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Ameren Illinois Upgrading Infrastructure in Douglas and Edgar Counties
Investing $3.1 Million to Improve Natural Gas Delivery Network

Ameren Illinois is investing nearly $3.1 million to upgrade the natural gas infrastructure in Douglas and Edgar Counties. The upgrades will improve safety and service reliability for customers, and is a part of Ameren Illinois’ plan to modernize the natural gas and electric delivery systems in central and southern Illinois.

“A key component of our natural gas modernization plan is the replacement of older, mechanically coupled pipe with plastic polyethylene pipe that is resistant to corrosion and is more efficient to install,” said George Justice, director, Division IV for Ameren Illinois. “We’re also investing in new technology that provides more advanced monitoring of our system all in an effort to strengthen the safety, reliability and efficiency of our natural gas network and provide superior service to our customers.”

Local projects include:

  • Replacing mechanically coupled steel pipe. Ameren Illinois is upgrading approximately 40,000 feet of coupled steel gas mains and 400 associated gas services in the Village of Kansas. The existing steel pipe will be replaced with plastic polyethylene pipe, which is less prone to leakage, to improve service reliability to customers in this area. The project is expected to be completed in October 2015. Investment: $1.38 million.
  • Upgrading natural gas delivery facilities. Ameren Illinois is replacing delivery stations just west of Tuscola in Douglas County and just West of Chrisman in Edgar County and upgrading over-pressure protection equipment at the facilities. A delivery station is the location where Ameren Illinois receives natural gas from a high pressure interstate pipeline. The natural gas is then fed into Ameren Illinois’ transmission system to supply natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers. The over-pressure protection equipment helps maintain the health of the system by providing consistent gas operating pressure and ensures reliable service. In addition, Ameren Illinois is also upgrading the odorization and telemetry equipment at the sites, which will provide precise injection of odorant into the gas and real time monitoring of the gas system operations to assure system reliability. Both projects are expected to be completed by fall. Investment: $1.67 million.

In all, Ameren Illinois is investing nearly $3.1 million and more than 17,600 man-hours on the replacement projects.  This activity will generate an estimated $6.2 million in economic impact (jobs, spending, local sourcing, etc.) throughout central and southern Illinois.

“Our natural gas system is aging – and while the system is safe, we’re making necessary investments to ensure it stays that way. These investments will ensure we’re able to continue meeting the needs of our customers now and in the future,” said Richard J. Mark, president, Ameren Illinois. “At the same time, we’re adding jobs and providing a boost to local economies.”

Since 2012, Ameren Illinois has implemented hundreds of system reliability projects by adding new technology and fortifying the energy grid.  As a result, reliability has improved by an average of 20 percent, saving Ameren Illinois customers an estimated $44 million a year. The utility has added more than 800 employees, and more than 1,200 Illinois-based contract workers who are supporting Ameren Illinois projects. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com/focus or follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.com/AmerenIllinois.