The investment, which will provide a major boost to the Wexford economy, is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2016. From this point, businesses, farms and homes can begin the switch to Natural Gas, benefiting from savings in energy costs of up to 60%.
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 significantly strengthen the hand of local development agencies such as the IDA and Wexford County Council. The lower cost and flexibility of Natural Gas will also help existing local enterprises to grow their businesses, while also reducing their carbon footprint.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD, said:
“Having been involved for a number of years in working towards ensuring that Wexford will have a natural gas connection, I welcome the progress in recent months on this programme. Connecting to the natural gas network will lead to reduced costs for businesses in Wexford and will make Wexford Town much more attractive as a location for new energy dependent companies. This new resource will also provide householders in Wexford an economic new energy option for their homes.”
Fran McFadden, National Large Connections Sales Manager said;
“We are delighted to be progressing this strategic investment for Wexford. 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.”
Construction of the new link will take place in two phases, the first will involve constructing a natural gas pipeline from the existing network at Campile to the edge of Wexford town and the second will be building out the network around the town. In order to coordinate with works planned by Wexford County Council in late August, Gas Networks Ireland will undertake advance works consisting of 8.5km of natural gas pipeline along the N25 from the New Ross roundabout to the Rosslare Road roundabout and on the Rosslare Road towards the centre of the town. These works will commence on July 20th 2015 and are expected to take 10 – 12 weeks to complete.
The remainder of this phase involves building a pipeline from the New Ross roundabout on the N25 to Campile, where it will tie in with the Great Island pipeline constructed in 2013. These works are planned to take place in late August 2015, totalling 43km of gas networks extension, and will take approximately 7 months to complete. Phase 2 of the Gas to Wexford town project consists of approximately 25km of gas pipes installed around Wexford town and will commence in spring 2016, with natural gas expected to be available later in 2016.
Prior to commencing work, Gas Networks Ireland has already begun a programme of communication and engagement with local stakeholders. Andrew Doyle, Construction Project Manager explained the process involved; “We have already been engaging with local planners, politicians and other stakeholders and will continue to do so. 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.” Crews will work in small sections at a time, with each section taking just a few days to complete. This will limit the disruption for those who use the route. 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.
To connect to the natural gas network or for further information on the construction project contact 1850 200 694 or email email@example.com or log on to www.gasnetworks.ie/newtowns Business customers may call our dedicated Businesslink service on 1850 411 511.