Several pipe manufacturers and resin firms have scored a major victory in the North American market by getting bimodal polyethylene resins accepted by one large utility for use in natural gas pipe systems.
Companies involved in supplying the three-year project to Public Service Electric and Gas Co. are:
* Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich.
* BP Solvay Polyethylene Europe
* KWH Pipe Canada Ltd. of Mississauga, Ontario
* Endot Industries Inc. of Rockaway, N.J.
* USPoly Co., owned by pipe major PW Eagle Inc. of Eugene, Ore.
Public Service Electric and Gas, which is owned by publicly held Public Service Enterprise Group of Newark, N.J., has a service area of 2,600 square miles in the mid-Atlantic region, with 1.7 million gas customers.
Dow said its contract extends through 2008, during which time it expects to supply 9.3 million pounds of material. Dow worked with PSE&G for two years for qualification of the material.
``Being awarded this contract is a significant validation of the added value that bimodal, PE100-type resins can bring to pipe systems in North America,'' said David Fink, North American pipe market manager for Dow's plastics business.
Endot Industries Inc. started working with bimodal resins almost two years ago, said Richard Kraft, vice president of sales and marketing.
The firm now is in the process of switching all of its water pipe manufacturing to bimodal in each of its four plants, and has begun serving the gas utility market with small-diameter PE100 pipe. It signed a contract last November with PSE&G and has other contracts pending with other utilities.
``We were not a player in that market until bimodal developed,'' Kraft said in a June 3 telephone interview. ``The utilities wanted bimodal.''
For KWH Pipe of Ontario, this is its first major U.S. gas distribution account, President Paul Van Warmerdam said in a June 8 telephone interview. It is also the first major order for PE100 gas pipe, still a relatively new product on the North American market, officials said.
KWH is using resin from BP Solvay, produced in Europe, for the 2- to 12-inch pipe it is extruding at its Huntsville, Ontario, site.