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Gas to the West - first customer connected

13 Feb, 2017

SGN Natural Gas is pleased to announce the first section of the new gas network being constructed under the £250m the Gas to the West infrastructure project has been commissioned and the first customer connected. Using natural gas for the first time in its operations is LacPatrick Dairies Ltd based in Artigarvan just outside Strabane. This new gas supply is a key element of a wider plant investment at the dairy which is currently being undertaken. 

SGN Natural Gas Director Danny O’Malley said: “This gas connection marks the first milestone in our significant major infrastructure project which will ultimately see around £250m invested over the next few years to bring natural gas to thousands of people in eight major towns in the west of Northern Ireland. Our work is now continuing to bring gas to the town of Strabane by late springtime.” 

Mr O’Malley added: “Over the next few months we’ll 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.” 

LacPatrick Operations Director, Tommy Thompson commented: “When LacPatrick Dairies decided to commit £30m to our Artigarvan site, we knew the cost of energy and the efficiency of any new process equipment was going be key in ensuring our investment derived the maximum possible benefits for the business in the long-term. We had a strong desire to use natural gas in our new process equipment as, based on our significant operating experience at our Ballyrashane site in Coleraine, we were very aware of the many benefits this fuel option would bring to our Artigarvan operation. We have worked closely with SGN Natural Gas over the past year during our construction works to ensure our conversion to natural gas went as efficiently and seamlessly as possible thereby ensuring minimal impact on our production in the process.” 

When the new natural gas supply to Strabane itself has been 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. 

Photo caption, l to r: Danny O’Malley, Director, SGN Natural Gas; Darren Young, Head of Business Development, SGN Natural Gas; Tommy Thompson, Operations Director, LacPatrick Dairy and; David Butler, Head of Engineering, SGN Natural Gas.