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The North of England’s gas distributor, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), has won a sustainability award at the annual Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) awards for its efforts in the decommissioning of the Redheugh Gas Holder in Gateshead.

As part of the wider site demolition project, NGN used solar powered pumps to remove more than 4,500 litres of coal tar from an underground tank which was built during Victorian times. Using only solar power, the gas distributor saved more than 18 tonnes of CO2 and around £6,000 in costs.

Neil Whalley, Environmental Strategy Manager at Northern Gas Networks, said: “As part of our Environment Strategy, launched last month, we are exploring a variety of different methods to be sustainable.

“Through this use of only solar power, we saved the same amount of CO2 as the average car driving non-stop for 29 days as well as a reduction in noise, compared to traditional petrol generators, and vehicle movements associated with waste disposals.

“At NGN we’re committed to reducing our environmental impact on the customers and communities that we serve, and where possible make a positive impact.”

NGN is now exploring the use of solar power on future projects.

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. 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 aiming to dismantle 23 of the region’s gas holders by 2021 as part of continued investment in modernising the gas network. A short film has also been produced to commemorate NGN’s gas holders.

For further information about the project please 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, seven days a week.