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Ayres Quay 1

The gas holder at Ayres Quay is in the process of being dismantled and removed.

The North of England’s gas distributer, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), is investing over £500,000 to safely dismantle and remove its gas holder tank in Ayres Quay, Sunderland.


The major project, which began on Monday 11 July 2016, will take 23 weeks to complete and be carried out in conjunction with specialist partner, G O’Brien Group.


For around 100 years gas holders were a vital part of the local gas supply system, responsible for supplying gas to thousands of people across the country.  In more recent years, the gas holders have been used to bolster the network’s gas supplies during colder weather, and at peak times in the early evenings. However, advances in technology and the enhanced capability of the modern-day gas network, mean that gas holders are no longer in use.


NGN is committed to taking down its gas holders in an environmentally responsible way, by recycling as many materials as possible. The company will be using tried and tested techniques to clear the site and once the holder has been removed, spoil from local streetworks sites will be used to fill the vast excavation left behind.


Mark Johnson, from NGN’s Major Projects team said: “The decision has been made to dismantle the gas holder at Ayres Quay as it is no longer in use and is costly to maintain. We’ll be working with a specialist contractor to carry out the work in a safe and environmentally responsible way.


“We know how important these structures can be to communities and we’ll be working closely with local residents and stakeholders to give them the opportunity to commemorate the structure as it disappears from the skyline, through hosting art workshops with our local community artist.”


NGN is encouraging people to share their memories of the Ayres Quay gas holder through its ‘Gas Holder Memories’ campaign by emailing gasholdermemories@northerngas.co.uk, using #gasholdermemories on facebook.com/northerngasnetworks and Twitter @NGNgas , or in writing to: Northern Gas Networks, 1st Floor, 1 Emperor Way, Doxford International Business Park, Sunderland, SR3 3XR.


NGN is aiming to demolish 23 of the region’s gas holders by 2021 as part of our continued investment in modernising the gas network.


A short film has been made to commemorate NGN’s gas holders as they disappear from the region’s skyline.

The film is now available to watch at: http://www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk/ngn-and-you/environment/cleaner-and-greener/case-studies/


For further information about the project, please visit www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk, contact NGN’s Customer Care team on 0800 040 7766 or email customercare@northerngas.co.uk


Anyone that smells gas or suspects Carbon Monoxide should call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.