In March 2005, firmus energy was awarded a licence to develop a new natural gas network outside Greater Belfast, from L’Derry in the North West (NW) to Ballymena and from Antrim to Newry along the South North (SN) pipeline.
Before the towns could be developed for natural gas, two key transmission pipelines were required to transport gas from Carrickfergus (where natural gas comes into Northern Ireland from Scotland) to the towns in the North West and South North of the province. These two pipelines were built and are operated by BGE (Northern Ireland).
New gas networks
Following the completion of the North West pipeline in 2004, and the South North pipeline in 2006, firmus energy was able to build the new gas networks in each of these towns across Northern Ireland. These towns include:
• Ahoghilll • Antrim • Armagh • Ballyclare
• Ballymena • Ballymoney • Banbridge
• Benburb• Bessbrook • Blackwatertown
• Broughshane • Bushmills • Camlough • Coleraine
• Craigavon • Cullybackey • Doagh
• Londonderry~Derry • Laurelvale • Limavady
• Loughgall • Lurgan • Macosqiun
• Maghaberry • Magheralin • Moira • Moy
• Newbuildings • Newry • Portadown
• Portstewart • Richhill • Templepatrick
• Tandragee • Warrenpoint
Cost effective connection
The basis of firmus energy’s licence is that we will bring natural gas to areas where it is economic to do so. We will bring natural gas to areas and connect customers where the costs of construction can be recovered over our 30 year licence period.
Since we set up operations in 2005 we have:
- Invested over £100m building our network,
- Laid over 1,400km of mains pipes across Northern Ireland,
- Connected thousands of domestic and commercial customers
- Displaced 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions across the province.
Maintenance & gas safety
Safety is our number one priority. In bringing gas to each of the towns, firmus energy works to the Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers standards and our Safety Policy is scrutinised and overseen by the Health and Safety Executive in Northern Ireland. All maintenance of firmus energy plant and equipment is planned in advance, coordinated directly with firmus energy customers and carried out to the highest international safety standards.