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Lancaster, Pa. —The American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA) awarded RETTEW a Diamond Award for its Natural Gas Virtual Pipeline Terminal Design project.

The criteria used in selecting winning projects includes uniqueness, future value to the engineering profession, public perception, sustainable development considerations and complexity. Collectively, the winning firms and owners have strengthened the country’s infrastructure, enhanced public safety, raised the profile of the engineering profession and offered sustainable, economic solutions for clients and taxpayers. The ACEC/PA Diamond Awards were presented at a gala held Feb. 22 in Lancaster, Pa.

“This project is one of many that required out-of-the-box thinking to develop an innovative solution for our client,” said Mark Lauriello, president and CEO of RETTEW. “We helped a client achieve a first for the state – a virtual pipeline delivering affordable natural gas to rural areas without access to natural gas otherwise.”

The project, completed in December 2015, is in Lycoming County, Pa. Businesses in rural areas do not have access to the stable prices and supply of the state’s plentiful natural gas. Without any underground pipeline infrastructure, these companies must rely on other, more expensive forms of fuel to power their operations. RETTEW and its client, Compass Natural Gas Partners, developed a plan to connect to available natural gas pipelines, and then refine, compress, and transport the gas to local businesses via over-the-road trucking.

RETTEW designed piping, buildings, electrical systems, roadway improvements, and safety systems for the project, as well as managed construction. The high-pressure piping ensures the compressed natural gas can be transferred safely to delivery trucks – as much as 2 billion cubic feet per month. RETTEW used special materials and design considerations to manage thermodynamic interactions for the piping delivery system, which operates with 100 times more pressure than other natural gas pipelines. The firm also engineered systems to ensure the right level of compression to fuel Compass’ fleet. The project site includes a small power plant that uses the natural gas to produce electricity for operations.

“Our engineers are at the forefront of many industry developments,” Lauriello said. “This award recognizes the visionary thinking RETTEW has become known for.”

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