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September 29, 2004 - TransGas & SaskEnergy Using Innovative Tools to Keep Public Safe


September 29, 2004

TransGas & SaskEnergy Using Innovative Tools to Keep Public Safe

TransGas, the pipeline transmission company of SaskEnergy is using innovative technology to test and maintain their natural gas pipeline system to ensure the safety of the public. TransGas and SaskEnergy construction crews will be inspecting a 12" natural gas pipeline to confirm its integrity and strength and ability to safely operate into the future. The pipeline, which runs adjacent to Circle Drive between Clarence Avenue and Boychuk Drive, is the main feeder that supplies homes, businesses and industrial customers in the Saskatoon area and throughout eastern Saskatchewan.

A total of 10 sections of the pipeline within a four kilometre distance will be exposed and sandblasted to allow advanced ultrasonic equipment an opportunity to completely assess the condition of the pipeline. Once the sections of pipe have been inspected, TransGas and SaskEnergy crews will install - for the first time in Saskatchewan - specialized high tension safety tape just below the surface and above the pipeline. The bright yellow, elasticized plastic tape will be an early warning signal to unaware machinery operators who may be digging close to the line.

"This week's scheduled maintenance clearly focuses on our top priorities - public safety and uninterrupted natural gas service to our customers. Today's line inspection is just a little bit different than most. We're installing high tension safety line between the surface of the ground and the natural gas pipeline. It's a simple idea. If a machinery operator digs up the yellow tape, it will immediately alert them that there is a natural gas line close by," said Dick Graham, Executive Director, Engineering & Technology, TransGas.

"Although the safety tape is yet another tool we use to ensure the safety and reliability of our system, we still require customers to call Sask. 1st Call before they dig, to ensure underground lines are located before they start their projects," he continued.

Sask. 1st Call, Saskatchewan's underground facility location screening and notification service, will connect the caller to a trained and experienced Customer Service Representative (CSR) who will take all the pertinent information concerning the proposed excavation and enter it into the screening database. The software will then determine which of its 19 member companies have underground facilities at that location. Sask. 1st Call represents a quarter million kilometres of buried infrastructure across Saskatchewan.

TransGas performs annual integrity testing as a part of the company's commitment to providing safety to their customers through its risk based System Integrity Management Program. Each year, over 700 kilometres of pipeline are inspected and maintained within the province.

TransGas operates approximately 14,000 kilometres of high pressure pipeline within Saskatchewan.

The testing, which takes place over the next week, will not disrupt natural gas service or pose a danger for area residents.

For further information, please contact:

Candace Weimer
Communications Coordinator
TransGas/SaskEnergy
Phone: 306. 777.9048
Cell: 306. 537.3565
Email: cweimer@saskenergy.com