# 1995 Edinburgh
Polyethylene for gas has always had an international flavour.
When the first all-PE systems were built in this country in 1970 we imported pipe, fittings, tools and the instruction book complete from DuPont USA in two well-filled containers. Early experience was good and several of the independent Gas Boards, as they then were, soon decided to convert to PE for new construction. By 1973 it was clear that the whole gas industry would convert.
Du Pont provided well-organised support, which led eventually to UK manufacture. Then UK manufacturers saw what they had to do and did it, including the UK subsidiaries of certain international firms. At the same time the British Gas Engineering Research Station quickly developed its own expertise and Gas Council Standards for PE were published in 1971. This quickly "improved the breed" and allowed British Gas to play a lead role in further developing PE systems, in partnership with our suppliers. By 1974 the UK gas industry was ahead of many American gas companies in several respects, including material with a better Stress Crack Resistance and the routine use of larger pipe diameters. At that time the Water Industry was not much involved in PE despite being early users of Alkathene, perhaps because PVC was cheaper.
Another thing that happened quite early on was that we formed a committee : in this case, it was quite a useful one.