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Smaller pipeline brought back online following blast

Enbridge continues to work on restoring two natural gas pipelines, one of which exploded Tuesday, to service.

The company’s 36-inch pipeline exploded at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, prompting the evacuation of about 100 residents of Lheidli T’enneh. A second 30-inch pipeline was shut down as a precaution.

Enbridge received National Energy Board approval last night to restart its 30-inch line—which is located in the same right of way as the impacted 36-inch line—and began a multi-hour process to return the line to service.

This restart approval follows an integrity assessment that evaluated a number of potential impacts, according to a statement from the company. Enbridge looked for evidence of damage to the pipe, geotechnical and ground disturbance, and other potential integrity issues on the 30-inch line.

Now that the 30-inch line has been deemed fit for service, the company’s restart plan is to gradually bring the line’s pressure up to approximately 80 per cent of normal operating capacity.

Restarting the 30-inch line means that FortisBC will be begin to restore service to approximately 128 residences in Salmon Valley who had their service disrupted as a result of Enbridge’s gas line shut down. Customers can expect a FortisBC representative to come to their home or business to turn gas back on at the meter and relight all affected appliances.

Bringing this natural gas back on is a positive step to returning they system to normal; however, until the damaged 36-inch gas line is repaired, gas supply will continue to be constrained.

When the system is stable, FortisBC will work to return customers who have curtailed their gas use back on line. Until this is complete, FortisBC continues to ask our customers to avoid non-essential use of gas until the situation is completely resolved.

Tuesday’s blast forced the closure of both Northwood and Prince George Pulp and Sawmill, due to the gas being shut off.  Intercontinental Pulp Mill is continuing to operate using alternate fuel.


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