RPS won two awards at this year’s Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards on Friday night. The Network Innovation Competition (NIC) Robotics Project was awarded the Technical Innovation Award and the Corrib Project – Onshore Gas Pipeline won the prestigious Outstanding Engineering Project of the Year 2016.
RPS in partnership with client Shell E&P Ireland Ltd and two major Irish contractors Roadbridge and BAM scooped the main award of the evening, which was decided mostly (80%) by a public vote.
The Corrib Project development is a critical piece of national infrastructure producing much of Ireland’s future gas supplies over the next 15 to 20 years. One of the largest infrastructure projects in the state’s history, it was designed and constructed to the highest international safety, technical and environmental standards. It cost approximately €3.5 billion and will contribute some €6 billion to Ireland’s GDP.
The Corrib tunnel is the longest tunnel constructed in Ireland and the longest gas pipeline tunnel in Europe. This was achieved in an area of outstanding natural beauty with many environmental designations (SAC, SPA, NHA, Ramsar). In 2007, RPS was appointed by Shell E&P Ireland Ltd to commence an innovative pipeline route selection process and comprehensive local community engagement on alternative routes which met the requirements of the Aarhus Convention on Public Participation in Decision Making, even before these requirements became law in Ireland five years later in 2012. The Corrib project created a benchmark in gas safety and particularly in managing and communicating societal risks.
The Technical Innovation Award was awarded to RPS in partnership with Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) and US company ULC Robotics for the Network Innovation Competition (NIC) Robotics Project, which was completed in 2015. This project pioneered the deployment of sensor technology inspection and repair robots in live gas distribution mains that had never been attempted before. It involved the design, manufacture and field testing of the new robots, which were successfully tested in live gas mains in London in November 2015.
The innovative technology measures wall thickness, stress and strain in pipelines and will allow gas utilities to extend the life of cast iron pipeline infrastructure. Its use will allow pipeline inspection and joint repair operations to take place with minimal disruption to customers, with fewer traffic restrictions, lower road reinstatement costs and no supply restrictions for gas customers. RPS provided technical services to SGN and ULC Robotics, to support this industry-leading innovation project developing robotic platforms and solutions for the gas industry.
“We are delighted with the national and international recognition that both of these awards give us” stated PJ Rudden, RPS Project Director for both projects. “In close collaboration with both clients and project partners, these two projects in Ireland and UK will create reliable new gas infrastructure that will reduce costs, increase security of supply and provide wide ranging environmental benefits” he added.