Work has started on a new access road off the N.W.T.’s Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway that will connect the highway to an eventual gas plant.
Billed as the Inuvialuit Energy Security Project, the Inuvialuit-owned M-18 plant is hoped to one day provide enough natural gas, propane and diesel to supply the region for more than 50 years. The plan is to extract the gas, liquefy it and truck it to Beaufort Delta communities.
The 4.2-kilometre-long road that’s currently under construction will be built over the next three months by E. Gruben’s Transport.
Russell Newmark, the CEO of the company, said almost 50 people are working on the project.
“The great majority of our employees right now are from Tuktoyaktuk, which is great because the community could certainly use the economic boost and the employment,” he said.
“It’s certainly resulting in a great deal of work for us and for members in the community.”
Tuktoyaktuk councillor Ryan Yakeleya said that economic boost should extend into the future, too.
“All in all … the M-18 will really help not just the surrounding communities of Tuk, but create a lot of jobs for locals, which is very good,” Yakeleya said.
The project means big trucks are hauling gravel on the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway every day right now. Drivers on the road are being asked to watch for workers and drive safe.