News & Insights

What’s a floatel? Woodfibre LNG’s answer to workforce accommodation


Mar 21, 2024

Woodfibre LNG’s floating workforce accommodation, also known as the floatel, is expected to arrive at the Woodfibre LNG project site in spring of 2024 where it will remain moored until the completion of construction in 2027. The floatel will provide high quality housing to approximately 650 non-local workers during construction of the Woodfibre LNG Project. 

What is a floatel?

Floatels are increasingly being used for worker accommodation when land-based options pose significant challenges, as they can be quickly positioned and removed and can be operated sustainably, leaving no ecological footprint after departure. The Woodfibre LNG floatel is a modern vessel with state-of-the-art sewage, water and power services that meet or exceed Canadian and provincial regulations. A converted cruise ship, the floatel offers a premium live-work environment for its residents, including:

  • Individual rooms with private ensuites
  • Catered dining areas
  • Outdoor and sports lounge
  • 8,000 square foot fitness facility
  • Billiards and games room

Why is a floatel being used on the Project?

In 2019, Woodfibre began the process of gathering input from the community about the potential impact of the construction project and development of an LNG facility. We received thousands of comments, many registering concerns about traditional work camps,

the potential influx of non-local workers, and potential impacts on rental housing, traffic and the safety of women and girls.

We listened, we heard, and we responded with a community-driven solution in the form of a floatel.

How does a floatel address concerns expressed by the community?

From the start, our priority has been to ensure the construction of the Woodfibre LNG facility has as little impact on Squamish as possible and the floatel does just that.

Woodfibre LNG received an amendment to its environmental assessment certificate to authorize the floatel, and conditions that restrict community access and travel into the community for non-local workers.  

Accommodating workers on the floatel, along with firm restrictions on access to the community , will mean that workers have no impact on community infrastructure and services while providing them world class, safe and comfortable living accommodations.

The use of a floatel is also supported by a coalition of hereditary chiefs and the project’s Gender Safety Committee Advisory Committee – and will address problems sometimes associated with work camps, ensuring a safe working environment for all workers, including Indigenous women.

What is the cost of the floatel and who is footing the bill?

Woodfibre LNG pays the full cost of the $100 million floatel and the cost of catering, housekeeping, and other services on board, as part of its commitment to ensure the project has as little impact on Squamish as possible.

How will gender safety be addressed on the floatel?

To work on the project, all workers must sign a code of conduct which includes gender safety provisions and are required to take a half-day, in person cultural awareness and gender safety training session delivered by Squamish Nation trainers. To further support a welcoming and respectful workplace culture, Indigenous Floatel Cultural Managers will be on board the vessel. A first-of-its-kind Gender and Cultural Safety Management Plan is a provincial regulatory requirement on the project and will further the zero tolerance policy for, and provide safe and appropriate mechanisms for preventing and responding to, any form of bullying, harassment, or sexualized violence.

In addition, 24 hour safety and security services to ensure the comfort and safety of all workers will be provided by the floatel vendor, Bridgemans Services Group.

How will workers be transported to and from the floatel?

To ensure no impacts on traffic through Squamish, non-local workers will be transported by boat from the Lower Mainland to and from the floatel at the Woodfibre LNG project site.

What is the environmental impact of the floatel?

The floatel is designed to have net zero environmental impact, will operate on hydroelectric shore power and has a wide array of advanced environmental systems including an ultraviolet water purification system, industrial heat pumps, and sewage treatment that includes ultrafiltration, a low intensity UV unit, and shipping to a waste management facility in BC. In addition, the floatel is designed to eliminate waste and recycle as much as possible.