Wexford gas pipeline project to begin this week
PREPARATORY works on a €25m plan to bring gas to Wexford town and in parallel, deliver enhanced water services, is scheduled to begin this week.
Gas Networks Ireland said its team 'will be on the ground' from September 12, with actual works likely to begin the following week along the Newline Road, one of the main arteries in and out of the town.
The company says it is mindful that the works will be an inconvenience and there will be some disruption to businesses and residents along the route, but 'it will work to make sure traffic management plans are working safely and effectively'.
The network will provide has supplies for both domestic and business customers. The Wexford Town Gas and Water Project will be delivered jointly by Gas Networks Ireland and Irish Water on behalf of Ervia, an approach which allows for gas and water infrastructure works to be completed together, reducing costs and minimising disruption to local businesses and residents.
Gas Networks Ireland says the Phase 1 works will run from September until early 2017, with Phase 2 expected to commence mid-2017.
Delivering a natural gas connection will provide a major boost to the town's economy, and improving the water infrastructure will improve the reliability of the drinking water supply and reduce water leakage in the town by over 600,000 litres every day - the equivalent of the amount of water needed to supply a town the size of Bunclody every day.
Phase 1 of the project sees approximately 14km of gas pipelines constructed within the town.
In collaboration with Irish Water, 1km of water mains will be replaced on the Newtown Road during this phase and site investigation works and surveys will be carried out throughout the town in order to assist in the design of water network upgrade works that are due to commence construction in Wexford town in 2017.
This phase is the next stage of the Gas to Wexford project, which to date has seen a 40km Feeder Main gas pipeline constructed from Campile, Great Island to Wexford town and connections supplied to a number of contracted large customers.
Scheduled to commence mid-2017, Phase 2 sees the building out a further 13km of gas pipelines around the town, together with the replacement of 11.7km of old water mains in poor condition with high levels of leakage, the majority of which coincide with the gas route.
2017 water main replacement works will also include the decommissioning of approximately 1,000 lead backyard shared water service connections.
The delivery of gas and water infrastructure upgrades in one project is the result of a multi-utility approach taken by Ervia, which allows for the delivery of a more efficient project overall.
Crews will work in small sections at a time, with each section taking just a few days to complete. They say this will limit the disruption for those who use the affected routes.
All works will be temporarily filled or suitably covered each evening.
Once work is completed on each section, the excavations will be backfilled and surfaces fully restored.
Senior Construction Engineer Andrew Doyle, Gas Networks Ireland, said: 'We continue to engage with local authority personnel, politicians and other stakeholders as we have done right throughout the Wexford project to date.
'We are very mindful that works are an inconvenience and cause disruption to both businesses and residents along the town route. However our aim is to ensure that all those on the route are informed of when we are working in their area and that our traffic management plans are in place and working effectively.
'The safety of the public remains our number one priority and every effort will also be made to minimise disruption.' The investment in this project by Gas Networks Ireland and Irish Water will provide a major boost to the Wexford economy that will continue throughout 2017.
From this point, businesses, farms and homes can begin the switch to Natural Gas, benefiting from savings in energy costs of up to 60 per cent. From business and industry to farm and residential, natural gas can be used for a wide range of applications, from heating and hot water, to catering and cooking, to air-conditioning and electricity generation (combined heat and power). Natural Gas offers significant advantages over other fuel sources in terms of both cost and environmental impact. Its flexibility is particularly popular with industrial users. Availability of Natural Gas is a key consideration which many large international companies look to when choosing a location in Ireland. As Wexford competes with other towns around the country for investment and jobs, this infrastructure will further enhance its attractiveness as an investment location and significantly strengthen the hand of local development agencies such as the IDA and Wexford County and Municipal Councils. The lower cost and flexibility of Natural Gas will also help existing local enterprises to grow their businesses, while also reducing their carbon footprint. Fran McFadden, Commercial Sales Manager with Gas Networks Ireland said the level of response to date from local businesses and stakeholders tells us that there will be a very strong demand for natural gas in and around Wexford town. 'Businesses making the switch can look forward to fuel cost savings of anywhere between 30 per cent and 60 per cent on their current fuel bills, together with reduced carbon emissions, no storage requirement and a constant, reliable supply of natural gas.'