Phoenix continues to invest 20 years on

 It is 20 years since Phoenix Natural Gas introduced natural gas to Northern Ireland initially converting Ballylumford power station to the cleanest burning fossil fuel and in turn creating the opportunity to construct the most modern gas infrastructure network in Europe, entirely funded by private investment.

During this time the company have laid over 3,000 km of pipework in the province which makes gas available to over 300,000 homes and businesses in the greater Belfast area.

Whilst Phoenix have been responsible for the construction of the gas network, a local gas industry has evolved using the indigenous skills of the local workforce and wider plumbing and heating industry, creating employment for upwards of 2,500 people.

The news therefore that Phoenix Natural Gas is to invest circa £60 million, extending the natural gas pipeline to the economic corridor south of Belfast, has been welcomed by homeowners, the business community and public representatives.

The decision to grant this licence extension is a vote of confidence in the natural gas industry and will bring economic, social and environmental benefits to energy users providing fuel choice and strengthening the competiveness of the energy market to a wide area that includes 13 additional towns and villages across East Down.

Although only six months has passed since the licence was granted by the Utility Regulator, the work to bring natural gas to the first towns is well underway, with existing gas infrastructure currently being extended to Ballygowan and Hillsborough, in stage one of the 260km build programme.

Phoenix Natural Gas will bring their wealth of experience to this new opportunity, working closely with councils and stakeholders during the build programme to ensure that there is a broad understanding of key information and timescales within local communities.

Initial briefings and presentations will be further bolstered by a range of ongoing communication initiatives to include dedicated information centres within each area.

The first information centre in Ballygowan has been very well supported attracting householders, business owners and local councillors to the high street location to find out more about the timescales of the project for their area and the wider benefits of natural gas to them.

This most recent licence extension will bring the potential gas coverage in Northern Ireland to circa 500,000 properties, meaning that increasingly homeowners and businesses, that 20 years ago would have had limited energy choices, will be able to enjoy the wider benefits of natural gas.

For more information contact Phoenix Natural Gas on 0345 455 5555



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