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. Other improvements will include replacing four gas lines and upgrading pressure regulating stations.
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 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.
2022 construction locations
In 2022 construction will be taking place across 13 communities – three in the Northern Interior, five in the Kootenay region and five in the Kamloops-Shuswap area. Preparation work is expected to begin in spring and early summer with construction taking place throughout the summer and fall.
In the Northern Interior we will be returning to work in Prince George and Mackenzie and starting upgrades to our gas line in Quesnel. In the Kootenay region we will be returning to work in Cranbrook, Kimberley, Skookumchuck, Sparwood and Elkford. We will also begin upgrading our gas line in Kamloops and our line that extends from Salmon Arm through Enderby and Armstrong to the Township of Spallumcheen.
Community-specific project information is available below. Updates will be provided as more information becomes available in 2022.
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.
Received BCUC approval
Construction Year 1
In 2020, construction began in Mackenzie, Cranbrook and Sparwood.
Construction Year 2
Additional construction is planned to continue seasonally as we work across 18 communities throughout the province.
Upcoming geotechnical investigations in Kenna Cartwright Nature Park, Kamloops
To prepare for upgrading our gas line in Kamloops in 2022, we will be carrying out geotechnical investigations in Kenna Cartwright Park starting November 9 until early December. These investigations will involve drilling narrow, vertical holes so we can learn more about the subsurface soil and rock conditions. The work will take place on our existing right of way.
There will be some temporary trail closures required when crews move equipment in and out of work areas. Trail closure signage will be in place to inform trail users to select an alternate route. We ask the public to please follow the directions of signs or crew members working near the trails and stay within the marked paths.
We appreciate the public’s patience as we strive to complete this work safely and as quickly as possible.
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. Visit our events calendar for full information session details and to register.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
Why is FortisBC still investing in natural gas instead of exploring cleaner energy solutions?
We see a future where BC’s existing gas and electricity systems are both working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet climate action targets—delivering carbon-neutral energy like Renewable Natural Gas and hydrogen gas to millions of British Columbians. By injecting these into our distribution system, we can reduce the amount of natural gas needed. In fact, our goal is for the gas in our system to be 15 per cent renewable by 2030 and 75 per cent renewable by 2050.
This diversified approach to decarbonized energy will give you the reliable, affordable energy you need for your home or business.
Find out why we’re investing in our gas system today in support of a lower-carbon tomorrow.
Nov 22, 2021
Will this work cause traffic and service disruptions?
In 2021, we don’t expect any natural gas service disruptions as part of this project. If any outages are required in order to complete work safely and as quickly as possible, we will be in contact with those affected.
We expect limited public impacts with work primarily taking place in rural areas on existing FortisBC rights-of-way. 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.
Jun 9, 2021
How can I connect my home to natural gas?
This project will upgrade our gas lines to allow us to use up-to-date in-line inspection equipment. These upgrades do not provide natural gas to new communities.
However, we can help you check if natural gas is available to you and how to connect to our service. If you do not currently have access to natural gas, connecting a gas line to your home may be subject to some fees. Costs are dependent on a few factors such as the location of your property and distance to the nearest gas main. For more information about connecting to natural gas please phone 1-888-224-2710 or check out what you need to know about getting natural gas service.
Mar 17, 2021
How much will this project cost?
We anticipate this project will cost approximately $360 million. This will result in an increase to the typical residential customer's bill of about $16.00 per year – or approximately $1.30 per month – at the end of the project.
Mar 15, 2021
How do you protect the environment during this work?
We aim to reduce our environmental impact at every stage of a project. For example, whenever possible, we work within existing rights-of-way to minimize our environmental footprint.
The Inland Gas Upgrades project crosses a variety of landscapes so there are many different environmental concerns that may arise from location to location. We work closely with environmental professionals to understand all of the sensitivities in our working areas.
When possible we adjust our plans to avoid sensitive environmental areas. For example, we avoided disturbing an osprey nest in Mackenzie by waiting until the birds had fledged before moving into that area. We have also adjusted temporary workspaces to avoid registered archaeological sites in Fording and Cranbrook.
Once construction is underway we require our contractor to employ environmental monitors for their work and conduct our own environmental auditing to ensure compliance with legislation and permits at every stage of the project.
Feb 24, 2021
As a contractor and/or vendor, how can I express interest in working on this project?
If you are interested in providing goods or services to this project, please complete our procurement form.
Oct 2, 2020
How long will this project take?
Construction began in 2020. Work across several communities will continue in the years ahead and details will be provided as the project progresses. We anticipate all work will be complete by 2024.
We first identified the need for these upgrades in 2014 and since that time, we’ve completed the preliminary planning, assessments and consultation needed to seek approval to move forward.
We submitted an application to our regulator, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) in 2018, and received approval in January 2020.
Sep 7, 2020
How will this project benefit local communities?
The Inland Gas Upgrades project, combined with our ongoing gas line inspection and maintenance activities, will allow us to continue to provide safe, reliable service to 18 communities throughout BC for many years to come.
We work hard every day to give back to the communities we serve and help them grow. The Inland Gas Upgrades project provides benefits to local and Indigenous communities by engaging local businesses and services and partnering with community groups to fund community projects and improvements. Check out some examples of how we’re supporting local communities on this project in the Community tab.
Aug 31, 2020
How can I stay updated on the project?
We’ll keep this project website updated with the latest news as the project progresses. You can also sign up for our Talking Energy Inland Gas Upgrades newsletter.
Aug 14, 2020
Why and how is work continuing during a pandemic?
As an essential service, we’re continuing to move projects forward that support the energy needs of our customers while adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. These upgrades are part of this critical work, so we can continue providing the reliable service residents and businesses count on.
Safety is at the heart of everything we do. While working in the community, our crews will continue to take appropriate physical distancing measures to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of area residents. On the rare occasion physical distancing isn’t possible, our crews will have access to additional personal protective equipment such as respiratory, eye and hand protection, to further reduce the risk of infection.
Aug 7, 2020
Delivering a project successfully requires ongoing and meaningful engagement with technical experts, stakeholders, Indigenous communities, customers and the local community. 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.
Investing in local communities
At FortisBC, we believe serving the community is a privilege. That’s why we're committed to investing in legacy opportunities in the communities where our project work takes place. For example, in Kamloops we have partnered with Thompson Rivers University on an invasive plant species study in Kenna Cartwright Park. When we’re ready to restore our worksites in the park we’ll restore them with native plants. The results of this study will be publicly available to benefit anyone interested in reducing invasive species in the region.
Some of our other community investment initiatives on this project include helping a community bus service get underway in Mackenzie and improving trails and accessibility for the Cranbrook Community Forest.
Supporting local businesses and workers
We want to maximize the benefit of our projects in the community through the creation of local jobs and training opportunities, fair access to contracts for local and Indigenous suppliers and investment in local businesses.
From January to August 2021, the Inland Gas Upgrades project spent $17.8 million with 79 B.C. vendors which was 64 per cent of overall project expenditure. Of that $7.2 million was spent locally to the seven communities where construction took place with 77 per cent of that expenditure being to Indigenous vendors.
Creating pathways for employment is one of the ways we support local communities and workers. We partnered with Proactive Safety & First Aid to create a safety officer internship for a member of the Ktunaxa nation in the Kootenay region. In association with the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association we provided the opportunity for students to spend a day at an active job site near Mackenzie.
- Salmon Arm
Cariboo and North
- Prince George
- Williams Lake
On January 21, 2020, we received approval of our application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from our regulator the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC).
We’ve been engaging with stakeholders, the local community and Indigenous communities to support the project. Materials related to some of these discussions are available below.