Helping firmus energy to deliver an outstanding and sustainable level of service to its customers

Helping firmus energy to deliver an outstanding and sustainable level of service to its customers

Project Description

Since 2005 we have been the contractor for Firmus Energy for the laying, commissioning, maintenance and decommissioning of low pressure and medium pressure gas mains and services, together with associated work. The first contract focused on construction of a large diameter pressure pipeline whilst the second, awarded following the success of the first, focused on extending the distribution network to various cities. These projects and programmes have succeeded through excellent planning, creative engineering solutions, resolute problem solving, carefully managed public liaison and effective relationships with the clients’ operations and stakeholders. We have an exemplary safety record and the right in-house resources to deliver the work, together with rigorous procedures and systems to ensure consistent, effective delivery. We are also committed to minimising our impact on the environment.


Firmus Energy


Northern Ireland


£10 million per annum


Protecting a pipeline across the River Foyle

challenge image 1: 

challenge text 1

Initially, McNicholas was awarded a contract worth £1.7m to design and build large diameter medium pressure gas pipelines, connecting the North West transmission pipeline to pressure reducing stations adjacent to Derry City, Limavady, Ballymena, Ballymoney and Coleraine. We were also asked to extend the distribution network to Derry City, Limavady, Ballymena, Ballymoney and Coleraine, where the works included constructing a primary distribution main from pressure reducing stations along the South North pipeline to Antrim, Craigavon, Banbridge and Newry.

challenge text 2

In 2007 we constructed a 250mm diameter welded steel pipeline across Craigavon Bridge in Derry for Firmus Energy as part of its new network build. We had to paint the pipeline to match the existing colour of the bridge. The paint had a three-year, maintenance-free specification.
Five years later we were asked to source a protection system with a longer life expectancy for the pipeline.


A specialised system

solution text 1

Following a feasibility study undertaken by our team, we proposed using DENSO’s specialist ‘Steelcoat 100/400 protection’ system. This is designed to protect pitted or badly rusted structural steel and pipework and can be applied to substrates prepared by hand or power tool cleaning. One of the company’s representatives spent two days training our operatives on the correct preparation and application of the system, which involves an eight-stage process.


Increasing the life of the pipeline

results text 1

Together, firmus energy and McNicholas have combined their passion, capabilities and experience to deliver a world class service for the people of Northern Ireland. We have provided employment and training, excellent customer service and the safe, innovative, timely delivery of 800 km of distribution mains and 30,000 customer connections in the ten towns.