Plastics Pipe Institute Responds to “Construction of American Pipelines” Memorandum

The Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) echoes comments made by several national associations representing the oil and gas pipeline industry supporting the president’s objective to grow domestic jobs and boost the U.S. economy by employing American manufacturing in the construction and maintenance of natural gas and oil pipelines. PPI is the major trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry.

While a large percentage of investment in contemporary pipeline projects is dedicated to steel, increased consideration of plastic piping in building these systems would help meet President Trump’s call for “all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines, inside the borders of the United States, including portions of pipelines, use materials and equipment produced in the United States.”

The president clearly called for American pipelines to be made with American piping materials. PPI members domestically manufacture and distribute polyethylene, polyamide and spoolable composite piping used in all sectors of the nation’s pipeline network, and have done so for decades. “Plastic pipes made from these advanced polymers are increasingly used in building and replacing American pipeline systems from the wellhead to the burner tip,” said Randy Knapp, Ph.D., director of engineering for PPI’s Energy Piping Systems Division. “The vast majority of plastic piping utilized for U.S. oil and gas gathering and gas distribution is manufactured in the U.S.”

In response to a request for information from Department of Commerce, the American Gas Association, American Petroleum Institute, Association of Oil Pipe Lines, GPA Midstream Association, and Interstate Natural Gas Association of America indicated that “many operators of natural gas distribution and oil and gas gathering pipelines are currently building polyethylene, polyamide, and composite pipelines.” These associations also point out that 100 percent of the polymeric raw materials used in domestic manufacturing processes for polymer pipe are also produced domestically, using domestic natural gas and liquids (ethane and propane) extracted from domestic natural gas at gas processing plants.

In January, the president directed the Department of Commerce to develop a plan requiring domestic sourcing of materials for the construction, retrofitting, repair, and expansion of pipelines inside the United States. PPI agrees with the pipeline industry in that there are many challenges in requiring the use of American steel in new pipeline projects. Knapp commented, “that’s one of the many reasons project owners are giving more consideration to plastic piping.”

PPI members manufacture and distribute more than 95 percent of all newly installed gas distribution piping, and for good reason. The association will continue to work with allies in the pipeline industry to support policy that reinforces American raw materials and American piping manufacturing, and the countless jobs that come with it.

For more information go to the Plastics Pipe Institute's website: