Cadent, Winsford, Cheshire.

Cadent is to replace gas mains pipes across the North West during 2024-25. Credit: Cadent

Cadent plans £80m North West pipeline upgrade

As part of its 2024-2025 programme the firm is deploying 600 engineers to work on 260 miles of the region’s gas mains.

Key pipes are being switched to plastic to ensure a long-term safe network, and is part of a bigger 30-year engineering programme across the UK due to be completed in 2032, according to Cadent.

The firm adds that it intends to keep replacing fossil gas with greener alternatives such as biomethane and hydrogen.

Cadent also annually replaces around 1.5% of its 34,000km North West underground distribution system, which it says comprises of ageing metallic mains nearing the end of their safe operating lives.

Cadent has confirmed its ‘top five’ workload areas by distance for 2024-25 will be:

  • Wirral (45,793 metres)
  • Manchester (24,697)
  • Liverpool (24,287 metres)
  • Sefton (21,656 metres)
  • Wigan (20,368 metres)

‘As little disruption as possible’

Head of investment planning office (North West) Mark Syers, who is leading the team delivering the upgrade, 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.”

He added: “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.”


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“As little disruption as possible”? Meaning, some sub contractor will come and put up the barriers. some time later, but usually some days later, some other stubby will come and dig the hole. Possibly then the Cadent team will turn up and srand round looking at the hole and then go away. The work commences, with as little disruption as possible – well the temporary traffic lights are there to achieve that, and on completion another couple of days pass whilst the barriers are left in place to litter the pathways and roads. Sounds like a plan.

By Bewildered Mancunian

600 engineers? I reckon a score would be enough to plan this. Then you need general technicians, pipe fitters, civils contruction builders to build it. 600 engineers could be needed to design a chemical plant or a power station, but not upgrade a gas pipeline. You could call them 600 boffins, if you like.

By Anonymous

Excited by the arrival of Hydrogen???

Will never happen, not for heating anyway

By Anon

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