NI Water has awarded an ECI (Early Contractor Involvement) contract for the upgrade of Kinnegar Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) and Sydenham Wastewater Pumping Station (WwPS) to an all-Ireland integrated team comprising Farrans Construction, TES-CAW JV and AECOM.
Working collaboratively with NI Water and its project managers from RPS and AtkinsRéalis, the appointed team will strive to develop innovative, efficient and sustainable solutions for the delivery of a modern new pumping station at Sydenham and the extensive upgrade of Kinnegar WwTW within the existing site on the edge of Holywood.
Infrastructure Minister, John O’Dowd, said: “I welcome this partnership which marks an important step in the development of these two strategic projects. These form an integral part of the Living with Water in Belfast Plan, which aims to deliver a long-term approach to drainage and wastewater management to help protect communities from flooding, provide a cleaner and greener environment and ensure the wider Belfast area remains open for business and investment. This work will help inform the design of the most effective and efficient solutions for these critical wastewater infrastructure assets.”
Sara Venning, NI Water’s CEO added: “NI Water is delighted to take a further step forward in its delivery of the ambitious Living With Water in Belfast Plan with the appointment of this specialist team for the extensive upgrade of Kinnegar WwTW and construction of the new Sydenham WwPS.
“These industry experts, who have many years’ experience in the water sector in Ireland and further afield, will work collaboratively under an ECI contract with NI Water and our local project management consultants, RPS and AtkinsRéalis, as ‘One Team’ to develop forward-thinking, sustainable and robust solutions that will ensure these key NI Water assets can support a flourishing environment and growing economy for decades to come. As part of the important ECI phase, the One Team will progress the projects through the relevant planning processes and liaise with stakeholders on our proposals going forward.
Speaking about the wider Living With Water in Belfast Plan and the strategic need for these upgrades, Sara continued: “Due to constraints in investment over the past 20 years, many parts of the wastewater and drainage infrastructure serving greater Belfast are now having to operate at or over their original design capacity. While NI Water has been working hard to ensure that current Northern Ireland Environment Agency standards can be met, the full implementation of the Living With Water in Belfast Plan is critical to ensuring a long-term solution to the city’s extensive wastewater needs.”
The Living With Water in Belfast Plan includes major upgrades to a total of five wastewater treatment works – Belfast WwTW, Kinnegar WwTW, Whitehouse WwTW, Carrickfergus WwTW and Greenisland WwTW – all within the vicinity of Belfast Lough, as well as extensive network improvements. If fully funded, the upgrades will safeguard the future operation of the treatment plants, thereby supporting every aspect of day-to-day living. Furthermore, the upgrades will lead to improved water quality in the River Lagan and Belfast Lough and with increased capacity at each treatment works, new housing can be accommodated.
Welcoming the team on board Paddy Brow, Project Sponsor for the upgrade of Kinnegar WwTW, said: “We are delighted to have this local team of wastewater specialists support NI Water as we progress proposals for the Kinnegar and Sydenham projects. The integrated team is currently working through an optioneering exercise to develop the most efficient solution for the upgrade of Kinnegar WwTW, which will see the sympathetic modernisation of the 60-year-old facility within the confines of the existing site. An environmental statement for the project is being prepared and a planning application will be submitted this year following community consultation.
“The Kinnegar and Sydenham projects are inextricably linked (Sydenham forwards flows to Kinnegar for treatment) and having the same ECI team involved in both schemes will maximise efficiencies and foster innovations in delivery. The appointment of this all-Ireland ECI team has helped to safeguard jobs within the local construction industry in the short term, with longer-term job creation possible if funding for the Living With Water projects is approved.”