Construction management company Gas Piping Services has commissioned the first phase of a 27 km liquid petroleum gas (LPG) storage facility at mixed-use lifestyle development centre Steyn City Lifestyle Resort, in Johannesburg, Gauteng. The gas pipeline will eventually link to 9 500 units and commercial properties in the estate.
“Gas, water and electricity use will be linked to the fibre-optic Internet cable network in Steyn City through a locally designed Web-based telemetry system, enabling every occupant to view their utility use and buy gas through a Web-based payment interface,” says Gas Piping Services director AJ De Wet.
He notes that gas will replace electricity as the primary energy source at the estate with the installation of the 76 000 ℓ underground gas-storage site, adding that the second phase of the gas piping system will be launched next year.
He notes that most of the larger property developers now consider gas as the best alternative energy, which will exponentially grow the LPG market for the next decade.
“Safety factors have been taken into account, such as special isolating valves that have been installed in the gas pipe network, which regulate flow,” he says, adding that excess overflow valves have also been installed and will shut down the system in case of an emergency.
Steyn City project manager Paolo Onofri states that the main purpose of implementing the gas supply is to try to limit the load on electricity supplies, taking pressure off the national grid.
“Steyn City spent R15-million on the first phase of the installation, which began at the end of 2011,” he says.
Onofri points out that 76 000 ℓ of gas can power 500 homes for three weeks, and notes that the gas will be used for hot water production, space heating, gas hob cooking and gas-powered generators.
LPG supplier Reatile Gas Project manager Eben Olivier comments that Reatile Gas sees the property development industry as a future growth market for the gas industry.