LG&E wrapping up over 500 miles of upgrades to city's gas pipelines
Final portion of new natural gas main pipelines going in downtown
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – After more than 20 years, Louisville Gas and Electric Company’s long-term gas main replacement project is reaching completion in the heart of downtown Louisville – putting in the last stretch of new natural gas pipeline, between 3rd and 4th Streets, just behind the Louisville Palace.
The work will wrap up an initiative the utility began implementing in its system back in 1996 as it established a program committing to replacing 540 miles of cast iron, wrought iron and bare steel natural gas pipelines, which are more vulnerable to degradation over time, for replacement, primarily with more durable plastic natural gas pipelines.
While replacing the pipelines was not required when the program started, LG&E officials recognized the time-intensive work as a worthwhile effort towards improving the future safety and reliability of the utility’s system and received approval of the program from the Kentucky Public Service Commission. It was an initiative that came 15 years before stringent federal distribution pipeline integrity regulations took effect in 2011, putting the utility well ahead of the curve.
“Safety is our company’s top priority and this project is evidence of that,” said John Malloy, LG&E vice president of Gas Distribution. “Many utilities across the country only began making these types of upgrades within the last five years. So having the foresight to put this upgrade program in place when we did has enabled us to enhance the safety of our system for our customers well in advance of our peers and allowed us to put additional infrastructure upgrade plans in place for the future.”
Completion of the program will build on the utility’s ongoing safety measures within its natural gas system including its regular leak surveys and gas riser inspection and replacement program. The utility also announced last fall its plans to expand infrastructure upgrades within its natural gas system which include:
- replacing aging steel service lines, with new plastic pipe;
- replacing aging natural gas transmission lines;
- and system reinforcement projects to enhance reliability and adding capacity to promote economic growth in the region.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve nearly 1.3 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. LG&E serves 324,000 natural gas and 407,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. KU serves 549,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.
For further information: call the LG&E and KU media hotline at 502–627–4999.