United Utilities selects Costain, Jacobs, Murphy for £13.7bn AMP8


AMP8 Plan

United Utilities has announced its seven engineering and infrastructure businesses to help deliver its £13.7bn investment plan for the eighth asset management period (AMP8) between 2025 and 2030.


The appointees are: C2V (a VolkerStevin/Jacobs joint venture), Costain, Jacobs, Murphy, Kier Integrated Services, Mott MacDonald Bentley and MWH Treatment. The agreement includes a potential extension through the next five year AMP period, 2030 to 2035.


The utility company has described its £13.7bn plans as “the largest investment in water and wastewater infrastructure in the North West in more than a century”.


According to United Utilities, the plan will support 30,000 jobs, including 7,000 new ones, boosting skills and opportunities in North West communities and contributing £35bn to the regional economy.


The plan awaits approval by regulator Ofwat, with decisions on all AMP8 business plans, totaling £96bn, due in December.


United Utilities’ AMP8 partners were selected through a competitive tender process and will allow the water company access to the best use of expertise and innovation. Additionally, the partners will collaborate quickly to deliver transformation for customers and the environment in the North West.


If the plan is approved, the partnership will be responsible for over £3bn of major infrastructure in the region including upgrades to wastewater treatment works and reducing storm overflow activations by delivering the largest spill reduction programme in the UK.


United Utilities will also utilise the local supply chain for other projects and will be announcing further delivery partners in the coming months.


This combination of large enterprises and local companies for delivery of AMP8 plans is a strategy being utilised by numerous water companies to face up to the challenges of delivering the ambitious investment plans, NCE has heard.


In March, United Utilities appointed Jacobs and Tetra Tech RPS to its strategic solutions team for AMP8 and AMP9. The water company is also on the hunt for design development partners to join its AMP8 team in contracts worth £120M.


Costain has said that the services it will provide through the agreement with United Utilities include project management, engineering and design services. These include ground investigations, geotechnical studies, mechanical and electrical engineering, tunnel design, planning services, technical support, asset data gathering and environmental management.


Costain will also provide construction and asset supportability services, including all enabling, temporary works, landscape and biodiversity mitigation requirements and coordination of construction activities to ensure regulatory compliance.


Costain CEO Alex Vaughan said: “We’re delighted that this new contract win extends our relationship with United Utilities and that we can bring our leading strategic expertise to support upgrades of its critical infrastructure. This announcement builds on our growing positions with the leading water companies as they prepare for the vital AMP8 investment period.


“This appointment demonstrates our strong track record for delivering pioneering solutions, the strength of our leading water expertise, as well as our successful reputation for working in effective collaborative enterprises. It also builds on our existing Managed Services Framework with United Utilities, now in its sixth year of operation. Together, we will safeguard the supply of water and deliver committed environmental improvements.


“In addition, this work will be transformative for the local economy, increasing prosperity, creating jobs, and developing skills across the region. It also reinforces our commitment to improving infrastructure in the North-West of England, where we’re already working to upgrade the region’s transportation and energy networks, generating opportunities for the local supply chain and driving growth.”


United Utilities capital delivery director Jane Simpson said: “We’re really excited that we have secured some strong delivery partners to ensure we can deliver on our ambitious plans to transform infrastructure and services in the North West.


“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.”


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