Bell Welcomes Licence Extension For Taking Gas To East Down


Bell Welcomes Licence Extension For Taking Gas To East Down

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell has welcomed the Utility Regulator’s decision to extend Phoenix Natural Gas’ gas conveyance licence to East Down.

[caption id="attachment_60540" align="alignright" width="200"]Natural gas is coming to East Down. Natural gas is coming to East Down.[/caption]

Jonathan Bell said: “The Utility Regulator’s decision to grant an extension to Phoenix Natural Gas’ licence is very welcome news for homes and businesses in East Down. The project will commence in 2016 and is expected to make natural gas available to around 25,000 domestic properties and 2,000 small industrial and commercial businesses in the area.

“Taking natural gas to 13 further towns in Northern Ireland, including Hillsborough, Ballynahinch, Spa, Downpatrick, Crossgar, Saintfield, Drumaness, Annahilt, Ballygowan, Castlewellan, Dromore, Newcastle and Dundrum, will bring greater choice for business and domestic energy consumers.

“As natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, extending the gas network should produce significant carbon savings. For domestic consumers, the option of gas pre-payment meters can provide real benefits to help manage energy bills.

“I look forward to the start of construction work on the East Down extension in 2016 with the first customers to be connected later that year.”

The Utility Regulator Website:

Ritchie Delighted Gas Network IS Coming To East Down

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie (SDLP) said the planned delivery of a gas network to East Down will bring choice for consumers and a boost for business.

Ms Ritchie said: “I have today received confirmation from the Utility Regulator that a pipeline extension to the existing network operated by Phoenix Gas will be extended to East Down.

“This is very welcome and a scheme I have campaigned on for a number of years. Today’s news will mean the natural gas network will be available in the northern end of the constituency which will complement the gas network from Newry to Warrenpoint.

“Once it is developed, homes and businesses in Downpatrick, Ballynahinch, Castlewellean, Crossgar, Drumaness, Dundrum, Newcastle and Spa will be able to access a fuel and energy choice that was not previously available.

“Above all, the extension of the natural gas pipeline is an important further catalyst for economic and social development in this area. It will be an incentive and a bulwark to existing businesses; to future economic growth and productivity; and to job and investment opportunities looking to locate and invest in this area. It will also have the potential to benefit existing businesses and public sector sites, such as schools, health and other public service/administration sites.

“South Down continues to be open for business and today’s good news is a further indication of that fact”.