Research development organization Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI) officially opened its new Technology Development Center at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour Wednesday.
“We want you to think of this place as yours,” PRCI President Cliff Johnson told attendees, many of whom represented pipeline and service companies. “How would you use this space?”
The 30,000 square-foot facility broke ground July 7, 2014 on a 10-acre campus northwest of Houston with about half of the area earmarked for a state-of-the-art pull-test facility.
PRCI, which established a pipeline repository in 2012, has built an inventory of over 600 specimens to support technology development through testing at its previous site, also in Houston. Among the new equipment at the facility is a 23,000-pound forklift and a lifting device dubbed “the million dollar winch,” which can pull over 5,000 pounds at a rate of 5 meters per second.
PRCI found itself in need of more space in recent years in order to be more responsive to the needs of the industry, Johnson said. The new center includes 20,000 square feet of workshop and test facilities along with 9,000 square feet of office and meeting space.
The $10 million center is the result of a major commitment by the energy pipeline industry to provide 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.
Past-President Eric Amundsen told those gathered that the research was only part of the job.
“If we’re not sharing the research, we’re not doing our job,” he said. “This is the information hub.”
Some of the guests looking at exhibits.
Some of the pipe available for testing at the facility, located northwest of Houston.
Also see Growing PRCI Membership Tackles Inline Inspection, Regulatory Concerns, P&GJ, April 2015