Dawson Natural Gas Processing Plant

Driven by the continued development of the Montney shale natural gas play in northeast British Columbia, Spectra Energy has built the Dawson Processing Plant to process raw natural gas from the South Peace region to meet the scale, scope and timing of the region's processing needs.

About This Project

Phase 1 of the Dawson Processing Plant is designed to process up to 100 million cubic feet per day of raw natural gas. The plant is built on a foundation of 2,100 piles or steel pipes that range from 8 to 24 inches in diameter. These piles are driven up to 13 metres into the ground and form the foundation of other plant structures. Taking into consideration the region’s winter weather, Phase 1 includes 55 kilometres of electrical heat trace to warm the layer between the insulation and pipes; this facilitates the flow of liquid during colder periods. Since it began in February 2011, construction of the plant has involved:

  • More than 1.2 million man hours
  • Up to 300 workers on-site at a time
  • 203,000 cubic metres of sub-soil and top-soil moved
  • 1,000 cubic metres of concrete poured
  • 24 kilometres of piping
  • 200,000 weld inches

Spectra Energy is taking important steps to respect and maintain the environment while we pursue a clean energy future. For example, the Dawson Processing Plant uses high-efficiency electric motors in place of conventional gas engines to reduce the plant’s emissions. Other steps taken include: minimizing the plant's footprint to 19.2 hectares and planning the build future phases on the property; installing fuel efficient gas generators that operate at about 96% efficiency and that allow the plant to produce its own electricity; building a pond with an impermeable liner to ensure the protection of local groundwater; meeting or exceeding ground disturbance policies to ensure lands are protected; and flare stack design results in less impact from emissions and less noise in the event of a flare.

In July 2012, Spectra Energy celebrated the Grand Opening of the Dawson Processing Plant Phase 1. Additionally, Phase 2 is already under construction within the same footprint. Upon the expected in-service date of this next phase in early 2013, the plant’s capacity will increase to 200 million cubic feet per day.

Spectra Energy is also nearing the end of a $1.5 billion expansion program in British Columbia that began in 2009. By the end of 2013, which is the projected date of completion, Spectra expects the development program to add more than 1,350 construction jobs and approximately $120 million in local and Aboriginal and First Nations contracts.


More Information Online

For more information on this project, visit:

Project Status

Estimate Investment
$1.5 billion

Estimated Project Start Date
February 2011

Estimated Completion Date
Q4 2013

Project Partners


Proponent Contact

John Turner
Manager, Government Relations
Spectra Energy

Economic Development Contact

Sue Kenny
General Manager
Community Futures Peace Liard


Northern Development Initiative Trust

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