Construction work on the £250 million Gas to West project has been underway in counties Fermanagh and Tyrone since October.

Progress is being made on both pipelines: the high pressure cross country pipeline that will bring gas from Portadown to Tullykenneye, outside Fivemiletown and the intermediate pressure pipeline that will connect into this and bring gas onwards to Coalisland, Cookstown, Derrylin, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Magherafelt and Omagh.

The project partners – Mutual Energy and SGN – have appointed contractors for both pipelines and said they are “delighted” that the “major energy project” is underway in the west.

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Strabane is already connected, and customers such as LacPatrick Dairies in Artigarvan and local home owners are using gas.

Roadbridge is the main works contractor for the high pressure pipeline and the seven above ground installations which will run (largely cross country) from Portadown to Fivemiletown. An Irish based family business, Roadbridge is described as “a world leader in large civil engineering projects with significant experience in high pressure gas pipeline construction across Ireland, north and south.”
Construction of the high pressure pipeline is due to be completed in late 2018. 

The main works contractor for the intermediate pressure pipeline is joint venture company Murphy GMC, also a major player in the utility sector in Ireland. Murphy GMC will be responsible for the installation of over 100km of mains pipeline, predominantly in public owned highways although there will also be a number of off-road sections and river crossings. 

Work on the intermediate pressure pipeline also got underway in mid-October at a number of locations across counties Fermanagh and Tyrone with seven teams working on the ground. 

A spokeswoman for the Gas to the West project outlined that the project has a construction footprint of 234 hectares and passes through 364 farm enterprises, 85 roads including the M1, plus 56 laneways and 215 watercourses including the River Blackwater and Upper Lough Erne.
Looking ahead, she explained that there will be further procurement opportunities in 2018 around inspections services, electrical and instrumentation works and materials. 

“We are keen to develop relations with local suppliers and a supplier web portal established,” she said.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that a new state-of-the-art Gas Training and Assessment facility is to be provided at South West College Technology and Skills Centre. It will come on stream in late 2018, coinciding with the arrival of natural gas in Enniskillen. 

Paddy Larkin, Chief Executive of Mutual Energy recently stated: “We are looking forward to working with these local Irish companies as they get underway with delivering the Gas to the West project on the ground. They both have an excellent track record in projects of this scale and I know they will do everything they can to keep disruption to a minimum."