of more than a dozen highly advanced processing modules arrived in Kitimat in March and that one will serve as the new inlet facilities module receiving gas directly from the Coastal Gas Link pipeline, the company website stated in a March 11 news release.

“[The module] will evenly distribute gas at a constant flow to treatment facilities and processes, including liquification and storage, before it is loaded into specialized carriers for marine transport. It will then be delivered to markets that need low-carbon, made-in B.C. liquified natural gas to replace other energy sources such as coal,” Gerard Bowers, LNG senior construction engineer, stated in the posting.


It will take several days to move the modules from the off-loading facility to their permanent, specifically designed foundations, using large self-propelled modular transporters along the purpose-built haul road.

The Kitimat LNG Canada project is now more than 60 per cent complete and employs a fluctuating 5,000 skilled Canadians at the Northcoast site, LNG Canada stated.

“To date, LNG Canada and its contractors and subcontractors have awarded over $3.7 billion in contracts and procurement to businesses in British Columbia. Of that amount, more than $2.9 billion has been awarded to First Nations-owned businesses and local area businesses,” the spokesperson said.

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