Most of Singapore’s gas pipes are laid underground. With a lot of ongoing road repair and resurfacing works, low-, medium- and high-pressure gas pipes are vulnerable to damage caused by activities such as soil investigation, excavation, boring/tunnelling, building demolition, addition and alteration work, as well as major renovation.
Pipelines transporting gas at high pressure are made of high-strength steel with anti-corrosion coating. These are mostly buried underground and further protected by concrete slabs.
To prevent damage to underground gas pipes and resulting gas leaks, SOFOTEC – a leading Solution Provider in SHM using Fibre Optic Sensors in Singapore – and Smartec, successfully delivered a preventive and safety system to detect leakages and excavation/earthworks over ca. 7 km of downtown gas pipelines. Two fiber optic cables were laid together with the pipe respectively affixed onto the pipe to detect gas leaks and above the concrete slabs to detect and localize accidental excavations. In the event of a gas leak and/or accidental excavation, the Smartec automatic system will promptly shut the relevant gas valves to isolate the leak and prevent further build-up of gas.