Michael Scott, Managing Director of Northern Ireland’s only integrated natural gas distribution and supply company, firmus energy, outlines the company’s 2019-2022 development plans. Natural Gas will become available to an additional 48,000 homes and businesses within its ‘Ten Towns’ network area.
firmus energy was initially awarded a licence to develop a ‘Ten Towns’ natural gas network in 2005 and since then has invested more than £100 million in the local economy, making natural gas available to over 120,000 homes and businesses.
To date, firmus energy has laid a total of 1.3 million metres of natural gas pipeline.
“We have now connected and supply more than 36,000 customers to our network in over 30 cities, towns and villages with a further 50,000 customers supplied in the Greater Belfast area,” explains Michael Scott.
“We have ambitious plans to invest a further £50 million expanding our network in Northern Ireland from 2019, making natural gas available to more than 170,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2022. This will mean by the end of 2022 that our network will extend to around 1.7 million metres in length.”
He adds: “In addition to our network business we supply (purchase and bill) natural gas to more than 86,000 business and domestic customers. This is a unique position to be in as we are the only integrated natural gas business in Northern Ireland. In the industrial and commercial marketplace our team of experienced key account managers along with the natural gas purchasing team work closely with customers on a daily basis advising them of all of the purchasing options available to them, providing them with market data from which decisions are made.
“All of our energy advisors, and indeed the whole firmus energy team, are ‘City and Guilds in Energy Efficiency’ qualified and we’re proud to be the only gas business in the UK to hold such an accolade. This enables us all to advise customers correctly, improve their green credentials and maximise the efficient use of natural gas appliances.”
Speaking about the company’s 2019-2022 investment plans, Michael Scott explains: “We continue to connect 5,000 new commercial and domestic customers each year, as the demand for natural gas continues to rise in line with its availability in new areas. Due to the increasing popularity of natural gas, we have already been granted extensions for areas outside the original licensed locations, including most recently Moy, Richill, Blackwatertown and Benburb.
“Our distribution and supply business operates with safety, efficiency and corporate responsibility to the forefront and we are committed to making a positive contribution to the communities in which we operate.
“We recently achieved CORE Silver Accreditation status from Business in the Community, ISO 14001:2015 which highlights the company’s commitment to the environment, ISO 18001 (OHSAS 18001) a globally recognised occupational health and safety management system along with ISO 55001, the benchmark standard for asset management.
“Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a cornerstone to firmus energy’s success and will remain integral to our continued plans for investment.
“To date, conversion to natural gas within firmus energy’s network area has displaced over 800,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere which is the equivalent of removing approximately the amount of CO2 produced from 30,000 cars from our roads, every year.
“We are committed to bringing the benefits of natural gas to new areas within the ‘Ten Towns’ network and are confident that as we deliver on our commitment to invest £50 million our customer numbers will continue to grow.”
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