SGN gas network pipes

Case studies

45,000 miles of pipes, 5.9 million homes: mapping SGN’s gas network

Helping SGN plan the maintenance of its natural gas pipeline across the UK

The next time you switch on your heating you could be depending on some of the 45,000 miles of pipes maintained by Scotia Gas Networks (SGN). SGN manages the network that distributes natural gas to 5.9 million homes throughout Scotland and the south of England.

Maintaining a network of pipes that could stretch from Glasgow to Sydney four times over is a hugely complex and costly process. We brought together our people in consulting and audit advisory to give SGN a solution that lets it plan the maintenance of the pipes and calculate the impact of different replacement strategies on workload, costs and resources.

We created a tool that simulates the outcome of different plans over 20 years, allowing SGN to predict workloads based on user inputs, historical data and factors such as the material of the pipes, how quickly the pipes deteriorate, and even the weather. This tool has narrowed SGN’s mammoth national replacement programme down to postcode level, meaning the company can look at the cost of replacing each pipe, grouping them by geography to manage where the resources are needed most and keep costs down.

By optimising their pipe replacement programme, we’ve helped to identify a potential saving of £18 million for SGN by making sure the right pipes are replaced at the right time, reducing the number of emergency repairs needed and cutting the amount of gas leakage from their pipes. Something to think about when you switch on the heating.

SGN started to use analytics to inform some of our business decisions two years ago, but it was only when we started to work with the team from Deloitte that we fully understood the potential for our whole business. We are currently building a business model that will allow us to take a holistic view for all of our operational processes and our support functions. The Deloitte team has been advising the SGN business experts to enable a full understanding of our current and future requirements. SGN are now able to run multiple options to allow optimisation of our pipe replacement programme, this allows us to understand the benefit gained from the varying scenarios.

Kim Hicks, Programme Manager of SGN's Transformation Team

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