Business

Hillsborough connects to natural gas network as part of £60m project

Announcing the gas network connection in Hillsborough are Phoenix Natural Gas chief executive, Michael McKinstry, chairman Peter Ritson, Utility Regulator chairman Bill Emery and board member Teresa Perchard

HILLSBOROUGH has become the second of 13 towns in Co Down to connect to the natural gas network as part of a £60 million investment project.

Phoenix Natural Gas is behind the highly anticipated project to extend the natural gas pipeline to an additional 28,000 homes and businesses in Co Down and the connection in Hillsborough follows the completion of works in Ballygowan, where over 1,000 properties have gained access to the network.

Following a successful network build, which finished ahead of schedule, the first catchment of properties in Hillsborough are now able to make the switch to natural gas. A total of 2,200 properties are expected to have gas available to them by 2018.

Construction on the East Down network in April 2016 and work is underway to connect Annahilt, Ballynahinch and Spa later this year.

Phoenix chief executive Michael McKinstry said he was pleased to mark the connection of the second town in the build programme.

“Navigating a successful build programme throughout all stages of the project is a key focus for us and I am delighted that we have achieved this with minimal disruption to local residents and businesses in Hillsborough."

“The new project to expand the network is exciting and significant, not only for us, but for the new towns we serve, extending the benefits natural gas brings to the economic, social and environmental prosperity of the area," he said.

When completed the Gas to East Down project is estimated to make gas available to 28,000 domestic and commercial properties.

The £60 million project includes the 13 towns; Annahilt, Ballygowan, Ballynahinch, Castlewellan, Crossgar, Downpatrick, Dromore, Drumaness, Dundrum, Hillsborough, Newcastle, Saintfield and Spa.

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