Nov 09 2012
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Gas pipeline in Riyadh not viable, says expert
RIYADH -- The proposed construction of an underground gas pipeline in Riyadh is unlikely to go ahead due to several factors, including safety reasons.
In the wake of Thursday's fuel tanker blast that killed at least 22 people and injured scores of others in addition to causing heavy damage to property, Prince Muhammad Bin Saad Bin Abdul Aziz, Acting Emir of Riyadh region, has announced that a gas pipeline will be built in the capital city soon to avoid similar accidents in the future.
A safety expert pointed out the difficulties of building a gas pipeline network in Saudi cities. Executing such a project in a dense city like Riyadh will require several years and billions of riyals in investment, said Muhammad Bin Abdulrahman Al-Shihiri. He said the construction of the necessary infrastructure would entail several safety issues.
First of all, the pipelines should be buried at least two meters deep.
Gas normally distributed through such a project is natural gas and not the same currently distributed by Saudi Gas Industrialization Company, he said.
Natural gas can be dangerous in arid climates because the high temperature could make it expand dramatically and lead to pipeline bursts.
Government agencies had carried out studies on the feasibility of gas pipe networks some 20 years ago and they scrapped the idea after finding them not cost-effective.
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