Abriox has been awarded a contract by United Utilities for remote monitoring of cathodic protection in Northern Gas Networks.

Following pilot trials held earlier this year (see NEWS: January 2007) the MERLIN system was selected to monitor transformer rectifiers across Northern Gas Networks.

United Utilities has calculated that replacing manual functional checks at TRs with remote monitoring will deliver a payback of less than 18 months.

Network Officer Kevin Young gave the reasons for selecting Abriox’s MERLIN system: “Abriox were the first company to actually ask us what we would require from a remote monitoring system. They came up with an excellent selection of monitors which can be adapted for a variety of scheme types throughout the network. Having successfully trialled the system, we are delighted to be implementing Merlin initially to cover our ‘functional’ monitoring inspections. We will be able to respond quickly to system failures rather than waiting a month to discover the problems. With such a large geographical area to cover, this will free up our technicians’ time and allow them to concentrate on other compliance issues.”

United Utilities acts as the Operator on behalf of Northern Gas Networks, whose network comprises 35,000km of gas distribution pipeline. It contains a mixture of large cities such as Newcastle, Sunderland, Leeds, York, Hull and Bradford and a significant rural area including North Yorkshire, Northumberland and northern Cumbria. The area has around 6.7 million inhabitants and approximately 2.5 million Northern Gas Networks customers.