The task of providing safe and reliable residential gas distribution systems in towns and villages and connecting some 230.000 households as well as small and bigger businesses is a major responsibility. One of the leading Dutch gas grid operators has extensive experience in using ductile PVC for their main pipes.
Hans Randsdorp is managing director of the BV Netbeheer Haarlemmermeer (NetH) and Obragas Net NV (ObN). He underlines the main reason why the ductile PVC is their chosen material: cost-effectiveness and low leakage rate. "It is very important that the natural gas delivery system remains safe, reliable, and operates efficiently. The ductile PVC leakage rate is almost negligible in spite of a large number of connections and joints present in these gas distribution systems. With our PVC pipes, home owners and businesses have a safe and reliable gas supply," says Hans Randsdorp. He continues:
"The Kiwa Gastec study that was published a few years ago, concluded that low-pressure gas distribution systems (0.1 bar) made of ductile PVC for main pipes is the most cost-effective system for the distribution of gas in towns and villages."
Ductile PVC is the most common pipe material in the Dutch gas distribution systems for replacement or extension of the network. In the Netherlands more than 600.000 km of gas distribution mains have been installed. More than 99% of all houses and businesses are connected to gas grids and every year about 700 km of ductile PVC are installed.
"The old gas grids were developed by the end of the 1960's. In the beginning, they were partly made from steel or copper. Today we have chosen ductile PVC for main pipes and PE for connections in combination with low pressure of 0.1 bar as our standard for the distribution of gas. These materials are easy to install and by far the most superior material for low-pressure distribution network because of their long-term performance. These systems are in operation now for more than 30 years and we expect a technical lifetime of more than double this," says Hans Randsdorp.
"Together with the French Association of Gas (l'Association Française de Gaz), Gaz de France has developed a quality system with guidelines on the production, installation and maintenance of plastic pipe systems. Also, an educational program has been developed in order to qualify the personnel according to the existing guidelines," says Mr. Paty.
BV Netbeheer Haarlemmermeer (NetH) and Obragas Net NV are mainly operating in the area of Amsterdam and in the South of Holland