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PG&E proposes gas transmission and storage plan

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has submitted a proposal as part of its 2019 – 2021 Gas Transmission and Storage (GT&S) rate request to state regulators. The request outlines how PG&E will continue to achieve increased levels of gas safety by strengthening and modernising its approximately 6600 miles of gas transmission pipelines and storage facilities, which serve more than 4.4 million customers across the company's 70 000 square mile service area. GT&S rate requests and proposed work plans are typically submitted once every three or four years to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

The company’s proposal focuses on using innovative gas safety technology, such as advanced robotics, to inspect the interior of pipelines to detect and repair flaws. It also improves pipeline system safety in anticipation of natural disasters. The plan provides the needed safety funding to meet anticipated, new and more rigorous state requirements for gas storage facilities.

By prioritising the right infrastructure investments now (such as adding to the more than 260 automated valves on its transmission system, strength testing and in-line inspecting pipelines, and improving and streamlining gas operations), PG&E will improve gas safety and reliability. In addition, PG&E's proposal to close two smaller gas storage fields to reflect customer demand and changing regulations will help save hundreds of millions of dollars for customers over 20 years.

Among the critical safety investments proposed over the three-year period are:

  • Deploying 80 more automated and remotely operated valves that quickly turn off gas in case of emergencies or natural disasters like earthquakes or wildfires.
  • Upgrading over 1100 miles of pipelines to accommodate advanced robotic devices (‘pigs’) that are used to inspect the insides of pipelines, and help assess and improve overall pipeline condition.
  • Performing over 2100 miles of in-the-pipe, pigging inspections.
  • Testing 240 miles of transmission pipelines to verify safe operating pressures.
  • Improving safety measures at all three of PG&E’s gas storage facilities to reflect newly anticipated and more rigorous state laws and regulations, and initiating the sale or closure of two of these facilities, reducing the long-term costs to customers without any impact to the safe and reliable delivery of gas service.
  • Continuing to drive public awareness of damage prevention through the 811 programme with public safety partners like local fire departments and contractors.

For a typical residential customer, the investments PG&E proposes for 2019 would cost US$1.11 more per month. A typical small business customer would see an average monthly gas bill increase of US$6.65. This will fund critical safety investments and upgrades across approximately 6600 miles of gas transmission pipelines. For business customers, increases will depend on the type of service they receive.

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Downstream news North America downstream news