The transfer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from an overturned tanker in Dawson City will take place tonight.
During this process, the North Klondike Highway will be shut down for three hours, starting at 9 p.m.
The truck was turning into the AFD Petroleum pumps in Dawson on Tuesday night when its trailer rolled over. Its contents, about 55,000 litres of LNG, didn’t leak.
“We simply caught a soft shoulder on an approach and the shoulder gave way and our tanker slid down into the ditch,” said Ron Chrysler, general manager of Ventures West Transport LP.
The Dawson City Fire Department initiated its emergency response plan, shutting down the road, monitoring the gas’ ventilation and contacting Transport Canada.
As a precaution, the AFD pumps and bulk storage tanks were shut down and the 26 guests at the Bonanza Gold Motel and RV Park across the street were relocated to two other hotels.
They will spend a third night there tonight.
FortisBC spokesman Michael Allison said the company received a report of the incident at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. It had sold the LNG to the Northwest Territories Power Corp. for use at its generating plant in Inuvik.
“As part of FortisBC’s agreement with Northwest Territories Power Corporation, and as part of our transportation regulations, we provide the emergency assistance in situations like this,” Allison said.
“The gas is shipped from our plant in Lower Mainland up to Inuvik. Even though it has been sold, we do provide that emergency response support.”
Immediately, FortisBC dispatched technical experts, who arrived Wednesday to evaluate the situation.
It was determined yesterday the tanker would stay where it was overnight last night, until a second tanker from Delta, B.C., arrived to transfer the LNG.
That truck is set to arrive this afternoon.
Dawson City fire chief Jim Regimbal said the powerlines over the site will be lowered this afternoon so a crane can be used to lift the tanker without interference.
“Once the tanker comes in, we’ll be able to remove roughly half the product, then we’ll lift the tanker itself, and then build up the pressure to get the rest of the product put into the tanker that they’re setting up,” he said, adding that everything has gone as smoothly as possible so far.
Emergency situations arising from the trucking of LNG and other dangerous liquids are very rare, according to Chrysler.
“Especially in the dangerous goods and liquids hauling business, for the number of kilometres that are driven every year hauling fuel and other regulated products in a liquid state, there are very few incidents,” he said.
“It’s a very safe mode of travel.”
NTPC spokeswoman Pam Coulter said this morning the corporation purchased the LNG, then contracted Ventures West to ship it north.
“It’s our responsibility once it gets to our plant,” she said. “Each truckload contains just over a day’s worth of generation.”
Ventures West will conduct a full review of the rollover, Chrysler said, as it does for any incident.
Regimbal said this morning he was pleased with how the emergency procedures were handled and executed.
“As much as we would probably all like to see it happen quicker, there’s no need to rush it,” he said. “Let’s do it right.”