SoCalGas Begins New Phase of Pipeline Safety Project in Imperial County
New pipeline will enhance reliability to customers in the service area
Nov 20, 2017
LOS ANGELES, November 20, 2017 – Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced the start of additional work on a pipeline modernization project in Imperial County. The work stretches from Calipatria to El Centro and is the continuation of a project that began in September 2015.
SoCalGas installed a new 11-mile natural gas transmission line in June 2016 as phase one of this project, which replaces an older pipeline. This phase will connect the new line to existing distribution lines in the service area. This work is underway and is expected to be completed by April 2018.
“The Imperial County Department of Public Works appreciates the work by SoCalGas as they move forward to upgrade their critical public infrastructure,” John Gay, Imperial County Public Works director said. “The department will assist SoCalGas’ efforts by providing the public with road closure and detour information through different media sources as their project progresses.”
“Thousands of customers in Imperial County will benefit from this new natural gas pipeline,” said Deborah McGarrey, public affairs manager for SoCalGas. “Updating the SoCalGas pipeline system with new, state-of-the-art pipelines will ensure the safe, reliable delivery of natural gas to area homes and businesses for many years to come.”
Connecting these distribution and service lines to the new transmission pipeline will involve excavation in nine different locations in Imperial County. There may be some impact to traffic intermittently throughout the project, and lane and/or road closure information will be provided.
Customers are not anticipated to experience any service interruptions. Some residents and local business owners may occasionally smell the odorant in natural gas and may also hear some work-related noise. During work hours, commuters passing by the work site may see excavation, equipment and vehicles. Residents with questions may contact SoCalGas’ call center at 1-800-427-2200. The call center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The final phase of this project is scheduled to begin in August of next year. This entails abandoning, or removing the old pipeline from service, which means gas will no longer flow through this older pipeline. As part of this decommissioning, SoCalGas crews will remove the sections of the pipeline that cross over irrigation canals. Phase three work is expected to take about six months to complete.
The effort is part of SoCalGas’ Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan, a multi-billion-dollar program that identifies various high pressure pipeline sections throughout SoCalGas’ system and schedules them to be pressure-tested and/or replaced. SoCalGas’ five-year capital plan includes $6 billion in infrastructure investments, including approximately $1.2 billion this year for improvements to distribution, transmission and storage systems and for pipeline safety. Since the PSEP program began in 2013, SoCalGas has tested and/or replaced 175 miles of high pressure lines, and upgraded or replaced 130 valves.
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Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States, providing clean, safe, affordable and reliable natural gas service to 21.7 million customers in Central and Southern California. Its service territory spans 22,000 square miles from Fresno to the Mexican border, reaching more than 550 communities through 5.9 million meters and 101,000 miles of pipeline. More than 90 percent of Southern California single-family home residents use natural gas for home heat and hot water. In addition, natural gas plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas has served communities in California for 150 years and is committed to being a leader in the region’s clean energy future. The company has committed to spending $6 billion over the next five years to modernize and upgrade its gas infrastructure, while also reducing methane emissions. SoCalGas is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas, a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative fuel created by capturing and conditioning greenhouse gas emissions from farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. The company is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.