Ervia is the company responsible for delivering gas, water and wastewater infrastructure and services in Ireland via its subsidiaries Gas Networks Ireland and Irish Water respectively.
The project, one of the largest combined capital projects being undertaken in the state, is taking place on a phased basis and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. Undertaking the gas, water and wastewater works at the same time as one project will reduce construction costs, reduce disruption to local businesses and residents as well as delivering a more efficient project overall.
The preliminary phase of the project involved extending the gas network from Limerick to Nenagh. The next phase consists of building out the gas network around the town, together with an upgrade to the existing water and wastewater systems. Upgrading the existing water supply network in Nenagh will reduce interruptions and leakage together with improved water pressure. Replacing the older parts of the waste water network will lead to reduced odour and flooding issues to benefit homes, businesses, tourism and the environment in the town. The overall project consists of 40km of gas pipelines, 4km of water mains and 1.5km of waste water mains. In order to facilitate some early works, construction on a number of streets will be undertaken in the coming weeks, beginning on October 21st and planned to be completed by early December 2015, to avoid the busy retail period.
Minister Alan Kelly welcomed the commencement: "Delivery of gas to Nenagh and the upgrade of the town's water system are two projects I've worked on for some time. Gas will make Nenagh much more competitive for investment thereby creating and maintaining jobs. For some time there have been many problems with smells emanating around the town due to the antiquated waste water system and I'm delighted this issue will be dealt with as the system modernises. This is the very first time that Ervia; as a multi-utility company; will take a combined approach to deliver water and gas infrastructure in Ireland. Integrating both projects under the Ervia umbrella creates economies, will increase efficiencies and deliver direct cost savings to customers and the taxpayer, while minimising disruption to businesses and the local community.
The connection of Nenagh to the natural gas grid for the first time will provide a major boost to the local economy. Local businesses and homes can avail of the benefits of natural gas for the first time, including saving up to 60% on their energy costs. 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. Natural gas is cheaper, cleaner and more versatile, offering significant advantages over other fuels such as oil and coal. As Nenagh town competes with other towns around the country for investment and jobs, the availability of natural gas in the town will significantly strengthen Nenagh’s attractiveness for foreign direct investment and industries.
“We are delighted to be progressing this strategic investment for Nenagh. We have had a very positive response to our initial consultations with local businesses and stakeholders and we know that there will be a very strong demand for natural gas in the region. Businesses making the switch can look forward to fuel cost savings of anywhere between 30% and 60% on their current fuel costs, together with reduced carbon emissions, no storage requirement and a constant, reliable supply of gas.”
Gas Networks Ireland and Irish Water have already begun a programme of communication and engagement with local stakeholders. Eddie Sweeney, Project Manager explained the process involved; “We have already had extensive engagement with local planners, politicians and other stakeholders and will endeavour to maintain this level of collaboration. We will keep businesses and residents along the route informed when we are working in their area. Local traffic management plans will be put in place along the affected routes and every effort will be made to minimise disruption. Although there will be some unavoidable disruption in the short term, this is a project which will deliver economic and social benefits to Nenagh for many years to come.”