Jan 07, 2021
A new year update from the LNG Canada Project site
LNG Canada and JGC I Fluor JV are managing a careful and gradual return to construction activities at our project site in Kitimat, following a considerable holiday workforce reduction in December.
Our approach towards this measured resumption of activities is informed by the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and other government authorities. On December 29, Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry introduced the Industrial Projects Restart Order, which applies to five major industrial projects in British Columbia, including the LNG Canada Project. The Order prescribes a staged return to work and an incremental increase to the workforce, which each project must adopt in January 2021, noting that “the current seasonal slow-down in large-scale industrial operations provides an opportunity to help break the cycle of transmission of COVID-19 associated with them.”
Our project is implementing all of the directives prescribed in the Order, including the submission of a formal restart plan. The plan will detail how we will manage a staged increase of workers at the LNG Canada Project site, “so as not to increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19, both onsite and in the surrounding communities,” as described in the Order.
As work at site progresses with a reduced workforce, our focus will be on environmentally sensitive, regulatory required, and time-sensitive work scopes. We remain committed to delivering first cargo by the middle of this decade.
Enhanced COVID-19 Screening
Our tool kit to reduce the spread of COVID-19 continues to grow. In 2021, the Project will continue to implement enhanced COVID-19 protocols, starting with a mandatory COVID-19 rapid screening program. This program will require Project workers to be screened for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen test before they return to the site in Kitimat. Any Project worker who refuses being screened will be denied entry to the site.
Phase 1 of the screening program will involve all Project workers travelling to Kitimat on charter flights from Calgary and Edmonton. The screening hubs for Phase 1 are ready for operation. Phase 2 will expand the program to the rest of the Project workers, with screening hubs being set up in our B.C. flight hubs and Kitimat. We plan to operationalize Phase 2 by mid-January.
Onsite Medical Resources and Facilities
In addition to rapid screening, we have on-site medical facilities staffed by more than a dozen healthcare professionals and emergency response team members, who are available to project workers 24/7. Providing professional medical care at our worksite greatly reduces the need for off-site services. On-site resources include:
- Three medical clinics
- Two nurse practitioners
- Three registered nurses
- Seven emergency response team members, three of whom are primary care paramedics
- Four advanced care paramedics, who provide around-the-clock medical services
- Virtual access to the physician medical director 24/7 for consultations from the nurse practitioner, when needed
Additional resources and equipment have been introduced to manage COVID-19 prevention and care. These include:
- Isolation wings in our workforce accommodation centre, where any resident with symptoms or confirmed COVID-19 infection is housed and receives services and care in seclusion from the rest of the population
- Increased staffing of medical professionals
- On-site COVID-19 swabs for workers as directed by health authorities
- Increased supplies of medical grade oxygen
- Non-medical Personal Care Attendants to assist worker accommodation centre residents in isolation wings
Services are available at a number of locations on site and in our worker accommodation centre, providing a range of medical support services that include occupational, non-occupational and mental health support.
Restricting Workers Movement in the Community
The LNG Canada Project continues to mandate the policy to forbid all non-local Project workers from leaving the project site, and other work areas, or visit any public establishments when they are on rotation. The only exception to that rule is in the case of a medical emergency or when attending a critical appointment that cannot be postponed or held virtually. Social gatherings among Project workers are also prohibited.
Vince Kenny, LNG Canada Construction Manager
Berni Molz, JGC I Fluor JV Construction Director