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Severn Trent Water announces engineering consultancy framework

Severn Trent has become the first water company to announce its consultancy framework for its £2.9bn capital spend in the next regulatory period.

In an attempt to smooth out the traditional peaks and troughs in water spending, Severn Trent has appointed Atkins, Mouchel, MWH and a Hyder/Faber Maunsell AECOM joint venture more than one year
ahead of regulator Ofwat's final decision on spending for Asset Management Plan (AMP) 5, which starts April 2010.

"Instead of following the accepted traditional 'construct only' mode, we are now employing a different way of selecting the consultants with whom we want to work," said Severn Trent purchasing and supply commercial manager Paul Goddard.

"For AMP5, our selected consultants will be helping us in our role of 'expert client', working predominantly on options and
feasibility studies, with the design and build work to then be carried
out by contractors."

Atkins water operations manager Nick Harney praised Severn Trent's announcement.

"Severn Trent has taken a welcome industry lead by bringing forward the AMP5 investment programme,” he said.

While exact details of Severn Trent's spend during AMP5 cannot be confirmed until Ofwat's price determination in 2009, much of the consultancy framework is likely to focus on improving water supply, including the creation of aqueducts to get water to Severn Trent's more remote customers.

Severn Trent Water supplies more than 8M people across Mid Wales and the Midlands.

Since the appointment made earlier this month, but only confirmed last week, the Hyder/Faber Maunsell AECOM joint venture has already been asked to undertake feasibility studies for a range of projects including major water supply improvements in the West Midlands and improving water supplies to isolated communities.

The team is also working with Severn Trent to design sewage schemes and assist in reviewing flood prevention methods.

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