Insights > Gas Replacement Program Delivering Safer, More Reliable Product to Customers
Gas Replacement Program Delivering Safer, More Reliable Product to Customers
Natural gas is an essential fuel for customers in Louisiana. In the spirit of Entergy’s commitment to continuous improvement and in order to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of gas, that infrastructure needs to be replaced.
Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans are currently replacing hundreds of miles of cast iron, bare steel and other vintage gas pipes to modernize the companies’ gas delivery system. Read more below for an update on each company’s gas replacement program status.
In April of 2015, Entergy Louisiana began an accelerated pipe replacement program in Baton Rouge, a 10-year effort to improve the safety and reliability of the natural gas system. To date, crews have replaced approximately 69 miles of aging pipe in the greater Baton Rouge area along with converting the entire system to high-pressure.
The project involves replacement of approximately 100 miles of gas pipe, or roughly 6% of the main gas system. As of this past year, the program is ahead of schedule by approximately 14.3 miles.
Pipe types initially targeted for replacement include cast iron, bare steel and early vintage polyethylene. As of mid-2017, all cast iron and bare steel has been replaced, a full year ahead of schedule. Only early vintage polyethylene remains and is the focus for the remainder of the program.
Entergy New Orleans began rebuilding New Orleans’ natural gas system in 2007 after Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters inundated the gas system and caused ongoing reliability disruptions in the hardest hit areas of the city. Using state-of-the-art technology and upgraded material, the company has converted a large portion of the city’s low-pressure gas system to a more modern high-pressure system. These new lines being installed will offer many years of safe reliable gas service including new safety protection features and higher-pressure availability to power modern equipment like on-demand water heaters and back-up generation.
Along with replacing aging pipes, converting the older low-pressure system to a high-pressure system will vastly improve safety and reliability for customers, making it less susceptible to flood damage and leaks. The new system is being rebuilt with industry-standard, high-density polyethylene gas pipe which is virtually impervious to saltwater corrosion compared to cast iron or steel traditionally used for gas systems. The new high-pressure system enhances public safety by including the installation of an excess flow valve which minimizes or stops the flow of gas by automatically closing if a service line is damaged.
As of May 2021, Entergy New Orleans has replaced approximately 85% of the low-pressure system; or 556 miles of the 650 miles that were in service when the flooding occurred.
Overall, removing aging gas pipe infrastructure is an industrywide focus. This project will help the company manage the integrity, reliability and safety of the gas distribution system, a primary goal for Entergy's Gas Distribution Business. This work will help us rapidly modernize our facilities, improve our operational performance and better safely serve our customers.