Case Studies

Case Studies

Our Background

Formac was incorporated in 1981 and became established as a designer of specialised control solutions for the mining and petrochemical sectors. In 1999 Ultimetrics acquired the client, Alkane Energy, (formerly Coalgas Ltd). We designed and built control systems for Alkane to safely extract gas from unmanned, disused coal mines to fuel gas powered electricity generators. We then developed supervisory control and monitoring technology so that Alkane could safely and reliably manage these sites from a central remote location. Our client base has now extended to include Welsh Power, UKAEA, ESG and Sindicatum to name a few. Ultimetrics now offers advanced technology for the power generation market, from supervisory control and monitoring technology to cutting-edge reporting and analytics – enabling clients to gain unique performance and reliability insight for accurate financial projection.

Alkane Energy - Continuous Power Generation

Alkane is the UK’s largest producer of energy derived from CMM (coal mine methane). As Alkane’s key technology partner since 1999, we have provided control systems and equipment, as well as supervisory controls and monitoring and reporting software. Our containerised control systems drive a series of gas pumps which extract the methane gas from abandoned coal mine workings. The control systems deliver the gas at constant pressure, through gas coolers and filters, to containerised gas powered generators which supply electricity to the national grid

Alkane Energy - On Demand Power Generation

We have been providing Alkane with our NGC approved Ultimetric Response technology since 2012.  Alkane continues to expand their portfolio of STOR sites for their new STOR and demand side generation across the UK. Our centrally managed solution currently controls and monitors Alkane’s portfolio of 35 sites which will rise to a total of more than 50 sites by  4th quarter 2018, representing a total generating capacity of 380MW.

Welsh Power

Welsh Power is a leading developer and operator of gas fuelled reserve power generation plants in the UK. Their generation sites are operated remotely to supply power to the grid when instructed. Welsh Power has chosen Ultimetric Response to control and monitor their portfolio of generation sites because it affords them the best operational flexibility, enabling them to optimise how their generation capacity is traded. Ultimetric Response offers a well proven centralised solution, providing Welsh Power with the highest levels of reliability and security. Operating instructions are dispatched to individual sites from their Cardiff HQ over a dual redundant VPN communications network to ensure reliable operation. Intuitive dashboards allow their commercial and engineering management teams to make informed decisions and achieve the highest levels of performance.


Ultimetrics has significantly assisted Welsh Power with the development of its business model by providing a modular centralised system which can be operated and managed efficiently from its headquarters in Cardiff. This provides Welsh Power with a reliable, flexible and scaleable solution to assist in managing its growing portfolio of remote power plants.Our experience and expert knowledge of supervisory controls and monitoring for generator sets has made the integration of Response into Welsh Power’s generation sites straightforward.


Formac was chosen by global sustainable resources company Sindicatum to gather and process data from its Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in Asia. CDM was a process devised under the Kyoto protocol to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases produced by industrial processes. Sindicatum developed and operated methane drainage plants on landfill and coal mines sites which could destroy the methane by using the gas to fuel gas powered electricity generators. Local site owners benefited from the revenue gained from power generation while Sindicatum earned carbon credits, known as ERs (Emission Reduction tonnes) which could be traded internationally


Formac utilised its monitoring technology and knowledge of gas plants to provide a custom solution for Sindicatum. The solution gave Sindicatum remote visibility of plant operation and alarms, secure archiving of data, live graphing, performance statistics and most importantly formal monthly reports of ERs were submitted to the UNFCC for certification. Formac’s server based Report Generator meant that the monthly reports ran at a fraction of the time that it took to process the data on Microsoft Excel, it removed human error, removed compatibility issues and provided a clear colour coded data output in ODF, expediting report auditing by the UNFCC.


ESG is a UK market leader in environmental services which required a solution for its aging fleet of PC based multi-point gas sample systems operating on its portfolio of coal mine and landfill sites.  ESG chose Formac technology to upgrade and replace its existing systems and to provide new client sites with an advanced technical solution


Formac’s latest Ultimetric Sample product gives ESG the core technology with which to design and quickly configure custom solutions for their clients. Ultimetrics brings significant operational benefits such as remote configurability over Internet as well as multi-site management dashboards allowing ESG to respond proactively to calibration issues before they become critical. ESG can also readily configure customized dashboards, HMI displays and enunciator panels for their clients. All data can be easily graphed and exported using the intuitive built in menus.

Harwell UKAEA

Mowlem won a contract for the remediation of a brown field land at UKAEA’s South West Storage area on the Harwell site. The hazardous nature of the material buried on the site in 25 pits meant that an extensive monitoring network was required to record data and to alert personnel while the remediation work was taking place. Mowlem chose Formac’s networked monitoring solution to collect data from 15 gas instruments distributed across the site


A total of 148 gas detectors were continuously monitored on the site and all data was logged by dual redundant servers located at a central monitoring location. Mimic displays and multi level audible and visual alarms were used to alert local personnel when a dangerous gas level was detected. In addition to on-site monitoring, both Mowlem and UKAEA were given remote secure access to the monitoring system so that they could view mimic displays and alarms as well as export the archived data.