Procurement policy
In September 2002, Northumbrian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water appointed Atkins Faithful & Gould and EC Harris as strategic partners to help manage its near £1bn improvement programme. This three-year partnership, which may be extended by two years, will provide cost management, project management and performance management support as well as contract administration and business planning.

The company has framework agreements with four contractors that deliver much of its capital programme. These contracts cover the current investment period, April 2000 to March 2005 and will be retendered for the next review period, April 2005 to March 2010.

Current and future projects
Over the five-year period April 2000 to March 2005, Northumbrian Water's and Essex & Suffolk Water's investment plans, as agreed with Ofwat, amounted to £900m, in 2000 prices. Of this, Northumbrian Water planned to invest £730m and Essex & Suffolk Water £170m.

The largest element of Northumbrian Water's capital programme is in sewage treatment, some 40% of the total. The main driver for this expenditure is EC legislation aimed at cleaning up beaches. The remainder relates to water mains refurbishment, 25% of the total, followed by water treatment plants, 16%, and sewer renewals and maintenance, 12%.

Essex & Suffolk Water's investment programme is totally on drinking water. The refurbishment and maintenance of water mains will account for £62m, with some £50m going on plant and equipment. Improvements to water resources will require an investment of £30m, and £28m has been provided for new developments.

Over the next two years, Ofwat has forecast that investment is likely to fall slightly, from £193m in 2001/02, to £180m in this financial year, 2002/03, and £175m in 2003/04. The water regulator has started the process for setting the company's investment programme for the period April 2005 to March 2010, expected to be lower than the current five-year programme.

Essential information
Northumbrian Water is part of Ondeo Services UK, formerly called Northumbrian Water Group, and comprises Northumbrian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water. Ondeo itself is part of the Suez Company, which is a global player in many utility markets.

Northumbrian Water provides water and sewerage services to a population of about 2.6 million in the north-east of England, and Essex & Suffolk Water just supplies water to nearly 1.8 million people in the South-east.

In early 2002, an Ondeo consortium won a £43m design, build and operate contract for a wastewater treatment plant to serve the city of Cork. The successful consortium – which includes Ondeo Degrémont and Northumbrian Water's international division (part of Ondeo Services) – will construct the works at Carrigrennan, Little Island.


Key contact
Supply chain manager Barry Leighton Contact details
Abbey Road, Pity Me,
Durham DH1 5FJ
phone: 0191-284 3151
fax: 0191-384 1920

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