The biggest contracts in water industry history

Thames Water and Murphy and Morrison Utility Services joint venture sign biggest contracts in water industry history

  • Infrastructure alliance and eight₂O to deliver billions of pounds of work and services for Thames Water
  • Partnerships feature some of Britain’s biggest companies
  • Ceremony in London last week sets seal on largest contracts ever signed in UK water industry
  • The two major new alliances set to deliver billions of pounds worth of work and services for Thames Water signed long-term delivery contracts at a ceremony in London on 30 January.

Thames Water chief executive Martin Baggs and the CEOs and senior leaders of the partner companies gathered at the Gherkin, in the heart of the capital’s financial district, to set the seal on the largest contracts ever signed in the UK water industry.

Agility Alliance, made up of J. Murphy & Sons Ltd and Morrison Utility Services, and KCD, involving Kier services Ltd and Clancy Docwra are set up to deliver around £1bn worth of water network and developer services over the AMP6 period, with an option to include up to a further £0.5bn in additional network and metering services in the future. Both joint ventures were chosen after a rigorous and innovative selection process that broke new ground in the water industry.

eight₂O comprises two design and build joint ventures – Costain and Atkins, and Skanska, MWH Treatment and Balfour Beatty (SMB) – as well as a programme manager in MWH and technology innovator IBM, with Thames Water acting as both client and partner. Together, they will carry out between £2bn and £2.5bn of work over the AMP6 period (2015-2020), with potential to extend contracts beyond this to 2025.

Immediately before today’s signing ceremony, Thames Water chief executive Martin Baggs hosted a meeting of all the CEOs involved in the two alliances. He hailed the new partnerships as a fantastic opportunity, stressing all involved should be proud of the work that has been done to bring companies and joint ventures together in what he said heralded a “whole new era” for the water industry.

He said: “The alliances will change the way we work and change the mindset, but it’s fantastic to have a team that’s all working together, focusing on our priorities of health and safety and customer service. Problems will be problems for all of us but we’ll share the benefits as well.”

Matthew Behan, chief executive officer, J. Murphy & Sons Ltd, said: “We are delighted to confirm our commitment to our long-term strategic partnership with Thames Water, Morrison Utility Services and Kier Clancy Docwra, operating as the Infrastructure Alliance. Through successful collaboration we will provide innovative and sustainable solutions that will enhance operational performance, thereby delivering the required high level of customer service and sustainable efficiencies."

Charles Morrison, chief executive officer, Morrison Utility Services, commented: “Morrison Utility Services has had a strong relationship with Thames Water stretching back over 20 years but with the launch of this one-team approach we’re committed to improve all areas, including customer service and leakage, and building on their excellent safety performance. This is a great opportunity for us and we’re excited and proud to be a part of it. We believe this is changing the landscape of the water industry with the one-team approach that’s fully integrated for design, procurement and delivery. We’re all relying on each other and know that our overall performance is dependent on our alliance partners and we realise we have to support each other.”

Using the alliance model, Thames Water aims to achieve greater efficiency in the delivery of its business plan, with a greater emphasis on collaborative teamwork, innovation, health and safety, sustainability and an integrated supply community, giving long-term value to the company and its customers.

Thames Water’s wholesale water MD, Bob Collington, said: “Agility and KCD are joining the Thames Water family, along with our other partners in eight₂O, to deliver our AMP6 programme and beyond.

“We strongly believe these two alliances will create aligned goals and objectives throughout the supply chain, putting us in the best possible position to deliver customer and stakeholder promises.”

His opposite number in wastewater, Lawrence Gosden, said: “We started this complete transformation in the way we do business in 2012 and to see it now, with all the teams in place and this level of energy and enthusiasm for what we’re trying to achieve, is remarkable.

“The water industry since privatisation has come a long way but this is a dramatic change in the level of customer focus. These alliances are founded on what customers have been telling us but the only way to deliver customer satisfaction and deliver affordable bills is to innovate and create an environment where innovation flourishes.”


Posted 05 February 2015

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