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.

Just Posted

Rossland’s farmer’s market is wilting, but organizers hope to spur new growth

12-year-old market considered taking a year off, says manager

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Rossland Legion supports Skool Aid

Skool Aid assists low-income families in the Lower Columbia

Bilingual child care spaces coming to Castlegar

New daycare opening this summer will teach kids French and English

Motion calls on Rossland city council to recognize ‘climate crisis’

Andy Morel wants to raise awareness of urgent need for action by higher levels of government

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

GALLERY: First responders in Fernie return baby owl to its nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Most Read