Cadent is investing £70 million (€83 million) in upgrading gas mains across north England.
The energy firm is upgrading 450 km of pipes across Barrow, South Lakeland and Copeland in a bid to modernise the underground gas network.
In Barrow, 7,832 metres of pipe are set to be upgraded in 2022/23, as well as 2,645 in South Lakeland and 2,291 in Copeland.
Every year, Cadent replaces around 1.5% of its 34,000km North West underground pipe distribution system.
These are mostly ageing metallic mains, which are nearing the end of their safe operating lives.
It is all part of a bigger programme taking place over 30 years, and which is due to finish in 2032.
Upgrading to plastic ensures a long-term safe network and also means keeping everything on track to replace fossil gas with hydrogen.
“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,” said Craig Horrocks, who heads Cadent’s gas mains upgrade work in the region.
“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.
“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.’’
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