The north of England’s gas distributor, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), has signed a major new contract with Penspen to cover all mechanical maintenance work required across the network.
As of early May 2015, provider of engineering, project management and asset management services, Penspen will take responsibility for maintaining a wide range of mechanical equipment on behalf of NGN, from gas off-take equipment to district governors as part of the three year contract.
This new partnership with the integrity, engineering, operations and maintenance specialist is a significant move for NGN as it marks the first time that a gas distributor in the UK has outsourced all of its mechanical maintenance requirements.
Tim Harwood, head of major projects and maintenance at NGN, said: “Penspen has been appointed after a long and thorough tender process.
As experts in the maintenance of pipelines and associated plant equipment they have a strong combination of technical and commercial acumen, with highly skilled employees, supported by the company’s own in-house training school.
“This is an exciting move for our business, as we continue to modernise and work in a smarter and more efficient way. Other gas distribution networks will certainly be taking notes, and we could see this model adopted in other parts of the UK in the coming years.”
As part of the new arrangement, a number of highly skilled NGN employees who currently work in mechanical maintenance positions will transfer to Penspen to carry out the same job roles but under new employers. To assist with the transition, Penspen has provided new vehicles and IT to prepare the transferring staff for their new challenge.
Explaining the move, Tim said: “Penspen colleagues will become an extension of our team in the coming months as our NGN colleagues move to their new employers. Existing Penspen staff will be working with transferring staff to make new teams; it will be a seamless transition with business as usual the main focus.
“It is an interesting time to be head of maintenance, working with great teams both within NGN and with Penspen.”
NGN will retain maintenance supervisory and managerial staff who will be ensuring safety standards, technical compliance and quality control is met.
Peter O’Sullivan, chief executive of Penspen, said: “This is the first time one of the major gas distributors for the UK has outsourced its maintenance work to one company and we are delighted that Northern Gas Networks has chosen Penspen.
“We have a dedicated training facility with the capability to train technicians in high pressure gas maintenance services and this is one of the reasons we have been selected for the substantial project.”
NGN delivers gas to 2.7 million homes and businesses across the North of England and provides the region’s rapid response service for customers who smell gas at home or work.