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Wales & West Utilities colleagues working across south east Wales and from its Treforest training academy have celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the company.

Treforest gas network

During the decade in operation, colleagues working from its Treforest depot have worked hard to complete the replacement of 1015 kilometres of gas pipes in the south east area. This is part of the company’s multi-million pound 30-year programme to replace old metal gas pipes with plastic ones that have a lifespan of more than 80 years. The team has also responded to more than 235,000 emergency call-outs from customers and connected more than 22,000 new customers to their gas network.

The Academy, which saw an investment of £3 million by the gas distribution company back in 2012, has seen considerable growth during the past three years and now sees more than 2600 colleagues training at the site each year.

As part of the tenth anniversary the team at the Academy celebrated with field colleagues, suppliers and partners. The event brought together individuals who continue to work hard on a day-to-day basis to support customers, while also working to increase the security and safety of gas supplies to the area through the gas pipe replacement programme.

 The Academy primarily specialises in the training of gas engineers and features a unique indoor 'street' with terraced houses, a detached property, 2-storey flats and a large training and assessment area all offering a bespoke, 'hands on' and realistic training experience for streetworks and excavation, search and rescue and health and safety. 

CO poisoning detection training is also included as part of the training options - one of only two such training facilities in the UK.

Technical Manager for Pressure Management and Pipelines Steve Hiscocks, has worked for Wales & West Utilities for 10 years and within the industry for 35, he said: “I am delighted to have played a part in the achievements of the team locally.

“The Academy saw a major investment by Wales & West Utilities during 2012 and we are continuing to see the offering grow to suit business needs. As a business, we don’t sell gas, instead we use our pipeline to transport it to homes and businesses across our gas distribution network which involves connecting new customers, maintaining and replacing pipework and associated assets, and responding to gas emergencies. 

“Having the recognition of how our work has impacted on the business is great and I am looking forward to what the future will bring for our south east Wales team.”

Wales & West Utilities Chief Executive Graham Edwards said: “We are thrilled to celebrate this exciting milestone and, most importantly, to acknowledge the vital role our Treforest-based staff have played in our success.

 “We have come a long way during the past decade and are consistently delivering on customer satisfaction, having been sector best in five out of the last six years. We have made huge investments in our people and technology – and will continue to do so into the future.

 “For Wales & West Utilities, we are committed to growing on our successes, continuing to provide excellent customer service and support more customers to connect to our network and we look forward to working with more people and communities across the area.”

Wales & West Utilities began operations on 1 June 2005, previously one of four local gas distribution zones sold by National Grid plc. The company operates around 35,000 kilometres of gas pipelines serving 2.5 million homes and business, an estimated population of 7.5 million across Wales and the South West of England and is headquartered in Newport, South Wales.

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