Following a public consultation process SGN Natural Gas was awarded the low pressure ‘Gas to the West’ licence by the Utility Regulator in February 2015, to bring natural gas to parts of Northern Ireland that currently do not have the benefit of this option. As part of the licence we will be delivering natural gas mains, services and meters to nearly 40,000 customers over the next 40 years in Coalisland, Cookstown, Dungannon, Magherafelt, Omagh, Enniskillen, Strabane and Derrylin.
SGN Natural Gas is part of SGN, which manages networks across Scotland and the south of England distributing natural and green gas to 5.9 million homes and businesses through 74,000km of gas mains and services. These range from high pressure transmission lines transporting gas to major towns and cities, down to the low pressure networks supplying gas to local communities.
We are committed to finding new ways of adding value to our business, our customers and to the industry. It can take many forms, from process improvements to inventing new engineering techniques, products or services.
We have constructive relationships with key gas industry suppliers, companies and academic institutions across the energy sector. Since 2008, we have commissioned around 150 projects allowing us to advance industry knowledge, technology, competition and develop new ways of working.
Our first customer was connected in Artigarvan just outside Strabane in January 2017. Going forward we will be liaising with the local community, housing associations, council officials and other key stakeholders to bring further news on the timescales for the launch of natural gas in Strabane and explain how customers can get connected from 2017 onwards.
With the new natural gas supply to Strabane commissioned, customers will be able to connect to an efficient, secure and dependable energy source which will offer a distinct alternative to the current energy options available to the local residents.
Construction is planned to start on the Portadown to Derrylinn pipeline in summer 2017 and continue through 2018 followed by final reinstatement of the cross country pipeline in 2019.
There will be a lot of pre-construction activity as we talk to landowners and carry out ground and environmental surveys.