One of the biggest challenges for such a complex project was the planning stage. With so many interested parties in a confined and highly visible place, we knew planning the project in fine detail would be crucial to its success.
Ewan Worth, Construction Operations Engineer, NWGA National Grid
Established in April 2005, the North West Gas Alliance (NWGA) is a partnership between National Grid and Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions, serving the North West of England.
The old cast iron gas mains network used throughout the UK is reaching the end of its life. As the old network becomes more vulnerable, resulting in fractures and loss of gas through leakage, concerns around safety and reliability of supply are increasing. A nationwide programme of infrastructure replacement is underway to upgrade the national grid gas mains network.
The Chester Gas Mains Replacement project forms part of a 20 year programme of works currently being undertaken by Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions, working as part of the NWGA.
The NWGA is on target to replace every cast iron pipe in Chester city centre by mid 2012. Within the old city walls, Chester will then have a gas mains network composed entirely of polyethylene pipes, ensuring a safe and efficient gas supply to every home, making it one of the safest city centres in the UK.
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Key facts and figures
Year Chester was founded by the Romans
Visitors to Chester each year
Amount of Victorian cast iron pipes that will be replaced in the Chester area