Project outline

The works included the design, supply, construction, installation, completion, testing and commissioning of 111 km of Intermediate Pressure (7bar) 400/315mm diameter HDPE and 300/250mm NB Welded Steel Pipe. This forms part of the infrastructure required for Dungannon, Coalisland, Magherafelt, Cookstown, Omagh, Enniskillen and Derrylin.

The project was a Joint Venture between Murphy International Ltd and GMC Utilities Ltd.

Key challenges

The Gas to the West Project has posed a number of interesting challenges, not least working in close proximity to the public. The project involved road works on public roads, including works in built up areas.  

Murphy liaised with the Department for Infrastructure daily to keep all parties aware of the works. The close working relationship was essential to ensure permits were in place, as there were up to twenty crews working on the project.

The works were predominantly carried out on public roads. Murphy put a large focus on early liaison to ensure local residents were always informed of the works being carried out. This proactive approach gave other stakeholders an opportunity to provide input into decisions such as traffic diversions.

The route involved the crossing of 21 rivers off road. It was essential to ensure correct protection measures were utilised at each location to avoid environmental damage. To guarantee best practice Murphy chaired an Environmental Liaison Group to discuss these works in detail with all relevant authorities. This attention to detail ensured that all crossings were completed without incident.

The pipeline route passed through several areas of archaeological importance. It was essential for the project to ensure that the necessary archaeological monitoring and any associated mitigation was carried out to best professional practise.

Commissioning of the pipeline involved coordination of contractors on both the upstream and downstream ends of the pipeline.

Project delivery/ challenges

We engaged in design assistance with the client to reduce the number of off road crossings. The solutions decided upon allowed-for on road solutions in or over the bridge deck, which greatly minimised the environmental risk.  

We used the Advanced Pressure Testing technique to greatly reduce the time taken to test the pipeline. This method used software and hardware to predict pressure changes due to creep or the PE pipe and temperature changes.

We were committed to providing work opportunities for locals that were new to the industry, college leavers and the unemployed. Through the implementation of an effective recruitment and training plan, we exceeded the targets. Each recruit has been given training and experience that will allow them to continue working in the gas industry.

At the outset, key decisions were made to reduce the environmental impact of the project. Pipe was sourced from a local company in Northern Ireland to reduce the transport impact. This also meant pipe could be delivered straight to site. A Wastewater Treatment Unit was installed in the Murphy Compound. Murphy obtained permission from local authorities to backfill trenches with treated as-dug material, to reduce quantities sent to landfill.

Through careful planning of the works, we succeeded in prefabricating a large quantity of components required off-site. This ensured that welding and coating could be carried out to the highest safety and quality standards in fabrication shop conditions rather than on-site.

Key facts

The current scheme aims to:

  • Provide gas to the seven towns of Dungannon, Coalisland, Magherafelt, Cookstown, Omagh, Enniskillen and Derrylin.
  • Provide gas to a number of large businesses including Encirc, Moy Park, Quinn Industrial Holdings and Karro Foods.

Related projects

Natural Resources

We provide design, construction and management for minor and major projects. We also provide maintenance, procurement and provision of labour for new-build and brownfield sites. This marks us as one of Ireland’s leading pipeline contractors, working extensively for the last 60 years to build our reputation as industry leader.

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