UK’s United Utilities names seven partners for ‘record’ investment plan

United Utilities (UU), the UK’s largest listed water company that manages utility and wastewater networks for North West England, named the seven companies that will contribute to the firm’s £13.7 billion (US$17.5 billion) 2025-2030 investment plan, which still requires government approval.

Water utility facility (Image: Adobe Stock) Aerial view of UK water and wastewater works facility. (Image: Adobe Stock)

The spending plan, UU said, would be the largest investment in water and wastewater infrastructure in the North West in more than 100 years

Following what UU called a “competitive tender process”, the utilities firm named the following seven engineering and infrastructure companies as joining the collaboration: C2V, (a VolkerStevin/Jacobs joint venture), Costain, Jacobs, Murphy, Kier Integrated Services, Mott Macdonald Bentley, and MWH Treatment.

All firms are UK-based with the exception of Jacobs, which is located in the US.

UU said the partnership would be responsible for more than $3.8 billion worth major infrastructure builds and improvements in the region. Works would include upgrades to wastewater treatment facilities, with goals to help reduce storm overflow activations. The five-year slate of work, UU said, would be the largest spill reduction programme in the UK, seeking to protect more than 500km (311 mi) of rivers and bathing waters.

Jane Simpson, UU’s capital delivery director, said, “It will be our most ambitious programme yet and, by putting this partnership in place with some of the best design and construction companies in the country, it allows us to get to work quickly and deliver the transformation that we know our customers want to see.”

The company added the investment would support 30,000 jobs, including 7,000 new jobs within UU, and a wider supply chain, “bringing investment in skills and opportunities to the heart of local communities and contribute $44.7 billion of economic value across the region.”

Specifics of the 2025-2030 Asset Management Period 8 (AMP8) period

Costain released some specifics on its role in the multi-year partnership plan.

The company said its role in the AMP8 programme, which is renewed every five years, is to work with UU and its partners to form an integrated enterprise delivery organisation to deliver upgrades to United Utilities’ complex infrastructure and non-infrastructure assets, including water and wastewater treatment sites, pumping stations, and reservoirs.

Costain said its services will include project management and engineering and design services; including ground investigations, geotechnical studies, mechanical and electrical engineering, tunnel design, planning services, technical support, asset data gathering and environmental management.

The firm said it also plans to offer construction and asset supportability services, including all enabling, temporary works, landscape, and biodiversity mitigation requirements and coordination of construction activities to ensure regulatory compliance.

The investment plan is now in the hands of Ofwat (the Water Services Regulation Authority for England and Wales), which recently announced its consideration for which will be delayed. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s call for a 4 July general election pushed the plan’s consideration back to 11 July.

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