In a first for the oil and gas industry, energy giant Centrica will use a Vodafone 5G mobile private network (MPN) to create a “fully connected digital ecosystem” at one of its natural gas plants in Easington, Yorkshire.
Dedicated solely for Centrica’s use, the MPN’s low latency, high speed and very stable connection, will enable devices and equipment throughout the Easington plant to record and transmit data.
This real-time indoor and outdoor monitoring of the plant and its equipment will improve maintenance and safety. Workers will be alerted to any gas emissions, for example, or receive early warnings of any equipment on the point of failure.
The MPN will be built by Vodafone Business using Ericsson equipment.
The announcement follows the news of vehicle manufacturer Ford’s intention to use a Vodafone 5G mobile private network at their electric car plant in Essex.
Centrica’s Easington facility is of vital national importance, receiving offshore natural gas via immense pipelines. Gas is then processed and stored there, before eventual distribution to millions of homes across the UK.