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Exclusive: Thames Water £3bn alliance winners revealed

Exclusive: Construction News understands two joint ventures have won the race for Thames Water’s £3bn alliance, which was originally due to be shared between four contractor/consultant JVs.

It is understood that a Skanska / MWH / Balfour Beatty JV and a Costain / Veolia / Atkins team have been chosen for the programme.

The original seven shortlisted joint ventures were revealed in February; the race then narrowed to five in March.

The joint ventures to miss out are:


A joint venture between Amec and May Gurney and a second team entitled KUV Water, which included Kier, URS and VolkerFitzpatrick, lost out on the design-and-build places on the alliance when the shortlist was narrowed to five design-and-build firms.

It was revealed in February that two other joint ventures had failed to prequalify for the tendering process: one comprising Bam Nuttall, Grontmij and Enterprise and a second formed of Morgan Sindall and Arup.

The alliance will decide plans for the construction of schemes under Thames Water’s asset management period six (AMP6), which will run from 2015 to 2020.

Thames Water will sit on the alliance alongside the design-and-build entities, programme manager and technology and innovation provider.

It is understood MWH has also been chosen as programme manager, beating rival bids from CH2M Hill and Amec, while IBM has been tipped as the winner of the technology and innovation provider place on the alliance.

Thames Water declined to comment on the alliance bidders when contacted by Construction News.

Aecom, Jacobs and Mott MacDonald had been in the running to be the programme manager for the alliance, but lost out earlier in the bidding process.

The alliance will help to prepare a business plan for AMP6, which will be submitted to the regulator Ofwat ahead of the 2014 industry review of prices.

Thames Water capital delivery director Lawrence Gosden told Construction News in January that there would be four design-and-build entities on the alliance who would have held more than 50 per cent of the decision-making powers.

However, that stance has since been changed with the decision to proceed with just two design-and-build entities. The contract awards are currently in standstill period.

It is understood that the alliance members will decide how and when to procure work outside of the alliance, so contractors who have missed out on design-and-build places will still be able to win work with Thames Water during AMP6.

Bidders were evaluated on performance under categories such as sustainability, community engagement and health and safety as well as cost.

Full details of the new alliance were revealed in January. Contractors expected to share supply chain members as they carry out essential upgrades to water pipes, treatment facilities and sewers across London and the Thames Valley in AMP6.

The alliance, which will be worth between £2bn and £3bn, will not include work under major schemes such as the £4.1bn Thames Tideway tunnel, which is undergoing a separate procurement process.

Among the bidders to miss out that are currently working with Thames Water on AMP5 (see box) is Black & Veatch, which is working on improving and maintaining sewage and water treatments plants in the Thames Valley region and delivering the Mogden Sewage Treatment Works.

AMP5 Contractors

Black & Veatch – improving and maintaining sewage and water treatments plants in the Thames Valley region. Is also delivering the Mogden project.

GB (Galliford Tryand Biwater Treatment [now MWH Treatment]) – Long Reach project.

GBM (Galliford Try, Biwater [now MWH Ltd] and Mott MacDonald) – north and south London water and sewage treatment works.

Interserve is delivering the Riverside Projects, both for upgrade and digestion.

MGJV (Morrison Utility Services/Galliford Try) – south London water pipes and sewers.

J Murphy – Deephams inlet works.

MVB (Morgan Sindall, Vinci Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche) – the Lee Tunnel.

Optimise (J Murphy and Sons, Barhale Construction, Clancy Docwra and MWH) – north London and Thames Valley water pipes and sewers.

Tamesis (Laing O’Rourke and Imtech Process) – Beckton and Crossness projects.

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