This ordinance applies to the construction and operation of high-pressure gas pipelines that distribute the supply of gas designed for a maximum permissible operating pressure of more than 16 bar. High-pressure gas pipelines include all facilities involved in the line operation, in particular compressors, control and metering systems, and pipeline systems for optimizing gas supply and delivery.
High-pressure gas pipelines must be constructed and operated in a way that ensures that the surrounding areas are not impaired and harmful effects to humans and the environment are avoided. The construction and operation comply with the rules and regulations of the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DGWV).
High-pressure gas pipelines are required to be designed in a way that will safely withstand expected stresses and remain leak-proof. Pipelines must be laid in a protective strip to protect against external influences, and be equipped with safety devices, devices that continuously measure and display the operating pressure at significant operating points and shut-off devices and valves at accessible points in case of emergency.
High-pressure gas pipelines may only start operating after an expert has determined, through inspection of the pipeline strength, leak prevention, and presence of necessary safety devices, that safety will not be compromised; the operator has demonstrated that it meets federal requirements; and an authorized inspector determines that it is compliant and issues a final certificate.
The operator of a high-pressure gas pipeline must ensure its proper condition and maintenance through monitoring and inspection. Necessary maintenance is to be carried out without delay and pipelines must be inspected at regular intervals. Further measures include an operating station that is ready at all times to receive reports and eliminate malfunctions as necessary and an on-call service maintained at all times to eliminate malfunctions and provide damage control.
The operator is further required to document essential operating procedures and regular inspection and maintenance, as well as have in place a management system to identify and manage risks, monitor pipelines, and conduct regular training of personnel. Operators must also immediately notify the competent authority in the event of an accident or circumstance in the pipeline that endangers the safety of the surrounding area, people, property, or the environment.