Building the safest pipeline possible
As a subsidiary of TransCanada PipeLines Limited, Prince Rupert Gas Transmission will be designed, built and operated to ensure the safety of the natural gas transportation system. We work to meet or exceed industry and government standards to ensure public safety.
Our design requirements specify only top quality steel and welding techniques will be used for construction. Additional safety precautions are taken where the pipeline will cross roads and railway tracks or where waterways are located near communities. Precautions include using thicker-walled pipe and burying the pipeline deeper in areas of higher population.
During construction, all welds are checked by an X-ray or ultrasonic process that can detect very small defects. To enhance strength and protect against corrosion, pipelines are coated with special fusion-bonded epoxy coating to enhance strength and reduce corrosion.
Testing the Pipeline
Once the pipeline is welded together, it is typically pressure tested to ensure there are no defects. During these tests, the pipeline is subjected hydrostatic testing which tests the strength of the steel and integrity of the line under pressures that are much higher than normal operating conditions. .
Prince Rupert Gas Transmission will be monitored 24 hours a day by highly trained TransCanada staff from computerized control centres. From there, our staff can detect changes in pressure along our pipeline and ensure that all facilities are operating properly.
Pipeline control valves are located approximately along the pipeline. Should pressure in the pipeline drop (for example, because of a leak), the valves are designed to shut off the flow of natural gas remotely. This limits the amount of natural gas that is released into the environment.
During operations, a very low-voltage electric current called cathodic protection is applied to the pipe. This is another way we protect against corrosion.
Northern British Columbia will be fully staffed with qualified technicians who ensure the safe and efficient operation of our facilities in the area. In addition, regional offices have access to health, safety, and environmental coordinators and pipeline integrity specialists.
We regularly inspect the entire pipeline route from low-flying helicopters and planes. We look for signs of leaks, unauthorized activity, soil disturbances on the pipeline right-of-way, or any other conditions that could affect the safety of the pipeline. TransCanada employees may also inspect sections of the pipeline on foot or all-terrain vehicles.
Electronic in-line inspection devices, known as “smart pigs”, are used on sections of the pipeline to better understand the health of the system.
TransCanada operates over 68,000 km of natural gas pipelines that safely deliver 20 per cent of all natural gas consumed in North America every day.