Demand, Maintenance To Keep Gas Distribution Market Stable In ’09

Annual Survey and Report
By Rita Tubb, Managing Editor | February 2009 Vol. 64 No.2

The flamespray liquid epoxy system provides technically and economically practical pipeline protection for field applications on pipeline girth welds, repair sites and irregular shaped fittings. It combines a brushed on epoxy primer with a sprayed on thermoplastic polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) topcoat that provides impact resistance.

Although not currently licensed, the product has been successfully field tested and GTI expects the system to be available in the market place within the next year.

Survey results

As in past years, Underground Construction survey recipients were asked to comment on legislative issue, the cost of finding and repairing leaky mains and a host of other questions. Responses clearly indicate that the gas utility industry is focused on replacing older, leaking, inefficient and structurally deficient mains and services. As to ongoing long term replacement programs, 69 percent of those surveyed reported programs in progress, while 14 percent indicated they had no cast iron or bare steel in existing systems. Those reporting bare steel in existing systems citied this as a primary replacement focus at this time.

Approximately 2 percent of those surveyed indicated they had not yet started a long term replacement programs.

Once again, Underground Construction’s latest figures provided by survey participants indicate that 2 and 4 inch diameter PE pipe is widely used in the gas utility industry and currently accounts for 95 to 98 percent of all new main installations in developed area. As to cost, the following figures reflect the average cost per foot reported to install plastic and steel mains. Costs for plastic main installations ranged from $4 to $9.32 for 2 inch diameter; $10 to $32for 3 inch; $8 to $15.56 for 4 inch; and $10 to $32 for 6 inch.

Respondents reporting protected steel main installation costs listed the following: $12 to $35 for 2 inch; $16 to $32 for 4 inch; and $33 to $75 for 6 inch.

As in past years, most of those surveyed said they do not track the average cost for finding and repairing leaky mains. While most of those surveyed cited surface conditions, street vs. lawn, as a factor in the cost of finding and repairing leaky mains, 36 percent gave $2,000 as an average cost.