IRVING, Texas – Jan. 14, 2013 – The Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) has announced that its Fuel Gas Division has been renamed the Energy Piping Systems Division (EPSD) to reflect the expanded focus of the group. The EPSD will continue its work in gas distribution while increasing its task force group programs, technical report projects, application data collection and liaison efforts with government agencies and other industry groups to encompass more energy-related areas. PPI is the major trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry.
“This change was championed by our members to better serve the needs of the energy sector including gas distribution, oil & gas collection, biofuels, oil field water handling, gas transmission and enhanced oil recovery,” stated Tony Radoszewski, executive director of PPI.
“For more than 50 years, polyethylene (PE) piping systems have been successfully used in all types of fuel gas piping applications because it has a well-documented inertness to both the external soil environment and to natural gas,” he continued. “These PE piping materials have been continually improved during those five decades assuring the safe, cost-effective, transport of fuel gases in residential, commercial and industrial applications. Now we are seeing more composite pipe being developed to replace steel and cast iron in advanced energy applications just as PE pipe did in natural gas distribution. These materials include polyamides (PA-11 and PA-12), and pipe made from a composite of plastic and other high-strength materials that can operate at pressures in excess of 2500 psi. Several makers of composite pipe products have recently joined the PPI Energy Piping Systems Division including Flex Steel, Flex Pipe, and Fiberspar.”
The role of the EPSD is to foster growth of new and established products in energy-related applications by leveraging market knowledge, expertise and success of the Fuel Gas group’s past half-century of experience. The expanded mission provides new market opportunities for PPI members in applications beyond traditional gas distribution. The division frequently conducts research and publishes technical reports on design factors and design coefficients recommended for thermoplastic pressure piping applications
One recent industry-encompassing initiative undertaken and still in development by the group is the establishment of a new website that acts as a clearinghouse for the registration of all polyethylene (PE) gas pipe and component manufacturers’ identification codes.
“This is a critical part of the tracking and traceability system which provides a standardized approach to marking all gas distribution system components,” stated Stephen Boros, technical director, PPI. “It was developed so manufacturers could easily provide product traceability information that gas utilities can use in the implementation of their own Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP), a program that has been mandated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), U.S. Department of Transportation. PPI will operate and maintain this registry.”
“This tracking program is typical of the programs supported by the EPSD and is an example of why it has been one of the foremost advocacy groups in the industry,” Radoszewski commented. “The EPSD has spearheaded many initiatives that have led to positive changes in industry standards that enabled better, more cost-effective products to be used in our communities. This will continue with even more vigor with the newly named division.”
For more information, visit the Plastics Pipe Institute website: www.plasticpipe.org