UK & Ireland Featured Project: Cadent Mineral Blue / isCompliant Implementation (1603)

QEM Solutions have been assisting Cadent Gas with the implementation of our Mineral Blue and isCompliant software. By developing a bespoke connection between the two suites, QEM were able to establish a streamlined process for gathering project milestone achievements. Balancing these achievements with audit and inspection results have enabled Cadent to to get a true measure of project success.

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Overseas Featured Project: Capita Symonds - Valve Inspections

QEM Solutions were contracted to carry 3rd party inspection and witnessing activities on a series of valves fabricated in Germany for a series of SGN contracts throughout Scotland.

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We are problem solvers. We are organisers. From the project start-up to the very final evaluations and analysis, we can bring enthusiasm to each and every part of your project.


News Spotlight Building back better: hydrogen’s place in our new normal

Lockdown. It has come with more than its fair share of challenges. But it has come with benefits too. Fish have reappeared in the canals of Venice, global air quality has rapidly improved, and with diminished traffic, city dwellers have woken to the dawn chorus, rather than the gathering clamour of the morning commute.



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06 Sep 2021

The sale of NTS: an unrivalled opportunity

As part of its transformative plan to achieve a greater focus on electricity, National Grid is selling its majority stake in National Grid Gas PLC, which owns the UK’s national gas transmission system.

This makes a robust statement about where National Grid wishes to position itself in the UK energy market. But, also importantly, it creates an exceptional opportunity to re-harness the existing gas transmission network and use it to deliver a substantial role in the UK journey towards Net Zero.

A network at the heart of our lives

The National Grid national gas transmission system (NTS) not only serves the length and breadth of Britain’s landscape, but is deeply embedded into the nation’s very livelihood, providing heat and energy to homes and businesses throughout the UK. Familiar, trusted, and understood by the UK public and industry, the existing network’s immediate importance – and future potential – should neither be underestimated, nor assumed. Initial testing has, for example, demonstrated its ability to transmit hydrogen in place of methane, a project whose ultimate success and adoption throughout the grid could single-handedly deliver net zero for heat. However, this bold claim will need to be both feasible from an engineering perspective and in alignment with prevailing political agendas. Any prospective acquirer will need to understand current asset benefit and integrity, as the particular challenges presented by the existing network, and distinguish potential hype from the reality of future Net Zero capabilities.

Custodianship and future opportunity

The NTS comprises around 7,660 km of pipeline, 24 compressor sites with 75 compressor units, 20 control valves and 530 above-ground installations. Built from the late 1960s onwards, the majority of the network as we know it today was in place by 1990. However, with a typical asset design life of 40 years, over 70% of the NTS will be beyond its original life expectancy by the end of 2021. Careful management of these ageing assets is crucial to their ability to meet not only present but future demands – including the legislative and engineering challenges presented by the UK’s journey to Net Zero.

Due diligence and purchase

Competent and experienced technical and operational due diligence is crucial to support any investment decision. All investors, while scrutinising risk and mitigations, will also want to assess how NTS customers’ immediate and future needs are being met, be assured that the NTS asset management programmes are fit for purpose, understand the ability to adapt to legislative change, and – ultimately – determine if the NTS is sustainable and ready for the Net Zero challenge. 

The QEM due diligence team

QEM has the technical, operational and regulatory expertise to assist with an in-depth due diligence assessment that focuses on the key considerations of engineering, operation, performance, regulation, and future asset viability. To provide in-depth skillsets throughout these complementary disciplines, we have brought together an outstanding team whose experience spans all of the assets and regulatory requirements. The team we have assembled  has a unique and very recent understanding of National Grid’s Gas Transmission and metering businesses, and in addition, they have collectively been involved in a numerous due diligence projects involving both the sale and acquisition of a wide range of gas transmission and distribution assets around the world.  

They are:

Jeremy Bending – Chartered Engineer who assisted with the successful sale of National Grid assets during the Blackwater project,  former Head of the National Grid Gas Transmission System, Non-Executive Director of Bristol Water, Commercial Operations Manager, Director of Network Strategy and COO for National Grid Gas Distribution.

Tony Voss – Chartered Engineer who led the independent advice feeding the technical due diligence on behalf of Macquarie Bank during their project Blackwater acquisition (and subsequent debt refinancing) of Wales & West Utilities.  Fellow of the Institution of Gas Engineers & Manager, gas infrastructure consultant SME and former Business Unit Director, Operations Director and Technical Director at Costain, Jacobs and Mouchel respectively.

Peter Massey – Chartered Engineer who has due diligence experience on both Asset Owner and Buyer sides of the M&A major sales and acquisitions of National Grid gas assets, including Blackwater and Piccadilly projects. Non-Executive Director at 1Spatial plc, former National Grid Director and Head of UK Network Services (Gas Transmission & Storage).

Tim Tutton – Economist and an expert on economic utility assets regulation. Senior Independent Non-Executive Director at Bristol Water plc and an Associate at the Centre for Competition Policy at the University of East Anglia. A former UK Director of Regulation and Director of the Transmission Price Control Review at National Grid and former Director of UK Utility Regulation at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Tim Green – Engineering consultant experienced in regulatory authority liaison  with over 35 years in the gas and energy industry managing the operations and maintenance of gas networks, together with their design, construction and modification.

Rob Graham – Engineering consultant with over 20 years asset integrity and technology experience, including the development and delivery of Industry training on Steel pipelines and associated installations for high pressure gas transmission and IGE/TD/2 - Assessing the risks from high pressure natural gas pipelines.   

Stuart Elliott – Engineering consultant  is the QEMS Professional Services Director and  has over 15 years’ experience in the UK Gas Transmissions sector.  More recently Stuart has been an integral part of developing the strategy and close out reports for various Hydrogen innovation projects throughout the UK including Northern Gas Network’s H21 Phase 1 & Phase 2.

Let’s talk further

QEM has the breadth and depth of experience to work independently – or to collaborate with your economists and financial specialists – to analyse, inform and so mitigate risk from your investment considerations. To talk more about how QEM can help support your NTS investment decision, please contact:

Rob Graham – Chief Executive Officer

Office: +44 (0)1683 300251

Mobile: +44 (0)7720 846 667

E-mail: [email protected]

Stuart Elliott – Professional Services Director

Office: +44 (0)1683 300251

E-mail: [email protected]

For  additional information on our capabilities and services, please contact [email protected]