Utility firm Northern Gas Networks and its operating partner United Utilities, who together run the region’s gas mains network, picked up top accolades at simultaneous ceremonies in London on Monday (Dec 10).
Leeds-based Northern Gas Networks won a prestigious Utility Industry Achievement Award for a mammoth £22 million project to replace all its old computer systems with a brand new tailor-made IT system.
Three hundred people worked over 17-months to design, build and implement the system on budget and on time in what is believed to be the biggest feat of its kind in recent UK utility history. It was named Utility Awards IT Initiative of the Year.
Meanwhile, across London, colleagues at United Utilities scooped a Rushlight Waste Innovation Award for their recycling plant in Sheepscar, Leeds. The Rushlights are a brand new environmental award scheme which look set to become bigger in the `green’ world.
United Utilities has pioneered a new way to recycle the soil and rubble generated by Northern Gas Networks’ roadworks into a high quality foam concrete which can be used to backfill holes in the road.
Northern Gas Networks owns the 36,000km network of gas mains in Yorkshire, the North East and northern Cumbria. It has contracted out the day-to-day running of the system to United Utilities, whose 1,200 staff operate the region’s gas emergency service and manage a £70m annual programme of gas mains replacement.
Together, the companies deliver gas safely and reliably to 2.5m homes and businesses.
Northern Gas Networks’ Chief Executive Officer Basil Scarsella said: “It is the second year in a row we have won a Utility Industry Achievement Award and to get an inaugural Rushlight Award on the same night is due recognition of the efforts or our employees and contractors. We work tirelessly for our consumers. It’s nice to show them that industry experts hold us in high regard as well.”