COLLINSVILLE, IL – April 2, 2018 – As part of its plan to modernize the energy delivery system in central and southern Illinois, Ameren Illinois is upgrading the natural gas infrastructure in Macon County.
"Macon County and the city of Decatur, in particular, represent one of Ameren Illinois' largest natural gas delivery points in terms of customer size and volume," said Gussie Reed, Ameren Illinois' director of Operations for the areas including Decatur, Springfield and Bloomington. “The upgrades we are performing are just a few of the many projects underway to strengthen the integrity and reliability of the natural gas infrastructure in Macon County and throughout central and southern Illinois.”
Among the upgrades being made, Ameren Illinois has begun replacement of approximately 3 miles of 1930s vintage 10 inch steel gas transmission pipeline from the Elwin Gate Station to Imboden Drive on the south side of Decatur. Construction is expected to be completed in May of 2018.
In 2017, Ameren Illinois completed installation of a half of mile of new 16-inch steel transmission gas main across Lake Decatur. Using a process called horizontal directional boring, crews were able to install the pipe 70 feet beneath the surface without disruption to natural gas delivery or lake operations. The project also consisted of constructing new valve sites on each side of Lake Decatur, which provide the ability to isolate the new pipe to allow for more efficient inspection and testing of the pipelines.
In addition, Ameren Illinois replaced approximately 3 miles of 1961 vintage 12-inch steel gas transmission pipeline along the north side of U.S. Route 36 between Airport Road and Prairie View Road.
“With these enhancements, Ameren Illinois is taking proactive steps to prepare for the future needs of our customers,” said Richard J. Mark, chairman and president of Ameren Illinois. “At the same time, we’re adding jobs and providing a boost to local economies.”
The Decatur pipeline replacement work is part of Ameren Illinois’ plan to overhaul its energy delivery system and create jobs in central and southern Illinois. The company is fortifying utility poles, installing outage-reduction technology, and replacing natural gas transmission and distribution facilities and equipment throughout its 43,700-square-mile territory. These projects have resulted in a 17 percent improvement in reliability since 2012 and saved utility customers more than $45 million per year on average. From the beginning of 2012, Ameren has hired more than 1,200 Illinois-based employees and deployed more than 1,500 Illinois-based contract workers to help implement the improvements to the electric and natural gas infrastructure in Illinois.