Five line up for NI natural gas account

Premier Energy, the British Gas subsidiary, has shortlisted five agencies for its 2m drive to bring natural gas to Northern Ireland later this year.

The subsidiary, set up in Belfast in 1992, says natural gas will be available from October following the move by British Gas to set up a 150m project to develop Northern Ireland’s natural gas industry.

A spokeswoman for the company says Irish and English agencies have been shortlisted, but she would not release any names. A decision is expected in the next week.

“Northern Ireland uses a lot of coal, oil and peat. Gas obviously has its environmental benefits,” she says.

An above-the-line campaign will run in conjunction with the availability of natural gas later this year. However, the company is still undecided on whether to advertise on TV.

British Gas has invested 450m in the venture, including the cost of buying and converting Ballylumford power station and building an undersea gas pipeline.

Premier Energy chief executive Peter Chester says gas will improve the air quality and increase competition, causing prices to fall.

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