Gas upgrade prepares Wellington for the future

Friday, July 09, 2021

Businesses in central Wellington are seeing the benefits of a major four-year upgrade of the capital’s gas pipelines, which was completed in May.

The upgrade was undertaken by gas distribution utility Powerco in partnership with its contractors Downer and Worley.

Powerco Gas Operations Manager Don Elers says the modernised gas network will better meet the needs of the growing city – particularly in the hospitality sector.

“We have around 1350 customers connected to the network we upgraded, many of whom rely on gas every day to keep things running – especially cafes, restaurants and hotels. The increasing demand for gas from our customers meant we needed to invest in further strengthening our infrastructure.

“Over the last four years, our team has worked our way through central Wellington to improve the city’s gas network by increasing its capacity – meaning more customers and businesses can now connect to gas. It’s also part of our ongoing commitment as a provider of essential infrastructure to supply our customers with a safe, reliable and efficient supply of gas now and in the future.”

Stu Macdonald, Venue Manager of The Old Bailey, is one of the Wellington businesses benefitting from the upgrade.

“We find gas cooking to be fast and more precise, which is important in our busy kitchen. Instant heat as we hit our busy service period takes the stress out of cooking. Knowing that our gas supply has recently been upgraded gives us confidence that it can be relied upon to keep us, and our customers, happy.” 

Don Elers says the upgrade is a long-term energy solution for the capital. While Powerco’s gas pipes are currently used to supply natural gas to customers, they can be used for zero carbon gases such as hydrogen in the future.

“Investing in essential infrastructure projects like the upgrade of central Wellington is a part of our role in helping to achieve our country’s net zero carbon emission goals,” says Don Elers.

“Most of our gas pipelines are already able to supply zero carbon gas and gas blends, which means as soon as these gases become available we can use our network to supply it to our customers.

“By using this long-term solution, we look forward to seeing this upgrade benefit Wellingtonians for years to come.”

Chef cooking with gas

Anette Hyde, Chef at the Old Bailey.

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