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Ameren Illinois continuing major upgrades in Springfield to strengthen natural gas delivery system
$6.4 million in upgrades slated in 2015 will further improve reliability and safety in the Capital City

Ameren Illinois is investing approximately $6.4 million in 2015 to upgrade the natural gas infrastructure in Springfield and surrounding areas as part of the company’s long-term plan to modernize the energy delivery system in central and southern Illinois. The investments announced today are in addition to the $1.4 million in natural gas improvements that have been made in the greater Springfield-area since 2014 to further boost reliability and safety in the Capital City.

“Ameren Illinois has always had a very safe and reliable gas delivery system. The upgrades we’re making in Springfield and throughout our service territory will help further improve the performance of the system while delivering value to our customers,” said Daetta Jones, director of Ameren Illinois’ Division III, which encompasses Springfield and surrounding areas.

Local projects being implemented in 2015 include:

  • Upgrading natural gas facilities. Ameren Illinois is replacing one of its delivery stations on the southeast edge of Springfield. 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’ distribution system which is installed underground throughout Springfield, to supply natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers. The company will also be installing pipeline safety equipment at the facility to safeguard gas distribution pressures.  The new pipeline safety equipment will monitor the gas distribution system and prevent gas pressures from exceeding an established safe and reliable limit. The upgrades are expected to be completed by the fall of 2015. Investment: $1.15 million.

    This project is a part of a multi-year effort by Ameren Illinois to install and upgrade pipeline safety equipment at facilities throughout the service territory. These projects will provide more advanced monitoring of natural gas pipeline facilities, further improving public safety.
  • Replacing older steel pipe. Ameren Illinois is upgrading nearly 11,000 feet of coupled steel gas mains and associated gas services on Springfield’s west side. The existing 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 next month. Investment: $817,000.

    The company is also investing $1.6 million to upgrade approximately 25,000 feet of coupled steel pipe on the west side of Chatham. The project is expected to be completed later this month.
  • Wabash pipeline relocation. Ameren Illinois recently completed relocation of approximately 10,500 feet of 10-inch high pressure gas main along Wabash Avenue in Springfield to accommodate an Illinois Department of Transportation road project. Investment: $2.9 million.

In all, Ameren Illinois is investing more than $6.4 million and 27,500 man-hours on the replacement projects.  This activity will generate an estimated $12.8 million in economic impact (jobs, spending, local sourcing, etc.) throughout central and southern Illinois.

“By all accounts, our modernization plan is working for our customers and for Illinois. Customers will benefit from a safer, more reliable gas system. At the same time, through implementation of these projects, we’re creating much-needed jobs and providing a boost to local economies,” said Richard J. Mark, president, Ameren Illinois.

Ameren Illinois is investing $3.5 billion over the next five years to build a next generation energy delivery system and create jobs in central and southern Illinois.  Ameren Illinois is fortifying utility poles, installing intelligent switches and sensors, and replacing natural gas transmission and distribution facilities and equipment throughout its 43,700-square-mile territory. As a result, reliability has improved by an average of 17 percent, saving Ameren Illinois customers an estimated $48 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.