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Water companies start tendering early

Water companies have begun tendering contracts for work to be carried out between 2010 to 2015 earlier than expected, in a bid to reduce the usual delay at the start of the five year spending cycle.

Thames Water and Anglian Water are currently tendering contracts for consultancy and contracting work for the sector’s fifth asset management period (AMP 5). These follow Severn Trent, which announced its consultancy partners earlier this month (news last week).

"There is a general trend to get things done earlier. In the past these contracts have been let about 12 months before the next period starts, and in some cases even later," said director at water industry suppliers group British Water Paul Mullord.

Another reason for early award is the fact that water companies are looking to spend more than ever on replacing and upgrading infrastructure. Thames is currently prequalifying consultants and contractors for a series of seven main contract packages to enable it to deliver a proposed £6.5bn work programme. "We will be letting large performance based contracts for 40% of the whole workload with top up programmes tendered annually," said a spokesman.

The packages include: network programme contracts for design and construction of works on water mains, sewers, pipelines, tunnels and reservoirs; process programme contracts for similar services on water and sewage treatment works; repair and maintenance frameworks; developer services; blockage and clearance frameworks, revenue metering and general support services.

Meanwhile Anglian Water is tendering for a maximum of six consultants and contractors to deliver its £2.5bn capital programme. The firm said it also retains the option of retaining firms that are working on its current framework.

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