Ireland - Services

Services

Gas Networks Management

RPS has over 30 years’ energy experience in the UK and Ireland. We provide energy strategy and advisory services to the public and private sectors. We plan and develop energy infrastructure projects from project planning and feasibility through to detailed design, construction supervision and asset management.

Energy policy has three core objectives: sustainability, security of supply and competitiveness. National and EU policies currently support a low carbon future with increased renewables in parallel with natural gas as the transition fuel up to 2050.

We provide strategic consultancy services to private and public sector clients on how to anticipate and respond to regulatory change. A radical transformation of Europe’s energy system is required to meet climate policy objectives across the electricity system and in terms of transport and heat.

Our energy experts advise our clients on the best ways to deliver challenging complex projects amid the continually evolving political, economic, regulatory and communications framework that surrounds these projects. Many of our projects have won national and international awards.

Case Studies

Corrib Onshore Gas Pipeline

 

Image: courtesy of Shell E&P Ireland Ltd.

RPS has supported Shell in delivering the Corrib Onshore Pipeline from route development stage through to EIS and detailed design stages. RPS was appointed by SEPIL in 2007 to find a modified route for the Corrib Onshore Gas Pipeline. This element of the Corrib gas field development links the Corrib gas field (located over 80km offshore) to the gas terminal at Bellanaboy, Co. Mayo.

Following a lengthy public consultation process managed by RPS, applications were submitted to the various statutory bodies for approval (February 2009). An Bord Plean├íla Oral Hearings on the Onshore Pipeline took place in May - June, 2009 and (following a request for further information from An Bord Plean├íla) in August – October 2010. All statutory approvals were granted during Q1, 2011.

The approved scheme comprises 8.3km of upstream gas pipeline, approximately 4.9km of which will be installed within a 4.2m diameter segment lined tunnel beneath Sruwaddacon Bay.

RPS was extensively involved in planning, conceptual design, EIS and detailed design elements of the project including engineering design support during construction. Construction of the tunnelling compound began in July 2011and the project was commissioned in January 2016. The project was awarded Engineering Project of the Year 2016 by Engineers Ireland.

Gas to the West, Northern Ireland

 

The Gas to the West Project is a significant gas pipeline development which will extend the high pressure (HP) and intermediate pressure (IP) gas network in Northern Ireland. RPS was appointed in 2015 to provide planning, environmental and engineering services for the development, including delivery of the environmental impact assessment (and appropriate assessment) and coordination of extensive pipeline ground investigations. RPS has also input significantly to the route selection process. The information accumulated through environmental baseline surveys ensured that the decision process for the final alignments of the proposed pipeline routes made due consideration for the environment. This ensured that the least environmentally constrained route was selected.

The HP network will involve the installation of approximately 80km of steel gas transmission pipeline. The new IP PE gas pipeline has a design pressure of less than 7 bar and is approximately 100km in length. The project will bring gas to the towns of Enniskillen, Derrylin, Omagh, Strabane, Dungannon, Coalisland, Cookstown and Magherafelt.

The development falls within the category of ‘major regional importance’ under planning law in Northern Ireland and is being administered by the Strategic Projects Division of the Department of Infrastructure.

The project presents a number of challenging aspects in terms of ground conditions, large scale river and road crossings and environmental sensitivities. Baseline assessments and site investigations have ensured that appropriate construction methodologies, such as trenchless crossings, are being used in areas where avoidance of constraints was not possible.

The RPS in-house planning team was responsible for overseeing all elements of the planning application including stakeholder consultation which was submitted in Q3 2016. The Gas to the West Project successfully received Approval of Planning Permission from the Department of Infrastructure’s Strategic Planning Division in March 2017- four months after application.

The stakeholder consultation element of the project was Highly Commended at the British Construction Industry (BCI) Awards in 2017.

SGN NIC Robotics Innovation Project

 

The objective of the SGN NIC Robotics Innovation Project was to develop new, cutting edge robotic repair and inspection technologies which could operate inside live gas distribution mains for the first time.

RPS was awarded the role of Technical Service Provider to SGN to support the development of robotic solutions for the Great Britain gas distribution network in March 2014. This role entailed providing technical review and assessment of all stages of the project development, from conceptual designs through to live field testing, and involved high level collaboration with SGN and ULC Robotics, the manufacturer of the robotic systems.

This project pioneered the deployment of inspection and repair robots in live gas distribution mains that had never been attempted before. It involved the design, manufacture and field testing of the new robots, which were successfully tested in live gas mains in London in November 2015.

RPS ensured that the robotic systems developed could perform the requirements as set out by Ofgem (the British Regulatory Authority) and its conditions of funding, while also optimising the performance of the systems and ensuring that they could be safely utilised in a live gas environment.

The innovative technology measures degree of corrosion, wall thickness, stress and strain in pipelines and will allow gas utilities to asset manage the life of cast iron pipeline infrastructure. Its use will allow pipeline inspection and joint repair operations to take place with minimal disruption to customers, with fewer traffic restrictions, lower road reinstatement costs and no supply restrictions for gas customers.

The impacts these world-first robotic systems could have on the risk evaluation of metallic pipes in the UK was also assessed by RPS. A conceptual method was developed as to how these systems could be used to adjust network risk scoring (MPRS), depending on the results of the assessment and repair. The project culminated in the successful field trial of both systems on live gas mains in London in late 2015 and the delivery of final reports in January 2016.

The project was awarded the Engineers Ireland Excellence Award for Technical Innovation of the Year 2016 ad was Highly Commended at the NCE Awards 2018.