When the residents of Alice experienced a natural gas outage that affected more than 4,100 CenterPoint Energy (CNP) customers due to a third-party damage to the pipeline supplier for that community. CNP employees and contractors responded to the outage.

With the help of the CenterPoint Energy Mobile Energy Solutions technicians and fleet of equipment, the company was able to restore service to the local hospital and nursing home quickly while the pipeline repairs were made. This equipment is operated by CNP's Competitive Energy Business and provides a mobile source of natural gas when traditional pipeline methods are unavailable. Once pipeline repairs were made, CNP employees and contractors began the relight process for all of the impacted customers.

“Safety was our number-one priority as we worked to restore natural gas services,” said Nelda Juarez, district director. “I just want to give thanks to all the CNP employees and contractors who were committed to restoring natural has service to the community of Alice as quickly and safely as possible.”

More than 190 employees and contractors were called from South Texas, Southeast Texas, North Texas, Houston and Texas Coast, as well as parts of north and south Louisana to assist with the relighting process. Most customers' services were restored only three days after the outrage occurred. All other customers who were not home to give access to perform safety checks and relight pilots were given a blue door hanger with a number to call.

Hospital and nursing homes were among the first to be restored using the MES (Mobile Energy Solutions CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) trailers.

MES equipment was used to restore these critical sites in a matter of hours, using the temporary natural gas supply to keep the facilities operational. This service made it possible for these facilities to serve their patients and residents with virtually no interruption at all.

“Our customers view MES as a valuable tool to keep the natural gas flowing. We support the pipeline operator and in turn, the communities they serve,” said Ryan Bigelow, MES and CEIP operations manager. “We strive to keep our service flexible and reliable, in order to meet the needs of all our customers.”

Restoration took four days to compete, with substantially all 4,100 customers meters turned off, purged of any air, and relit.