£70m is due to be invested to upgrade gas infrastructure in the North West throughout the next year, with over 130km of pipeline to be laid beneath the Liverpool City Region alone.
Cadent Gas is due to spend the money on modernising its network of gas pipes as part of a package that will see £800m invested into the North West 's gas network over the next five years. The money will also help to futureproof the region's gas network, by replacing the older metal pipes with plastic ones which can facilitate hydrogen, seen as a sustainable alternative to gas.
The work will also require 600 engineers working throughout the year. They aim to have the work completed by March 2023 but related work to modernise the network throughout the region will continue until 2032.
Some of the gas pipes due to be replaced are over 100 years old, and throughout the North West 450km of pipes are set to be renewed with the plastic alternative. The Wirral will see the most change, with over 50km of pipe line to be replaced.
Craig Horrocks, head of the operation, said: "More than 80 per cent of homes in the North West rely on gas for central heating and it’s our job to make sure they get it, safely and reliably, every minute of every day of the year. As our older stock reaches the end of its safe working life, we must replace it.
"“We’re also excited by the arrival soon of hydrogen to our networks, which is going to be essential to the North West achieving its targets to reduce carbon emissions. In most cases we’re able to insert the new pipe into the old one, a technique that reduces the time of each project and means we don’t have to dig as much.
“It also means an end to what often becomes increasingly-frequent visits – with associated disruption – to repair faults on the older metallic mains, as they start to show signs of age. We know it’s not ideal, but my team is determined to move as quickly as they safely can and get the work done with as little disruption as possible.”
Gas will remain on throughout the works, though in some cases it will be lost for up to 12 hours as the building in question is connected to the new pipeline. Cadent Gas says notice will be given in advance.