Irving, Texas — Installing more than a mile and a half of power cable in dusty, dry Texas soil turned into a relatively easy job for the contractor and won Project of the Year for the cable’s manufacturer, Southwire Company, LLC (Carrollton, Ga).  The award was presented to Southwire by the Power and Communications Division of the Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) at its annual meeting in 2017.  Southwire’s Cable-in-Conduit (CIC) was used to provide power to new housing units for oil field workers in the small town of Mentone, Texas, population of 19 and located just south of the New Mexico border.  PPI is the major North American trade association representing all segments of the plastics pipe industry.

The project required more than 8,700 feet of different size CIC be installed to bring 600 volts of power to the housing units.  The ground was trenched and multiple runs of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) CIC were laid next to each other. The installation transitioned to PVC pipe for stub ups into housing panels and vaults.

“This was a case where CIC enabled the crew to spend as little time as possible doing the installation,” explained Tony Radoszewski, CAE, president of PPI.  “This was imperative as the temperatures during the project could be more than 100 degrees.  Having the cable already in the conduit literally saved lives because the crew didn’t have to spend hours threading the power cable through the conduit.  Additionally, HDPE conduit is well known to be able to stand up to harsh environments and for protecting the cable inside.  We were very pleased to present the PPI Project of the Year award to Southwire.”

Davidson Electric Company (Pearland, Texas), contractor for the project, was also impressed with the time and cost savings that CIC granted them.  “It was not all about cost savings,” stated Vick Cook, P.E., executive vice president of Davidson.  “CIC allows you to do things you cannot do with PVC and building wire.  Mostly, it’s about time spent on site.  Our guys are usually working out of town, which means there’s travel cost and a per diem tacked on to every hour of labor.  In addition, how long the ditch is open is a critical issue.”

Various sizes of the Cable-in-Conduit, called SIMpull CIC, was delivered to the site:

  • 3,500 feet of 4/0-4/0-4/0-4 AL XHHW installed in 2 inch S40
  • 1,000 feet of 1/0-1/0-1/0-1/0 AL XHHW installed in 2 inch S40
  • 1,000 feet of 4/0-4/0-4/0-4 AL XHHW installed in 2 inch S40
  • 1,500 feet of 1/0-1/0-1/0-4 AL UD installed in 1.5 inch S40
  • 500 feet of 350-350-350-4/0 AL UD installed in 2.5 inch S40
  • 1,200 feet of 4/0-4/0-4/0-1 AL XHHW installed in 2 inch S40

According to Lance MacNevin, P. Eng., director of engineering for the Power and Communications Division (PCD) of PPI, “CIC offers many advantages over traditional installation methods.  The one-step installation saves time, money, and equipment costs and increases job safety, productivity, and profitability.  CIC allows a crew to install thousands of continuous feet of power cable quickly and correctly.  This is because they no longer have to be involved with rigid conduit pipe that has joints every 20 feet which involves gluing together belled ends that could be improperly installed.  PPI took the ease of use, customer satisfaction, and the reception that CIC in this project has received on social media into account when selecting it to win Project of the Year for the division.”

Davidson Electric’s vice president, Chris Davidson, commented, “Cable in conduit was a lifesaver on this one!”