Camp Henry undergoes major construction to usher in natural gas


USAG Daegu — If you walk around Camp Henry these days, you can see heavy equipment digging up roads and exposing long lines of underground pipes. Though the grinding of heavy machinery can get on your nerves after a while, the end result is well worth it.

The U.S. Army Garrison Daegu Directorate Public Works (DPW) on Camp Henry has begun the process of installing new gas lines to convert from fuel oil to natural gas. This long-term project requires a considerable financial investment of more than 8-million dollars and a tremendous amount of excavation. Though costly, the project will save more than $562,000 and 4,000 Million British Thermal Units (MBTU) annually. DPW estimates it will take roughly 14 years to break-even on the project.

DPW Energy Manager, Joshua Seo said, “We call this the Camp Henry Natural Gas Conversion project because it’s part of the energy saving initiative.” The conversion has three advantages, “First, it will save us money in the long run. Natural gas is significantly cheaper than fuel oil, taking about half the cost to do the same work. Second, it’s relatively easy to maintain. In the case of fuel oil, we have to order and store the oil. Natural gas is provided directly from the gas company, so it’s a simpler process to run the heating unit. Third is the environmental aspect. The natural gas is environmentally-friendly because it doesn’t burn fossil fuel. Gas is burned as it heats up, so it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The natural gas is a better and cleaner solution environmentally.”

“Actually, the natural gas conversion project is not cheap. It requires a heavy investment from the government and the company. The natural gas project itself requires piping the construction, connecting the pipes and changing the old heating system,” said Seo. Safety is also a concern. “It is underground construction and we are putting in gas pipes. There have been no accidents, and we’ve had no complaints about the road conditions. I think people are understanding and the construction workers are trying to minimize damage in their work space,” Seo said.

“We plan to continue working on the underground pipework until the end of summer. After that, we will start connecting the pipes to the individual buildings and putting the boilers in. Henry is the last. Walker and Carroll have already completed construction and though a few buildings are using fuel oil for backup, they are using natural gas right now. It began in February 2016 and is projected to end in July of 2017.

Currently, the largest construction projects are concentrated at Camp Humphreys, but this project shows that USAG Daegu is also investing money and effort to improve quality of life for Soldiers, civilians and families living in our community.

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