The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project, a joint venture between EQT Corporation and NextEra Energy, Inc., is a 42″ natural gas pipeline scheduled for completion in Q4 of 2019. The pipeline route spans approximately 294 miles through 16 counties in West Virginia and Virginia. The Marcellus and Utica shale produce an enormous amount of natural gas and require a robust transmission system to efficiently distribute the natural gas to customers in need. With a capacity of 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, MVP will play an essential role in providing natural gas to markets in the Mid and South Atlantic regions on the U.S.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline has undergone numerous regulatory and political hurdles due to the many environmentally sensitive areas it traverses. To help preserve the natural environment as much as possible, the owning company decided early on that polyurethane foam would not be permitted for use anywhere on the pipeline. Polyurethane foam pillows are sometimes used as pipeline supports to protect the pipeline from rocky trench bottoms. Foam has been shown to restrict the pipelines cathodic protection systems and can potentially leach unwanted chemicals into the ground water.
The incredibly steep terrain of the pipeline route made use of sandbags, another traditional method of pipeline support, undesireable due to the logistical, economical and labor requirements of working in the steep remote mountain terrain. Instead, many of the contractors decided on a safer (and less expensive) method — PipePillo’s.
PipePillo’s lightweight design not only allowed for easy transportation and staging, but facilitated smooth installation. Rather than multiple laborers filling and placing numerous sandbags, a single laborer can carry and place a PipePillo with ease. Even in the steepest areas, the overbends and underbends, only required a few PipePillo’s in place of hundreds of sandbags. This allowed contractors to save money on labor and material as well as increase overall efficiency.
Not only were PipePillo’s used in-trench as permanent supports, but they were used by contractors to aid with setup, staging, and welding prior to being lowered in. PipePillos are engineered to provide a full 90 degrees of support, reducing the risk of pipeline ovality, especially in rocky and uneven terrains, making PipePillo’s the ideal support solution for Mountain Valley Pipeline.