Four U.S., Canadian and British organization formed a $5.3 million venture to develop ultrasonic tools for detecting stress corrosion in natural gas an liquid pipelines. The consortium includes the Gas Research Institute, British Gas plc, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, and PRC International. The new device will allow inspection of a wider range of gas pipelines. Field testing was expected to begin in 1998.
Conoco Global Power, Inc. and Western Resources' The Wing Group are among investors in a 160-megawatt (MW), natural gas-fired power plant in Columbia. The $80 million plant was set to begin operating in December. The plant developer is Merrill International, Ltd. Construction will be done by Westinghouse, supervising work by Tipiel, a Columbian contractor.
Johnson Controls, Inc. will upgrade water systems for The University of Stirling in the United Kingdom. Under the contract, medium-pressure hot-water distribution mains will be replaced and main boiler rooms upgraded. Energy controls also will be installed. Johnson will maintain the boiler rooms until 2006.
The Natural Gas Council altered its structure. Membership now includes three member representatives each from the four participating U.S. natural gas associations, plus the president of each group. The groups are: the American Gas Association, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of American, and the Natural Gas Supply Association. There will be one rep each from the marketing and gas processing sectors, plus the Gas Research Institute president. Also attending Council meetings will be a staffer and an antitrust attorney.
Systems & Computer Technology Corp. signed a $1 million+ software and services agreement with Philadelphia Suburban Water Co. The software will be used for customer information and other services.
New Energy Ventures-New England has opened its Boston headquarters. Barbara Kates-Garnick, a former commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, is company president.
UtiliCorp United has a new address: 20 W. Ninth St., Kansas City, MO.
The natural gas and steam turbines of Sierra Pacific Power Co.'s Pinon Pine Power Project have gone into commercial operation. The 107 MW generating plant, east of Reno, NV, is at the Tracy Generating Station. The plant also can burn gasified coal.
FirstPoint Communications plans a 135-mile fiber optic network circling Portland, OR and surrounding communities. The system will carry nearly 10 million calls at one time. Construction on the first of four rings was completed late last year. FirstPoint is a subsidiary of Portland General Corp.
Toward Utility Rate Normalization (TURN) has a new name: The Utility Reform Network (TURN). The pro-environment/consumer group is based in San Francisco. t
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