Yorkshire split into four regions

Yorkshire Water's preferred contractors for the next five years have been announced. To simplify bidding for smaller projects, Yorkshire has divided up its territory into four zones.

According to Ofwat, Yorkshire Water was the most efficient of all water and sewerage companies in terms of capital investment during AMP2. During AMP3 Yorkshire plans to deal with fewer contractors, preferring the partnership principle in order to save money and build stable business relationships.

For contractual arrangements during AMP3, Yorkshire has decided to divide up its territory into four areas; north, south, east and west. Consortia for each region have been awarded contracts to complete all wastewater improvement schemes worth 2M or less. For larger projects several other consultants and contractors will also get a look-in, including Taylor Woodrow, McLoughlin, Balfour Maunsell Haswell and Miller. A single 75M region-wide contract has also been awarded to Morrison in conjunction with Earth-Tech to provide improved water treatment infrastructure over the next five years. In order to retain flexibility, all contracts worth more than 2M - about 15% of the current capital programme - will be subject to the traditional tendering process. However, Yorkshire has again reduced the list of contractors who will be invited to bid.

A target-cost approach will be used to manage expenditure. If contractors undercut the budgets they have been set, they will share the savings with Yorkshire Water. If the project in question goes over budget, Yorkshire and the contractor will share the extra costs. Yorkshire's programme delivery manager John Spain said: "Target costing has been used before on individual projects, but this is the first time it has been used for a programme of this size as a whole." Capital resources manager Mike Hutson explained the advantages of such an approach: "Contractors will have a continuity of work over the next five years which will allow them to concentrate on a geographic region or specific type of work. This will enable the contractor to gather more experience in a certain area, which will be advantageous to the contractor and Yorkshire Water because they will become specialised in that field."

The largest contract awarded by Yorkshire during AMP2 was the 50M contract for Kvaerner Construction to build a new STW for Hull, as part of Yorkshire's 200M Humber clean-up programme. The sequential batch reactor (SBR) - type plant is being built on a brownfield site near Saltend to the east of the city. Work began on the plant in the spring of 1998, along with nearly 11km of giant sewers which will carry up to 150Ml/d of sewage.

Tunnelling hitch
Although the STW itself is almost complete, a partial collapse when tunnelling beneath the city has seriously delayed completion of the sewer links. Contractor Miller Civil Engineering has finished the outfall tunnel but is still working on the upstream section.



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