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Scottish Water licenses Wessex Water

Thursday 12th November 2009
Courtesy: Scottish Water

Scottish Water is taking steps to ensure a smooth transition into their 2010-2015 capital investment programme. The utility firm has signed an “early start agreement” with a consortium consisting of Jacobs UK Ltd, Laing O’Rourke Infrastructure Ltd and Veolia Water UK Plc as well as outsourcing to Wessex Water.

The early start agreement means that Scottish Water enters the next investment period with a running start in April 2010, avoiding a lull in activity as a result of the changeover between investment periods. Preparatory work on selected projects will be completed so when full funding is available in April 2010, detailed design and back office work is at an advanced stage and construction work can progress quickly.

The consortium was recently named as preferred bidder for the new Scottish Water Solutions, Scottish Water’s project delivery arm. Early start agreement will be followed by negotiations to form a new commercial partnership with a view to awarding a contract in early 2010.

The new partnership will deliver a substantial proportion of Scottish Water’s next capital investment programme. Scottish Waters commercial director, Chris Banks, said: “In the Water Industry Commission’s draft determination, published on 30 June, we have been given a tough challenge from our regulator to deliver our future capital programme even more cost effectively. We await the Water Industry Commission’s final determination for 2010-15 which will be issued later this month.

“We will now work with the preferred bidder to meet this challenge and reach full contract agreement in early 2010, so that they can help deliver the next round of improvements that the Scottish water industry needs”.

Richard Ackroyd, (left) Scottish Water’s CEO, said: “It is key to the success of this next investment programme that we work with the right partners with the right skills and experience. Our new partners will help us deliver our projects within budgets and using leading edge practices.”

Scottish Water has also recently announced a number of new capital delivery partners (CDPs) who will work with both Scottish Water’s in house Capital Investment Delivery and Scottish Water Solutions.

Ackroyd added: “This investment programme will provide employment for several thousand construction workers in Scotland for the next five years. While we have named our delivery partners, this investment programme will provide opportunities for many smaller companies throughout Scotland working as sub contractors in our wider supply chain.

“This is a different business model within the new Scottish Water Solutions and a different approach to how projects will be delivered. More work will be exposed to competition through mini competitions and open market tender”.

Outsourcing

Scottish councils and utilities arevery enthusiastic about outsourcing services. Edinburgh Council's parking fines are dealt with across the borders, the Portobello beaches are swept clean by another English service, according to its Brighton logo.

Now it's the turn of Scottish water with Wessex Water Enterprises Limited awarded licences to supply water services and sewerage services. It will operate under the name Wessex Water Utility Solutions.

Chris Banks, commercial Director, Scottish Water, said: “We welcome the award of licenses to Wessex Water. We are in discussions to agree the contractual arrangements for the supply of wholesale water and sewerage services by Wessex Water. It will join the suite of suppliers working in the retail water and sewerage supply market in Scotland."
 
The Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) granted Wessex Water a water services licence and a sewerage services licence on 29th October.

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