Science & Technology in Action

Bord Gáis Networks

Bord Gáis Networks is a division of Bord Gáis Éireann (Bord Gáis Group) that owns, operates, builds and maintains the natural gas network in Ireland and connects all natural gas consumers to the network. It carries out these activities on behalf of Gaslink, Ireland’s independent system operator. Bord Gáis Networks ensures that over 647,000 natural gas customers receive a safe, efficient and secure supply of natural gas, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It manages a 24 hour emergency response service handling over 20,000 call-outs a year.

Bord Gáis Networks has developed a world-class gas infrastructure in Ireland. 13,403 km of gas pipelines and two sub- sea interconnectors have been constructed and are carefully maintained, with safety and community relations at the heart of all that Bord Gáis Networks does. In addition to connecting all new gas connections, Bord Gáis Networks is also responsible for work on service pipes and meters at customers’ premises, on behalf of all gas suppliers in Ireland. Through the New Connections Programme, Bord Gáis Networks continually brings the benefits of natural gas to new towns in line with the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) Policy.

Natural gas is a clean, efficient and cost effective fuel. Bord Gáis Networks actively promotes natural gas as a fuel of choice for homes, businesses and industry. However, Bord Gáis Networks recognises biomethane as a renewable fuel which can significantly improve the sustainability of the natural gas network and reduce dependency on imported natural gas. Bord Gáis Networks is currently working with various parties to explore the potential for biomethane in Ireland and to develop the necessary industry and regulatory arrangements including technical, commercial and legal framework. Ground-breaking research into the use of renewable gas at University College Cork’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI) received a €0.25m boost for 2012. The initiative which involved funding from Bord Gáis Networks will enable the Institute to develop its research beyond the academic sphere and into industry. The ERI and Bord Gáis have been working together for some time and believe that biomethane can become a key contributor to meeting Ireland’s renewable energy targets. To this end, detailed research is required into the numerous biomethane feedstocks (algae, grass, household waste, slurries) and the most efficient technology available to convert these feedstocks to renewable gas. An expanded laboratory in the ERI, supported by Bord Gáis Networks, will provide innovative experimental technologies to enhance this new industry and will provide the necessary knowledge base to help the industry grow. Bord Gáis Networks also supports students from UCC specialising in biomethane research.

Further information is available at www.bordgaisnetworks.ie