article Preston, VA (AP) It’s been a rough ride for the industrial pipeline industry.
The nation’s second-largest pipeline operator has been forced to suspend production of two types of equipment that can be used to clean up the aftermath of natural gas leaks at its facilities.
In April, the company announced it was canceling production of a machine that could clean up leaks, and that it would also be reducing work to make more pipelines to keep up with demand.
Preston and its suppliers are now working to replace the machine, and have begun working on making replacement parts for the equipment, spokesman David Smith said Thursday.
The replacement machine has to be a modular design and can handle up to 40,000 gallons of water, Smith said.
That would put the total volume of equipment to be used at the plant at 1 million gallons.
The decision to cancel production is a major setback for Preston, which has been on a long-term, $100 million capital upgrade that has been a mainstay of the company’s business strategy.
The company has been making improvements to its infrastructure in recent years, including a new pipeline that could be used more quickly.
The plant also has been upgrading its operations.
In April, it had started upgrading its aging rail yards, which are used to carry crude oil from refineries to pipelines.