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Updates on the Cluden to Brighouse Bay project

Updates in relation to the project will be posted to this page from time to time.

GNI (UK) Limited is progressing the completion of the second gas interconnector pipeline between Scotland and Ireland. As part of this project, a 29.6km pipeline was constructed between Beattock, North East of Dumfries and Brighouse Bay on the South West coast in 2002. GNI (UK) has now commenced phase 2 of this Project, which consists of the remaining 50km of gas pipeline from Brighouse Bay to Cluden. 

On 14th May 2015 the Commission for Energy Regulation granted final approval to progress the project and Pipeline Construction Authorisation (PCA) was granted in 2016 in respect of a c.7km reroute of the original 50km PCA received in 2002. The documents submitted as part of this application can be viewed below.

Construction Begins: Cluden to Brighouse Bay Gas Pipeline

Construction Begins on 50km Gas Pipeline Project in South West Scotland

Work is underway on the project to construct a 50km high-pressure steel pipeline between Cluden and Brighouse Bay in Scotland, including a 7.5km re-route of the pipeline between Cluden and Lochfoot. This is the final step to complete the full twinning of the two gas interconnectors between Ireland and the UK. Twinning of the on-shore section, which feeds the 2 subsea pipelines in place since 1993 and 2004 respectively, will secure this vital link to the UK gas market. The pipeline will also boost the operational flexibility of the Irish gas network which is essential to providing backup to intermittent renewable electricity generation. Natural gas, as the cleanest and most flexible fossil fuel for power generation, is an ideal partner to renewables as Ireland seeks to meet its energy and climate change targets.

The pipeline will be constructed using 900mm diameter high-grade steel pipe, buried to a minimum of 1.2 m below ground. The main impact of the proposed pipeline will be during the construction phase; however, this will be relatively short term. The only above ground development will occur at the two Block Valve sites, which will be landscaped to blend in with the surrounding environment.

Pipe laying construction activity is expected to take approximately eight months with a scheduled completion date for all works in 2017.

Building the Pipeline

The main construction activity is scheduled to take place over the spring and summer months. It should be noted that at certain locations along the route of the pipeline, the construction programme will be dictated by the need to minimise the environmental impact. It is expected that up to 300 people will be employed during peak construction.

Pipeline construction activities are being supervised by Arup and the main construction works are being undertaken by Sicim Roadbridge on behalf of GNI (UK) Limited. The latest and least intrusive engineering methods are being used and the pipeline will be built, operated and maintained to the highest national and international safety standards. Safety is our priority at all stages of pipeline construction.

The phases of construction activity are as follows:

  • Fencing off the working width
  • Top-soil stripping
  • Pre-construction drainage
  • Pipe preparation
  • Pipe welding
  • Trenching, pipe installation and backfilling
  • Road and river crossings
  • Testing and commissioning

A detailed Environmental Impact Assessment of the construction and maintenance of the pipeline was also carried out to assess potential impacts of the Cluden to Brighouse Pipeline project. An environmental engineer has been employed to oversee activities during the construction of the pipeline and a licensed Archaeologist will monitor all top-soil stripping and potential areas of archaeological interest.

GNI (UK) is committed to ensuring all works will be undertaken in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, in co-operation with the local community. A Stakeholder Liaison Officer has been appointed to the Project and will ensure the local community are kept informed of progress and have the opportunity to get in touch with the project team and offer feedback during the construction period.