LNG Canada announced Monday night that it would halve the number of workers on-site in Kitimat by the end of the week as a precaution in light of the worsening coronavirus situation in the province.
LNG Canada director of corporate affairs Susannah Pierce said the decision to reduce staff stemmed from “an abundance of caution” and was aimed at ensuring the safety of its workers and the community.
“LNG Canada, JGC Fluor (JFJV) and our subcontractors have reviewed the staffing level at our site in Kitimat. We are now following a staged reduction of activities at the Kitimat site, including an associated reduction of site personnel,” said Pierce.
“Demobilisation of staff in non-business critical positions has already commenced with personnel leaving Kitimat, with some following our work-from-home policy.”
She said essential work that will continue in and around Kitimat includes seasonal work which has to be completed by a particular date stipulated in their permits, work which has already started to safely secure specific areas, and the unloading of material from ships in the port.
“This work will be conducted with additional safety, health and hygiene precautions that follow recommended social distancing protocols and all other current recommendations for best practices,” said Pierce.
The company will achieve the reduction by reducing the number of workers flying in on rotation. If necessary, LNG Canada, JFJV and site contractors will further reduce the number of workers to critical levels necessary to ensure site security and environmental controls.
She said the company had started a month ago restricting travel for staff and contractors between the Kitimat site and a number of countries, including China, Korea and Italy, to reduce the potential for transferring the virus within the community and directly on site.
“Following news that the World Health Organization had declared a global pandemic, we took the additional step of stopping all business travel by LNG Canada employees and secondees to Kitimat.”
She said business travel between Kitimat and all other regional and international locations continues to be heavily restricted.