Inland Gas Upgrades

About this project

We’re upgrading 29 sections of our existing natural gas lines located in communities in the Northern, Thompson-Okanagan, Cariboo and Kootenay regions of BC. In many cases, these upgrades will allow us to inspect the inside of the gas lines using up-to-date in-line inspection equipment. This equipment will provide detailed information about the condition of each line which will help us to better plan and manage maintenance work.

These upgrades, combined with our ongoing inspection and maintenance activities, will make sure these lines continue to provide safe, reliable service for many years to come.

Construction overview

Construction activity includes reducing bends in the pipe and replacing fittings so the in-line inspection equipment can move through the gas line. In some areas, this work will require us to replace gas lines and in others, we will install stations to regulate the pressure in our system.

While the vast majority of work will take place on existing rights of way, it could mean construction will take place in your community or surrounding areas.  To stay up-to-date on the project, visit and bookmark our project updates page, or subscribe to our Talking Energy Inland Gas Upgrades newsletter.

Upcoming information sessions

As part of our Inland Gas Upgrades project, we will be working in Kenna Cartwright Nature Park in Kamloops in 2022. We’ll be hosting two virtual information sessions on November 24 and 25, 2021 for the community to learn more, ask questions and provide input. Visit our events page for full information session details and to register.

2021 construction locations

In 2021 construction took place in seven communities – two in the Northern Interior and five in the Kootenay region. Preparation work began in late spring and early summer with construction taking place throughout the summer and fall.

In the Kootenay region we worked at various locations along our gas lines in the Cranbrook, Kimberley, Elkford, Sparwood and Skookumchuck areas. In the Northern Interior we returned to Mackenzie and started upgrades to our existing gas line in Prince George.

The maps below illustrate the approximate work locations in 2021 for these communities. Locations may have shifted or changed slightly based on construction requirements.

Kootenay region

Cranbrook

Cranbrook work locations map

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Kimberley and Cranbrook

Kimberley work locations map

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Skookumchuck

Skookumchuck work locations map

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Elkford

Elkford work locations map

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Sparwood

Sparwood work locations map

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Northern Interior

Prince George

Prince George work locations map

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Mackenzie

Mackenzie work locations map

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Project timeline

We submitted an application to our regulator, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), in 2018 and received approval in January 2020. Over the course of the project, work will take place across 18 communities in the Northern, Cariboo, Thompson-Okanagan and Kootenay regions of BC.

January 2020

Received BCUC approval

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Our regulator, the BC Utilities Commission, approved our application for a Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience for the project.

Summer 2020

Construction Year 1

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In 2020, construction began in Mackenzie, Cranbrook and Sparwood.

Summer 2021

Construction Year 2

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The second year of Inland Gas Upgrades project is underway in seven communities across BC.

2022-2023

Anticipated construction

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Additional construction is planned to continue seasonally as we work across 18 communities throughout the province.

Join us for upcoming Kamloops information sessions

We're hosting two virtual information sessions on November 24 and 25, 2021 to hear from the Kamloops community and provide a project update on our upcoming work in Kenna Cartwright Park in 2022.

Please join us to learn more, ask questions and share your thoughts.  

Please visit our events calendar for full information session details and to register.

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Construction resuming for year two of project

Construction on this project will start in June for its second year and continue throughout the summer into fall. In 2021 we will be working in seven communities across the province – Cranbrook, Kimberley, Skookumchuck, Elkford and Sparwood in the Kootenay region and Prince George and Mackenzie in the Northern Interior. 

Work will primarily be taking place in rural areas on existing FortisBC rights-of-way with limited public impacts. In some locations, people may see crews temporarily working alongside highways or public roads within a community. We will have traffic control personnel working as needed to safely direct motorists, cyclists or pedestrians through the area.

FortisBC is committed to supporting those communities where the Inland Gas Project is taking place. In 2020 we did this through community investment, supporting training opportunities and hiring local businesses. In fact, we contracted 89 British Columbia-based suppliers for the project last year – over half of which were local to the three communities where we worked. This equates to $1.7 million of local expenditure – of which 44 per cent was to Indigenous suppliers. We look forward to supporting new communities and opportunities as this project progresses in the years ahead.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, FortisBC’s primary goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, contractors, and surrounding communities. We expect everyone working on this project to respect safety plans and strictly follow Ministry of Health orders and guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at our worksites.

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Where we are working in 2021

Work on the Inland Gas Upgrades project will take place in seven communities in 2021. In the Kootenay region we will be working at various locations along our gas lines in the Cranbrook, Kimberley, Elkford, Sparwood and Skookumchuck areas. In the Northern Interior we are returning to Mackenzie and starting upgrades to our existing gas line in Prince George. 

The majority of the work will be to reconfigure sections of our gas lines – such as straightening bends – to ensure in-line inspection equipment can easily pass through and gather information about the condition of our gas lines.

We expect to start preparation work as early as April with construction occurring throughout the summer and early fall. 

To find out more information about this project, please visit the project Overview page. If you are interested in getting further project updates please sign up for our Talking Energy Inland Gas Upgrades project newsletter.

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Upcoming field work in the North, Interior, and Kootenay regions

As part of our early work on the Inland Gas Upgrades project, we will be assessing and investigating potential work sites in and around several communities this fall. These communities include the Prince George, Salmon Arm, Spallumcheen, Enderby, and Armstrong areas, as well as near Kimberley and Skookumchuck in the East Kootenay. Further exploratory work will extend to areas where gas line construction is currently underway, including Mackenzie, Cranbrook, Elk Valley and the surrounding areas.

This early work will enable us to map out specific sites for future upgrades and will also involve inspecting existing gas lines. At this time, we anticipate minimal-to-no public disruption as a result of these activities.

We are committed to engaging communities as we develop a more detailed understanding of future years’ work. For a project overview, visit the Inland Gas Upgrades page.  Alternatively, you can contact us by phone at 1-855-576- 7225, or by email at inlandgasupgrades@fortisbc.com.

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Construction to begin on major project

FortisBC is beginning construction for this major project in the Mackenzie, Cranbrook, and Sparwood areas. These upgrades will enhance our ability to carry out proactive maintenance on our infrastructure.

Construction is scheduled to begin in August 2020, and continue through the fall of this year. Most work at this time will be rural and largely take place on existing FortisBC rights of way. There will be a small amount of construction next to highways and other public roads. In these cases area residents may see our traffic control personnel as they work to minimize any potential impacts. Overall, we expect to be in the Mackenzie and Cranbrook areas for approximately three years during seasonal construction windows, and in the Sparwood area over approximately five years during seasonal windows as work moves north within the Elk Valley.

For maps that indicate work site locations this year, see our project overview page.

For the project as a whole, upgrades will occur across 18 communities in the Northern, Cariboo, Thompson-Okanagan, and Kootenay regions of B.C. We look forward to keeping communities informed on future upgrades across these regions.

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Preparation activities in Mackenzie, Cranbrook and Sparwood

We are preparing for our first phase of construction in and around the Mackenzie, Cranbrook, and Sparwood areas this summer. In order to create the space and access needed for our contractors and materials, we will be undertaking some preparation activities. These may include surveying and vegetation clearing; fence and scrap removal; and road access improvements. We are also conducting bird surveys throughout these communities, and are committed to carrying out all work in an environmentally responsible manner. Most of this work will be in rural areas and will take place in June and early July.

With safety at the core of everything we do, we are actively monitoring the developments around COVID-19. If you see our workers or contractors in the field, they are working to ensure that your home and community will continue to receive the energy it depends on safely and reliably, for years to come.

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Inland Gas Upgrades receive BCUC approval

Today, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) granted a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) to FortisBC to move forward with our Inland Gas Upgrades project. This project will enhance our ability to carry out proactive maintenance on our gas system by enabling the use of in-line inspection technology. Work will occur in 18 communities, from Mackenzie to southern B.C. and the Kootenays, with the vast majority of work taking place within existing rights of way. This project will ensure our natural gas lines continue to provide safe, reliable service for many years to come.

The first phase of construction is anticipated to begin this year, including work in proximity to Mackenzie, Cranbrook, Sparwood and Elkford. As the project progresses, we will continue to provide updates to the communities where work will occur.

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Major milestone achieved

After years of planning, assessments and consultation, we’ve submitted an application for approval to our regulator, the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) in December 2018.

This project will represent a significant investment into BC’s natural gas system and we’re pleased to have achieved this major milestone in moving it forward. If approved, we expect work to take place between 2020 and 2024.

Want to know more about the BCUC process and how you can get involved? Find out at bcuc.com.

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Dig a little, learn a lot

From now until the end of August, you may see crews working on behalf of FortisBC doing survey and small excavation work around our rights of way in several areas of the province, including in Cranbrook, Skookumchuck, Kimberley and Mackenzie.

This work will help us verify details of the lines that will enable us to continue planning the Inland Gas Upgrades project.

It’s an important and regular part of the work we do, every day, to properly and effectively plan all of our construction projects.

If you have any questions, please call our project phone line at 1-855-576-7225 or email us at inlandgasupgrades@fortisbc.com.

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Exploring rights of way for habitat and heritage

Native species, waterways and heritage sites—these are just a few of the reasons we work with certified professionals to explore potential project sites early on, long before any shovel hits the ground. As part of our planning for the proposed Inland Gas Upgrades, from now until the end of June, our consultants are studying our rights of way in rural and back country areas in many interior regions of BC. Qualified environmental professionals and permitted archaeologists are developing site overviews for each gas line. This work is being done in consultation with local Indigenous communities where possible. If the project is approved by the British Columbia Utilities Commission, this information will determine where further study may be needed, what permits will be required and ensure we handle sensitive areas with care. If you have any questions, please call our project phone line at 1-855-576-7225 or email us at inlandgasupgrades@fortisbc.com.

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Our Commitment

We’re committed to engaging with Indigenous groups, local communities and other stakeholders as we move forward with construction work on the Inland Gas Upgrades. We’re also committed to supporting those communities where we live and work. One way we’re doing this is by hiring local businesses and workers.

Investing Locally

Giving back to communities where our projects take place is important to us. One of the ways we do this is by supporting local businesses and workers. Here are some of the local companies we’ve had the opportunity to work with to date. We look forward to identifying more opportunities as the project progresses.

Nupqu

Owned by the Indigenous communities that make up the Ktunaxa Nation, Nupqu has grown from a forestry company to one that offers a variety of resource management services, able to take on large-scale project work.

That includes providing environmental field training for its staff and partnering with complimentary service providers, including businesses within the Ktunaxa network. Learn more about Nupqu and their work on our Inland Gas Upgrades project.

Duz Cho Group of Companies

Duz Cho Construction is one of a group of companies owned by the McLeod Lake Indian Band. Its inclusive, supportive training style, with an emphasis on mentorship, has promoted loyalty among its team of skilled workers, and a willingness to pass their knowledge on to the next generation. Its many skilled services include road building, civil construction, site development and environmental and reclamation services for a variety of industries.

Learn more about Duz Cho and their work on our Inland Gas Upgrades project.

Communities where work will take place

Over the course of the project, work will take place across 18 communities in the Northern, Cariboo, Thompson-Okanagan and Kootenay regions of BC. To see where we are working in 2021, visit our project Overview page.

Kootenays

  • Castlegar
  • Cranbrook
  • Elkford
  • Kimberley
  • Nelson
  • Sparwood
  • Trail

Thompson-Okanagan

  • Armstrong
  • Coldstream
  • Enderby
  • Kamloops
  • Kelowna
  • Salmon Arm
  • Spallumcheen

Cariboo and North

  • Mackenzie
  • Prince George
  • Quesnel
  • Williams Lake
November 24, 2021

Kamloops virtual information session

Time

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PST

Format

Online

Details

We’ll be working in Kenna Cartwright Park in Kamloops in 2022. This work will involve making upgrades to our gas line, and is part of our Inland Gas Upgrades project.

We're hosting two information sessions in November for the community to learn more, ask questions and provide input. 

Register for our virtual information session on November 24 now.
 

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November 25, 2021

Kamloops virtual information session

Time

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. PST

Format

Online

Details

We’ll be working in Kenna Cartwright Park in Kamloops in 2022. This work will involve making upgrades to our gas line, and is part of our Inland Gas Upgrades project.

We're hosting two information sessions in November for the community to learn more, ask questions and provide input. 

Register for our virtual information session on November 25 now.

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