Firmus Energy has announced it will start two significant projects in Armagh City Centre and Tandragee to make gas available to a further 481 homes and businesses in the area.
The £166,000 investment in Armagh city centre will see the completion of mains laying in the area, bringing Firmus Energy’s total investment in the area to £1.073 million, enabling 194 additional properties, including the Market Place Theatre, to connect to Firmus Energy’s natural gas network.
The 1,500m network extension will start at Abbey Street and Market Street on the week commencing January 18 in order to coincide with the current lockdown and minimise disruption in the area.
The project will also include Castle Street, Callan Street, Vicars Row and The Mall.
The 19-week work programme has been agreed with Transport NI in consultation with Armagh City Centre Management Panel, and electronic road signs will also be in place to advise motorists of any diversions.
The £245,000 Tandragee project will involve laying 3,500m of mains to pass an additional 287 properties in the Richmond, Knightsbridge, Ballymore and Coburn Drive areas of the town. Work is scheduled to start at the end of January and last approximately three months. This is the first of five programmes planned for Tandragee in 2021.
A further £51,000 project in the Broomhill area of Richill has just commenced, bringing a new 750m pipeline past almost 100 additional properties.
Aiden McElroy, Network Engineer for firmus energy said: “The investment in Armagh City Centre follows last year’s work at Upper English Street, Dawson St, and Cathedral Rd and will allow us to complete our final major project in the area. These works are necessary to complete the development of our natural gas network and secure our network in the City Centre.
“The Tandragee and Richill projects will provide a significant number of homes and business with the opportunity to enjoy the environmental benefits of cleaner energy and help meet existing and future demand in the area.
“We have engaged extensively with Transport NI, Armagh City Centre Management and other utility providers and agreed a traffic management plan for the duration of the three programmes to minimise disruption to residents, businesses and road users.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the local businesses for their understanding and co-operation and we will continue to work with all the appropriate authorities and make every effort to ensure that any disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.”
Lane and road closures will be required at various stages as the work progresses, but diversions will be in place and firmus energy and its main contractors Kier Utilities have committed to minimising disruption as much as possible.
All local businesses will trade as normal during the construction period.
Independent Councillor for the Tandragee and Richhill areas, Paul Berry says the £300,000 to his constituency is to be welcomed.
“It is great news for the general Ballymore Road area of Tandragee and Broomhill area of Richhill,” said Mr Berry.
“They have also confirmed that this is the first of 5 Projects for Tandragee over 2021 and for that it is very welcome.
“As a local councillor and estate agent I am aware how gas has become more popular and it will provide more choice for local residents with 287 properties could benefit from this project.
“Of course with such projects there is always traffic distribution and I will be liaising closely with the project officer from Firmus to ensure there is no massive distribution locally when it commenced at the end of this month.”