A First Gas engineering team is to undertake repair work on its 400-Line (30-inch Maui pipeline) at a farm near Whitecliffs in Tongaporutu, Taranaki where land movement has been identified, the company said today.

A five-yearly pipeline monitoring exercise in April using an internal inspection tool identified a potential issue with an anomaly in the pipe.

Further investigation identified the anomaly. It is assumed that the anomaly has been caused by land movement which has placed strain on the pipe.

Field surveys by specialist inspectors were immediately carried out to understand the nature of the land movement. Further specialist analysis of the data was commissioned to determine the risk to the integrity of the pipeline.

The specialist analysis was completed on Friday 21 September and indicates that the pipeline has developed a crease as a result of pipe movement, focused in a single location affecting approximately a 5 metre section of pipeline.

Offsite preparations will begin this week and once the site is excavated First Gas will confirm a repair plan.

There has been no loss of containment, but there is a risk of failure at this location leading to a potential supply interruption for some customers.

Due to the remote nature of the location there is little public safety risk. First Gas have in place procedures to manage this risk.

First Gas is working with the landowners to ensure the work, which is being undertaken in difficult terrain, is completed safely and responsibly. First Gas will be advising on the continued progress of the repairs.

First Gas is communicating directly with its customers who are gas retailers and large commercial entities. Customers are not being asked to conserve usage, but to review their contingency plans.

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Hugo Shanahan, 0275 111 561 or hugo@senateshj.co.nz

About First Gas

First Gas Limited is an energy infrastructure company based in New Plymouth, which owns and operates the Maui Gas pipeline with 2,504 kms of high pressure gas transmission pipes and around 4,800 kms of gas distribution pipes in the North Island. First Gas provides services to more than 65,000 customers in over 40 North Island towns and cities. For more information, please visit: www.firstgas.co.nz