GL Noble Denton has won the coveted Award for Innovation at this year's UK Gas Industry Awards, hosted by the British Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM), and the UK gas trade association, SBGI. GL Noble Denton received the accolade jointly with National Grid and gas network maintenance specialist ALH Ltd for a collaborative project to produce a new method for securing drilling valves into gas mains, known as the Beam Drilling System.
The award-winning System challenges more than three decades of traditional gas mains drilling practice by removing the need to dig large holes in the ground to secure drilling bases to gas pipelines. Specially designed beams are placed over reduced excavations to carry out drilling work, which allows operatives to undertake a wide range of tasks without having to enter the excavation on which they are working.
The Beam Drilling System was developed with support from the Innovation Funding Initiative of UK gas and electricity regulator, Ofgem. It was recognized by the Gas Awards judging panel for its contribution to improving the safety of working practices and reducing road traffic disruption. The System has been successfully used by National Grid on drilling projects across the UK since its introduction in August 2010.
GL Noble Denton Senior Engineer David Gregory, who led GL Noble Denton's development team, said: "I am delighted that the Beam Drilling System has been recognised for providing great benefits to National Grid and
the communities that it works with. It has already saved National Grid operatives more than 220 days of labour since it was introduced under a year ago, and it is considered to be far more environmentally friendly than previous methods of drilling gas mains."
GL Noble Denton's success follows a number of Awards received from IGEM and SBGI over recent years. In 2010, the company was presented with the International Business Development Award for the expansion of its downstream business in Asia, Australia, Russia and South Africa.