The Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI) opened its new Technology Development Center (TDC) in Houston, Texas in the summer of 2015. Less than a year after breaking ground, construction of the TDC was completed on over eight acres, including a state-of-the-art pull test facility, an over 20,000 sq. ft. workshop and test facility with an additional 9,000 sq. ft. of office and meeting space.
The TDC is the result of a major commitment by the energy pipeline industry to address the key issues that it is facing to ensure the safety and integrity of the vital national and international pipeline system. It is a critical tool for the energy pipeline industry as we continue to strive for zero failures. The TDC will provide the industry with an independent third party site to fully understand the capabilities of current tools and to guide the development of the new technologies needed to push toward our goal.
Since the creation of the PRCI pipeline repository in 2012, PRCI has been progressively building a unique, world class inventory of pipeline samples to support technology development. That collection continues to grow and the TDC opened with over 600 test specimens available for advancing pipeline research. It will be a key enabler to understanding and improving current inspection and integrity assessment technologies, and promoting the development of new technologies for pipeline integrity management.
The benefits of having such an establishment available to the industry have already been and will continue to be realized, as the site will be utilized for evaluation and development of new technologies, providing a location for accumulation of former in-service pipe materials with real-world pipeline features/flaws that are invaluable to PRCI’s R&D Portfolio and the industry, and supporting industry-sponsored workshops. “The TDC enables efficient and timely access to industry samples in support of technology projects and programs,” TDC Steering Committee member and Past Board Chair, Eric Amundsen stated. “The TDC is a success story in and of itself; there is no other similar or comparable collection in the world and will attract R&D efforts unique to the contained assets and capabilities.”
The construction and development effort has been spearheaded by the PRCI TDC Steering Committee made up of PRCI members and staff who have been heavily involved in TDC operations since its inception and understand the incredible opportunities and benefits the pipeline industry can reap from its utilization. PRCI would like to acknowledge the members of the Steering Committee for their dedication and support, as well as the PRCI member companies that have and continue to contribute samples and sponsor the TDC’s operations.