Bord Gáis Signs Its First Customer in Belfast

Bord Gáis announced today (17th January 2008) that it has signed up its first natural gas customer in Belfast through its subsidiary in Northern Ireland, firmus energy. This is a significant development for Bord Gáis in the implementation of its all-island, dual-fuel strategy.

Bord Gáis owns and operates two gas transmission pipelines in Northern Ireland and firmus energy is already bringing natural gas to ten major towns and cities along the routes of these pipelines. The company has now moved into the competitive gas supply market in the Greater Belfast area and has signed up Northern Ireland’s largest bakery, Allied Bakeries Ireland, which produces leading brands including Kingsmill and Sunblest.

Commenting on the announcement Mark Prentice, general manager of firmus energy said, “firmus energy is now in a strong position to compete for and secure natural gas contracts with leading businesses right across Northern Ireland. We believe that our entry into the Belfast market will first and foremost bring choice for natural gas customers and, with energy an increasingly important operating cost for businesses, we hope to be able to provide a greater degree of flexibility and transparency in our pricing options, as well as a differentiated service offer for customers.”

Alan Hempton, Managing Director of Allied Bakeries Ireland, added: “As Northern Ireland’s biggest bakery, it is important that our huge energy requirements are properly sourced and delivered and we are delighted to announce our new partnership with firmus energy.

“Natural gas, which we use to heat our ovens and hotplates, as well as providing heat and hot water, is a very big overhead for the bakery which operates around the clock. We are happy that firmus will fulfil our energy needs at a competitive price, which is a must in the modern day bakery industry.”

Mark Prentice concluded, “firmus energy is already operating in ten towns and cities outside of Belfast including Derry city, Coleraine, Banbridge and Newry. We have a long-term business plan to bring the cost and environmental benefits of natural gas to thousands of homes and businesses across Northern Ireland and the Belfast market is just one element of this. As part of the Bord Gáis group, with more than 600,000 customers across the Island of Ireland, our customers can enjoy the benefits that our combined purchasing power can offer.”


17th January 2008

For further information, please contact:
Elaine Hattie
Bord Gáis
Tel: 021 4534089 / 087 6381593

Karen Ferris
Drury Communications
Tel: 01 2605000 / 086 3171248

1. firmus energy, a subsidiary of Bord Gáis, won the gas conveyance and supply licences to supply towns and cities listed along the routes of the North-West and South-North gas pipelines in 2005. firmus energy connected their first natural gas customer in Ballymena in December 2005 and already has almost 3,000 customers including 75% of all the large industrial and commercial users in the North-West.

Towns and cities supplied from the North-West pipeline:
Derry city, Limavady, Coleraine, Ballymoney, Ballymena

Towns and cities supplied from the South-North pipeline:
Newry, Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon (including Lurgan and Portadown), Antrim

2. Bord Gáis operates its NI transmission pipelines from the grid control centre at its headquarters in Cork. The South-North gas pipeline connects the gas networks north and south, thereby providing the physical infrastructure for an all-island gas market. Both regulatory authorities are developing the market arrangements necessary to facilitate the commercial operation of an all-island gas market. 

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