The first phase of the major ‘Gas to the West’ project has just reached completion.
Gas is now flowing beyond Londonderry to the Strabane area and it is expected the first customers will be announced in the near future.
Project promoters SGN Natural Gas and Mutual Energy Ltd have signalled the 30km gas pipeline from Maydown to Strabane has been completed with the final section between Artigarvan and Strabane being prepared for commissioning in the coming weeks.
Constructed by contractors McNicholas, the pipeline connects to the Gas Networks Ireland network at Maydown following the construction of a new pressure reduction facility.
The facility, which was constructed by contractors Murphy International is the first of several above ground installations which will connect the towns along the Gas to the West route to the new natural gas network.
Danny O’Malley , director of SGN Natural Gas, said: “Following the successful construction of our Maydown gas facility and the new 30km pipeline running to Strabane, I’m delighted to report gas is now flowing freely through the pipeline and into the Strabane area.
“This means over the coming months homes and businesses across the town will for the first time have access to natural gas through a national network.”
Paddy Larkin, Mutual Energy chief executive also marked the significance of the ‘first gas’ milestone.
He said: “We are very pleased the benefits of natural gas can soon be made available to industrial, commercial and residential customers in the Strabane area. Gas will give industry a cleaner more attractive fuel choice and enhance business competitiveness - which is good for jobs. Households, when connected, will also enjoy a more convenient and cost effective energy option, countering fuel poverty.”