Approximately 25 loads of compressed natural gas are being shipped daily from Princeton to Aldergrove. Photo courtesy of Fortis

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

A truck that crashed on Highway 3 was hauling compressed natural gas from Princeton to the Lower Mainland as part of an experimental “virtual pipeline.”

The artery was closed in both directions for nine hours on Jan. 9, as a recovery crew worked to overturn the transport without damaging four large containers of gas.

“Fortunately they were not ruptured in the crash,” said RCMP Corporal Chad Parsons.

The driver, who works for a Fortis BC contractor, was charged with driving too fast for road conditions, Parsons added.

He was not injured.

The accident occurred near Placer Mountain Service Road.

Parsons said given the rural nature of the area, no evacuation was required.

A spokesperson for the transport company, Cetarus, said he could not comment on the accident.

Nathan Ough, Cetarus vice-president, also declined to comment on the driver who was charged.

“Our internal investigation is currently an ongoing process thus I will not be able to provide additional details,” the email stated.

In an email to The Princeton Spotlight, a Fortis representative said the the energy firm remains confident in the operation’s security.

“Safety is our top priority and we do expect the same of our contractors. We’re comfortable with Certarus’ safety record and their response to this incident,” said Nicole Brown.

Fortis’ virtual pipeline, which starts in Princeton and ends in Aldergrove, was established in December as a response to the October 9 Enbridge natural gas pipeline explosion near Prince George.

Since then Cetarus has been delivering approximately 25 loads of compressed natural gas daily from the pipeline that is accessed near Princeton on Highway 5A.

The gas siphoned from the Princeton pipeline, which originates in Southern Alberta and normally serves only southern British Columbia, is being re-introduced to the Fortis system in Aldergrove to serve Lower Mainland customers whose gas supply was interrupted by the explosion.

The shipments are providing gas to approximately 1,200 homes and the project is expected to be completed next month.

In a December interview with The Princeton Spotlight, a Fortis spokesperson said the venture was the only one of its kind in the province, a trial and “almost like a pilot project.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop donation bin runneth over

Volunteers now working toward a reopening soon with protocols in place

Man found dead in his tent at Chemainus homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Simpson staying sharp for the baseball call

Pirates’ Chemainus player scraps initial plans for Houghton College in New York

CBIA ad campaign a business booster

Great to learn more about the people serving the community

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read