June 2016, Vol. 243, No. 6


PG&E Gas Safety Leader Recognized for Outstanding Contributions

By Richard Nemec

Austin Hastings, director of codes, standards and training in Gas Operations for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, won the Distribution Achievement Award at the American Gas Association’s annual Operations Conference held April 21-24 in Phoenix. This prestigious award recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the distribution of natural gas within the past five years.

Hastings was recognized for his work and leadership of the entire Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) team as they used LNG and CNG to supply uninterrupted service to over 44,000 customers in the Santa Cruz, CA area while the company conducted hydrostatic pressure tests on its pipeline system. During the course of the project, PG&E transported, compressed and injected nearly 3.5 pounds of LNG into its gas system per day. The size and scope of this project was unparalleled anywhere in the industry.

“The dedication of Austin Hastings and his entire team exemplifies the commitment we’ve made to our customers to be the safest and most reliable provider of natural gas in the nation. The work this team performed to keep the gas flowing is just the type of industry-leading project that is helping us provide our customers with a 21st century gas system they expect and deserve,” said Nick Stavropoulos, PG&E’s president of Gas.

Since beginning his career at PG&E 17 years ago, Hastings has served in a variety of roles, including construction manager, project manager, pipeline engineer and holding various titles as the leader of the LNG and CNG department within PG&E.

Hastings was influential in the expansion of the LNG and CNG program at PG&E. In 2002, he began the coordination of new equipment and the planned growth of the program which led to all associated work and assets related to LNG and CNG being transitioned within the company and performed solely by PG&E employees starting in 2006. In his current role, Hastings leads the team responsible for the creation of all gas guidance documents and the Operator Qualification program. Hastings has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from California State University, Fresno and earned his professional engineering license from the state of California in 2000.

“Austin was selected among a field of other candidates for his work to successfully orchestrate the largest LNG/CNG injection project in the country. His team found a creative solution for the challenge they were facing and we’re proud of their accomplishment,” said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the American Gas Association.

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