Thousands of kilometres of gas pipes need to be removed because they have a higher risk of exploding, according to a report by the gas oversight body SoDM.
The report, investigating an explosion in apartment buildings in The Hague in January said that cast iron and asbestos-based piping is ‘inherently unreliable’.
The NOS broadcaster reports that the country has 3037 km of cast iron piping – around 2.5% of the total – and 793 km made from cement containing asbestos.
The risk has been known for some time and an official programme to remove risky piping began in 2010 and was due to be completed by 2029. The SoDM says that the explosion demonstrates that this is not fast enough.
Netbeheer Nederland, an association that represents companies responsible for the gas pipeline, told the NOS that ‘changing several thousand kilometres of gas piping takes time, and is progressing according to plan’. It added that while it is open to speeding up the programme, gas leaks are ‘rare’ and the number of incidents has dropped.