Enbridge expects to wrap up construction work at its natural gas compressor station on Highway 24 east of 93 Mile in the next few weeks. The project is part of the company’s $500-million Enhanced Reliability Program at three sites in B.C., replacing them with new modern equipment to enhance the reliability of its pipeline system. Carole Rooney photo.

Natural gas project nears completion

Enbridge’s new compressor unit upgrades equipment along Highway 24

The large-scale natural gas project on Highway 24 east of 93 Mile is expected to be wrapping up by early in January.

Enbridge spokesperson Jesse Semko says the project is part of the company’s $500-million Enhanced Reliability Program (ERP) that includes replacements of three natural gas compressor stations, with the other sites located at Kingsvale (19 km southwest of Merritt) and Rosedale (20 km east of Chilliwack).

“We are looking at existing equipment and just replacing it with new modern equipment in order to enhance the reliability of the pipeline system.”

While it is a regular maintenance project, the existing compressor unit had existed through it’s expected service lifespan, so its replacement was required.

Installing this upgrade to more modern systems is not only part of Enbridge’s equipment requirements for operating a natural gas pipeline system, it also provides other important benefits, he explains.

“It will allow us to accommodate more gas through the station during the summer. Traditionally there is less gas demand during the summer, and we are seeing a bit of an increase there.”

This new unit will allow Enbridge to run the compressor station at its “normal” (cooler season) volume during the summer without requiring any added maintenance, just because it’s newer, he explains.

“It will also make use of new noise-reduction technology, so it will probably also be quieter than the existing unit.”

“They regularly assess of all of the units, and basically determined that we needed to replace it with a new, modern compressor unit.”

The evaluation of the 93 Mile station on Highway 24 led engineers to determine the best way to ensure enhanced reliability was to build a new station alongside the other two. One older compressor is to be decommissioned immediately, with the other to remain as a back-up over the next year, while the new unit is fully integrated.

Asked if this summer’s Highway 24 wildfire evacuations impacted project completion, Semko says the in-service date was originally set as “by the end of 2017,” so even early into January 2018 leaves the project basically “still on track” for completion.

“It doesn’t seem like the wildfires had much of an impact. Usually, they have a bit of a buffer for scheduling [projects], just to account for things like that.”

Semko says Enbridge is grateful to the community for accommodating its construction crews, and also thanks everyone affected by traffic delays in moving heavy equipment on and off the site.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience during this period, and for their hospitality to the workers while they’ve been in town.”

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