GROUND has officially been broken on a project that will see gas piped into local homes for the first time.
Councillors and officials gathered last week to announce that construction on two sections of pipeline between Maydown and Strabane has now begun.
It is anticipated the ‘Gas to the West’ scheme will be live by the end of 2016.
Among those in attendance at the launch in Ballymagorry were Mayor of Derry City and Strabane Elisha McCallion and Danny O’Malley, director of SGN Natural Gas.
Mr O’Malley said the start of the pipeline construction signalled a major boost to energy users throughout the west of Northern Ireland.
“Working with Mutual Energy we were awarded the licences to extend the natural gas network into the west of Northern Ireland and we are pleased work is now underway. The extension of the network means home owners and businesses in and around Strabane will have access to an alternative form of energy. Customers will be able to take advantage of the gas network from late 2016.”
The work is being delivered locally by McNicholas Construction on behalf of SGN Natural Gas. It will commence on Trench Road and Leckpatrick Road up until December and will continue on the remainder of the pipeline route through to the end of 2016.
Some disruption is anticipated and residents and businesses in the vicinity of the works will be kept up to date on progress, as will commuters. A 24 hour contact number will be displayed at the work sites for anyone with a query.
Planned working hours are 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday and the occasional Sunday.
Mayor Elisha McCallion said she was delighted that Gas to the West was finally going to happen.
“I’m delighted to see the work commencing on the Gas to the West project which will result in a major improvement to the natural gas infrastructure for the district. This in turn will be of significant benefit to customers in terms of lowering energy costs and of course in addressing concerns about the impact of emissions on the environment.
“I look forward to seeing its successful delivery over the coming years,” Cllr McCallion said.