Firmus energy has outlined plans to expand its network in Mid and East Antrim with an investment of £5million.
The company has submitted an ambitious five year plan to the Utility Regulator lasting from 2017 to 2022.
If approved, this would see firmus invest a further £60 million developing its network over this period, making natural gas available to a further 100,000 properties.
Some 8,710 of these potential connections would be in Mid and East Antrim area with 91km of pipes planned to be laid, the company said.
Firmus has previously laid more than 108.5km of pipe in Mid and East Antrim, connecting its first customer in December 2005.
It has more than 2,900 customers in the area, including Moy Park, Dale Farm and Galgorm Manor Hotel Resort and Spa.
This investment is worth in excess of £9.5m and has displaced more than 140,000 tonnes of CO2 from the surrounding atmosphere.
Eric Cosgrove, engineering director, explains: “We have invested more than £100 million in our network across Northern Ireland during the last decade and have brought natural gas to towns and cities which hadn’t previously been able to access this practical fuel.
“Since we connected our first commercial customer in December 2005, our ambitious growth strategy has gained momentum. Fast forward ten years to today and more than 90 percent of industry along the routes of our pipelines is now connected to natural gas, which signifies how integral the fuel is to the economic landscape in Northern Ireland.”