LAUGHLIN — Southwest Gas provided an update to the Laughlin Town Advisory Board last week regarding the replacement of a natural gas pipeline from Laughlin to Henderson.

The 70-mile pipeline project will modernize the current system and consolidate the two existing lines into one 24-inch diameter steel pipe. 

The project will take up to 12 years over three phases with a life expectancy of 30 years. 

The new pipeline will run in the existing right of way.

The line starts from the Southwest Gas pressure limiting station near Laughlin. It then parallels U.S. Highway 95 to Searchlight and into Eldorado Valley to Henderson.

No new alignments or changes to Laughlin’s service will be made during the length of the project.

“Again, we are trying to modernize the pipeline itself in addition to increasing its capacity from  Laughlin to Las Vegas,” Southwest Gas Engineering Supervisor Oliver Montenegro said. ”This specific project will improve the natural gas system reliability and safety while reducing maintenance fees.”

The line currently supplements SWG’s Southern Nevada demand and capacity during the winter. It serves many high-demand customers such as power plants.

“This is a phased approach and the impact in Laughlin will be on one of the later phases,” Montenegro said. ”So, we are not looking at anything here for at least the next six years.”

Phase one of construction begins just south of Searchlight at the current pipeline crossover and ends at the Eldorado Tap. There is no specific start date as the project is still in the planning and permitting phase.

Southwest Gas is working with the Bureau of Land Management and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to develop restoration plans and protocols.

“In one particular case of the desert tortoise because we are going through a corridor in conjunction with BLM  and some of their regulations, we have offset our project,” Montenegro said. 

SWG will be working on the pipeline from November through March, when the tortoises are in hibernation.

Southwest Gas is a natural gas company primarily engaged in transporting and storing natural gas in Nevada, Arizona, and California.

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