Natural gas distributor firmus energy has reappointed Kier to provide natural gas distribution infrastructure services in Northern Ireland.

The contract, worth nearly £100m, is initially for three years, with a possible extension of another three years, will start this month.

It is the fourth iteration for Kier which will offer construction and maintenance works and services, including main and service laying, metre installations and 24/7 call-out service for emergency response activities.

Kier Utilities & Rail group managing director Barry McNicholas said: “We are thrilled to have been reappointed by firmus energy and continue our successful partnership of delivering natural gas to towns and cities across Northern Ireland.

“We will continue to support firmus energy’s ambitious plans with our sector knowledge and specialist skills as well as fostering strong community relations as we look to leave a positive footprint in areas in which we work.”

firmus energy and Kier have also committed offering training and employment opportunities and reappointment to locals, supporting graduates, apprentices and also long-term unemployed who are looking for a career in the construction environment.

The two companies have been working together since 2005, bringing natural gas to more than 30 towns and cities in the country including Londonderry, Limavady, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Newry, Craigavon, Antrim, Banbridge and Armagh, as part of firmus energy’s natural gas licence. During this time, Kier claims to have laid more than 1,600km of the pipeline.

firmus energy engineering director Eric Cosgrove said: “We are very pleased to renew our working partnership with Kier Group. Their extensive experience in the industry has helped enable us to deliver natural gas to thousands of homes and businesses across our Ten Towns network.

“Together with Kier, we successfully delivered the £3 million River Foyle Crossing which was the largest project of its kind to be undertaken on the island of Ireland.”

Earlier this month, Kier was selected by NJS to convert the conference centre at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) into a temporary hospital, for treating patients with COVID-19.

The site will form part of NHS’ nationwide efforts to the pandemic. The transformation of the conference centre will help in treating up to 1,000 patients.


Kier to build natural gas infrastructure in Northern Ireland. (Credit: Kier Group plc.)