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    Loss of gas – Ingham 10 Jul 2024 12: 30 PM

    Cheshire: major project to protect gas supply to 16,000 homes nears completion

    04 March 2024

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    • £2m invested by Cadent helps keep people warm in their homes and industrial sites supplied with energy
    • New below-ground ‘governor’ in Hartford is now operational and managing gas pressures to 16,000 properties
    • Any existing lane closures on the A556 will be lifted by 8th March

    A £2m project to protect the safe supply of gas to 16,000 homes in Cheshire is entering its final days.

    Described by a senior engineer as “one of the most challenging projects on the North West gas network in years”, the creation of a new pressure management station in Hartford is now nearing completion.

    Cadent, which manages the local gas network, had identified that the current above-ground facility – which was built in the 1950s, beside a footpath off the A556, near Hartford Bridge – required urgent replacement.

    Known as a ‘governor’, this is an important part of the gas distribution system. It brings gas pressures down to safe levels for onward travel into around 16,000 homes, schools, offices and other buildings in the area, primarily for heating.

    It also helps Cadent supply nearly 300 industrial users of gas in the area.

    Replacing it has required Cadent being able to find a new plot of land, and nearby, to install the new facility below ground. It also needed to ensure that gas continued to flow throughout the project, to ensure warmth for the nearby residents.

    Residents and motorists using the A556 will have seen the works taking place, since July, beside the road. The work has required the closure of some of the four-lanes of these roads at times, to ensure sufficient safe space for the workers and motorists, and to allow Cadent to lay 400 metres of new pipes to the new location.

    An important milestone was reached this week, as the new facility was commissioned. This means the gas is now flowing through it – and all tests have shown everything is working safely and reliably. The old facility can now be decommissioned and the large work areas restored to good order.

    Cadent is working towards having all existing lane closures lifted by 8th March. It will ensure the grass verges beside the road, which is where the new facility is now housed, will be restored to good order. In time, there will be little evidence to show the facility is there – as it will be below the ground, out of sight.

    Paul Phillips, the Cadent engineer in charge of this project, said: “This has been a very challenging project – one of the most difficult ones, for many reasons, in my 23 years working in gas.

    “Engineering on a scale like this is meticulous and does take time. Safety is always our number one priority, as well as ensuring we kept gas flowing throughout, to keep people warm through winter.

    “We’ve been incredibly grateful for the patience of the public, as we have been on-site since July now.

    “I’m pleased to say the new governor is up and running, and operating safely.”

    Cadent in the North West

    Cadent operates four of the UK’s eight gas distribution networks – North West England, West Midlands, Eastern England and North London.

    Its North West network stretches from the Lake District to Crewe and is home to 21,000 miles of distribution pipes (most of them underground) and hundreds of above ground installations. If placed end to end, that amount of pipes would stretch from Cheshire to Sydney, Australia, and back again.

    Around £800m will be invested in the North West’s gas network over the next five years. This will maintain safe, secure supplies to homes, hospitals, schools, offices and other sites, as well as support the UK journey to net zero carbon emissions.

    Backed by Cadent and many partners, the North West region is set to lead the way in a major shift from fossil gases to hydrogen. Producing only heat and water at point of use, hydrogen is key to the UK’s net zero future and is set to be introduced at volume in the North West during the next decade.

    Cadent

    Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy. We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change. Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency. Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing.

    Future of Gas:

    Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

    Cadent manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry - 0800 111 999*

    Cadent Gas Ltd is owned by a consortium of global investors.

    *All calls are recorded and may be monitored.

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