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

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)
Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Most Read