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NI Water Appoints Specialist ‘One Team’ For Extensive Upgrade of Belfast Wastewater Treatment Works

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Northern Ireland Water

3rd Aug 2023

NI Water has successfully achieved a key milestone with the appointment of the delivery team for the significant upgrade of Belfast Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW), as part of the Living With Water in Belfast Plan.

The ECI (Early Contractor Involvement) contract for the major project has been awarded to an integrated team comprising Kier-Bam (civil contractor), Stantec (civil engineering design consultant) and MWH Treatment (process contractor).

Making the announcement, Sara Venning, NI Water’s CEO said: “NI Water is delighted to drive forward its elements of the ambitious Living With Water in Belfast Plan with the appointment of this specialist team for the extensive upgrade of Belfast WwTW, which is located in Duncrue.

“These industry experts, who have many years’ experience in the water sector worldwide, will work collaboratively under an ECI contract with NI Water and our local project management consultants, McAdam Design, as ‘One Team’ to develop a sustainable and robust solution that will ensure the works can help support a growing economy for decades to come. Following the successful completion of the important ECI phase in 2024, it is intended that the Phase 1 construction will get underway, subject to planning.”

Phase 1 will comprise a six-year programme of work as part of the Living with Water in Belfast Plan. It follows a recently completed Phase 0 interim upgrade, which included the construction of two new treatment tanks that have a volume equivalent to six Olympic-size swimming pools.

Speaking about the next phase of work, Sara continued: “The integrated team is currently working through an optioneering exercise to develop the most cost-effective and efficient designs, which will centre on the re-use of most of the existing assets within the confines of the existing site.

“These designs will more than double the capacity of the original treatment works and ensure the city’s wastewater treatment needs are met well into the future. Members of Belfast WwTW One Team will liaise with the relevant authorities and local community on the project and any planning requirements going forward.”

The Belfast WwTW upgrade – which is due to get underway mid 2024 – forms an integral part of the Living with Water in Belfast Plan, which aims to deliver a long-term approach to drainage and wastewater management that will help protect the community from flooding, provide a cleaner and greener environment and ensure Belfast remains open for business and investment.

Adrian Black, NI Water’s Project Manager for Belfast WwTW added: “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. Belfast WwTW plays a crucial role in supporting the city’s myriad of businesses and households on a daily basis and NI Water has been working hard to ensure that current Northern Ireland Environment Agency standards can be met.

“This major project will safeguard the future operation of the treatment plant, ensuring that Belfast WwTW can support a healthy environment, improve water quality in the River Lagan and Belfast Lough and sustain a growing economy. The upgraded treatment plant will also support the development of much-needed homes and help boost job creation within the construction industry.

“As we move forward with developing designs for the WwTW improvements, we will work closely with the local community and other stakeholders ahead of work commencing at the Duncrue site in mid-2024.”