New office for CNG ahead of move into electricity

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COMMERCIAL gas supplier CNG is moving to new offices ahead of its expansion into the electricity market.

The Harrogte-based firm, which has a turnover of almost £200m, is moving its 94 staff to No 2 Victoria Avenue in Harrogate next week.

It is currently spread across offices in two buildings on the same site, totalling about 6,000 sq ft.

The move to two open plan offices in the new building will give the company, which has taken on 10 new staff in recent weeks, an extra 4,000 sq ft.

CNG supplies commercial natural gas to over 40,000 businesses, from family firms to blue chip corporations, across sectors including retail, leisure and hospitality.

It also has a wholesale division which ships gas for number of suppliers.

The company currently supplies four per cent of the commercial gas market and hopes to grow that to 10 per cent over the next decade.

But the company, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, is planning to move into the electricity market in 2016, primarily supplying small and medium-sized firms as well as replicating its wholesale gas shipping division for the electricity market.

Managing director Jacqui Hall said: “We have a good understanding of the utilities market and its easy for us to get help because we are already in that arena. It’s going to be exciting and I am looking forward to the challenge.”

CNG is initially planning to invest about £1m in setting up the electricity side of the business and is currently talking to IT systems suppliers.

The company will rely on bank support and support from the partners from whom it buys power as well as reinvesting money from its gas business for funding.

Mrs Hall said: “We have been slowly developing our knowledge and understanding of the market over the last 18 months and we have got three people working in that area now.

“We want to tap into markets we already supply and give the Big Six energy suppliers a run for their money.”

The latest new recruits have been taken on in a number of departments including sales development.

Changes following the move to the new office include a new customer service desk and the appointment of a customer experience manager.

CNG started in 1994 following the deregulation of the UK gas industry.

In 2011, the company went through the first stage of a management buyout, purchasing shares back from Glencore with the help of a £2.25m loan from the Co-operative Bank.

Glencore completed its merger with mining giant Xstrata in March last year to create one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies.

CNG completed its buyout last year with the purchase of preference shares from the founder’s family.