Message to Membership
Due to the aging infrastructure in our distribution system, in 2018 the Board and Management have developed a 10 year Strategic Plan which includes a priority list for replacement of much of our aging and failing infrastructure.
We have always had a strong gas balancing program which indicates where there may be any leaks or failures. A trend was identified where there was a marked increase of leaks on our 50-year-old pipe.
Management worked with our Auditor to show the Board of Directors a business plan for replacement which included comparing the costs of using third party contractors to the cost of owning the equipment and hiring staff for the installation of new pipe. At this time the Board and Management decided that ownership and control was worth the investment. We decided to finance the equipment purchases in order to balance our cash flow. This meant the larger items of equipment we purchased had to be new for the bank to approve lending.
It was obvious from early on that there were many advantages to owning the equipment and hiring a few additional staff. Owning the equipment would pay for itself within the first 5 years of the 10-year plan. We purchased the required equipment, then hired one full time and one part time employee to operate it. We quickly discovered other advantages to having the equipment available full time. We had more control of our schedules and found we could respond to emergencies much faster.
In 2020 we started a replacement program for our RMO facilities (Regulating, Monitoring and Odorization). These facilities are located where we purchase natural gas off of the TransCanada Pipeline system. We replaced Tap 30 (Aspelund Road) with a new facility that is designed to eliminate fugitive emissions including a different design for over pressure protection where we no longer relieve gas to atmosphere. This was important as environmental awareness has become more fine tuned.
In 2021 we experienced peak load for an extended period in February where our end pressures showed us over subscribed pipelines where the draw almost exceeded the ability to deliver gas to the consumer. Needless to say we identified some urgent “loop” lines to increase capacity at the far downstream consumers on some of our taps. With the application for 3 large grain dryer services, and the emergent loop lines we managed to install more than double the pipe we have installed in previous years. Both through self construction and third party construction.
As this evolved, and along with continued increases in regulatory requirements and additional reporting we have increased our Administration staff. This has caused cramped workspace for our front office. Where we have five workstations in the space designed for four. In 2021 plans were finalized and the expenditure approved to begin construction of a 3400 sq ft addition to our office building. This includes a Training Center where we can do much of our Training in-house, this will serve as our meeting room for the Board as well. We will begin construction and renovation in the spring of 2022.
Board and Management G.L.D.C. Gas Co-op Ltd.