Firmus in celebratory mood after licence extension
Firmus energy is to invest £3.5m extending its natural gas supply network to Bushmills and to parts of Ballymena and Coleraine.
The company said today that it has been given approval of a licence extension by the Utility Regulator and will begin construction of the pipeline to Bushmills in the New Year - it will be used by Bushmills Distillery.
It has also been granted a licence to extend its network to bring natural gas to a number of quarries in the Coleraine and Ballymena areas.
Acting construction manager Neil Gallagher said the quarries should be able to make savings.
"Thousands of customers in Ballymena and Coleraine are already reaping the rewards of connecting to natural gas from firmus energy and with this multi-million pound extension to our pipeline, we are delighted that these quarries will be able to make substantial savings on their current energy costs."
Firmus is part of Irish-state-owned Bord Gais Energy and its network supplies 27,000 customers in Belfast as well as 16,000 customers in the 10 towns outside Belfast.
It connected its first customer, tyre company Michelin in December 2005 and since then has grown to around 90 full-time employees and has laid more than 750km of pipes.
The company said it invests £10m a year in its pipe network and spends £5m on services. It connects 4,000 homes and business a year in its network area.