Utility Week

Utility Week 12 12 2014

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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UtILItY WeeK | 12th - 18th December 2014 | 23 Operations & Assets turbines will deliver enough electricity to supply more than 14,000 average German homes. Siemens will operate and maintain the turbines under a 15-year service contract. If you have an asset or project you would like to see featured in this slot, please send your pictures and details of the project to: paul.newton@fav-house.com or call 01342 332085 Pipe up Dale Hartley Utilities face significant challenges to manage their age- ing water pipeline infrastructure, with failures increas- ing in both frequency and severity, leaving utilities with difficult decisions on whether to maintain or replace these assets. Furthermore, with regulators pushing utilities to drive down failures and improve service, this leaves a considerable void in available funding. The conventional approach to pipeline management allowed a pipeline to fail multiple times before it was replaced. This may work reasonably well for smaller diameter distribution pipelines, for large diameter pipelines it is wasteful. Furthermore, there are simply insufficient funds to adopt this approach. A capital replacement programme for large diameter pressure pipelines not only carries a high price, but also poses significant logistical challenges. Through the assessment of tens of thousands of kilometres of large- diameter pipelines, it is clear that even problematic trans- mission mains can be managed. In fact, WRc has found that more than 80 per cent of pipe- lines do not have any deteriora- tion at all and are in "like new" condition. Closer inspection suggests that less than 3 per cent of pipe sections require any immediate repair. There is a better way to maintain pressure pipelines; assess the pipeline and address the problems. WRc has developed an approach called Assess & Address, and our return on investment studies have found that while many variables affect pricing, on average, an Assess & Address programme can be implemented for 4 per cent of the capital replacement cost. The benefits of this new approach – regardless of the size, material or depth of the underground asset – is that companies can drive down the cost of pipeline operation and maintenance while improving overall asset life. The service will also support assessment of the cur- rent condition of underground assets and enable devel- opment of least-cost solutions to ensure serviceability with minimum/no interruption to customers. We believe this new approach to underground assets, developed in Partnership with Pure Technologies and others, will help drive down the cost of pipeline operation and maintenance, delay intervention times and improve asset performance to help the utilities outperform against regulatory drivers. There is a need to change the way utilities approach their critical asset replacement programmes so they bring benefits for utili- ties and their customers. Dale Hartley, commercial manager, WRc "A replacement programme not only carries a high price, but also poses significant logistical challenges." More than 80 per cent of pipelines do not have any deterioration and are in 'like new' condition

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