Natural gas is transported from treatment plants, like Vector's plant in Kapuni, through Vector's 2,300-kilometre transmission pipeline system which stretches across the North Island.

When the gas reaches the communities, industrial plants or gas-powered power stations where it will be used the gas is delivered to a gate station which lowers the pressure of the gas so that it can be transported in Vector's local gas ‘mains' network pipes. Vector's gas mains network is over 7,000 kilometres long.

Smaller pipes, called ‘services' connect to the mains and go directly to homes or buildings where the gas is used by households and businesses. A gas meter on a home or business measures how much gas is being used.

Vector's transmission pipeline system crosses farmland and travels under rivers and alongside roads to transport gas to major centres. Our local mains network generally runs up and down streets buried in the berm (the grass area beside the
road and the footpath).

Did you know that, because natural gas is colourless, odourless and tasteless, the clever people in the gas industry add mercaptan (a chemical that has a sulphur-like odour) to the gas to give it a distinct unpleasant odour (smells like rotten eggs!)? This serves as a safety device because it can be detected in the atmosphere, if a gas leak occurs.


Did you know?
  • Vector has over 250,000 natural gas customers.
  • Vector's entire natural gas network is approximately 9,300 kilometres long. That's like driving from Whangarei to Dunedin and back again!
  • Transmission pipes are made of steel and coated in polyethylene. They are much bigger than gas network mains are and can be up to 86 centimetres wide.
  • Gas mains network and service pipes are made of a super-strong plastic called polyethylene and are bright yellow.
  • A service pipe is about the size of a garden hose and the mains network pipes are as wide as a softball bat.