By working together on a joint bid, two innovative Irish water engineering companies have secured a place on a major UK procurement framework.
Cleantech Civils, a civil engineering and construction company, and WEW Engineering, a professional water, energy and wastewater engineering consultancy, partnered together to win a place on a framework for the Northumbrian Water Group (NWG).
The applicable Lots are for the Northumbrian Water Operating Area and for the Essex and Suffolk Water Operating Area, each worth £10m to £50m for work carried out over a four-year period.
Cavan, Ireland company Cleantech Civils is a family run business with over 50 years in business delivering complex civil engineering and construction projects for a range of industries, including the water and wastewater sector, in line with international quality, safety and environmental standards.
Its partner in the bid, WEW Engineering, is a professional engineering consultancy based in Kilkenny, Ireland. It provides specialist niche process and MEICA (mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, control and automation) engineering services to the water and wastewater Industry.
Enterprise Ireland support
Enterprise Ireland assisted the companies in securing the win by providing them with the services of a UK market pathfinder with extensive senior level experience in the UK’s water industry, Lee Horrocks.
“Enterprise Ireland and Lee supported us in trying to realise new opportunities in the water market in the UK,” says Killian Smith, managing director of Cleantech Civils.
The company has completed many major public and private sector projects as main contractor, including the upgrade of water and sewer pipeline installation, construction of large sewerage and water treatment plants and pumping stations, as well as flood defence work.
It has offices in Ireland, England and Scotland, where it works extensively in the water industry.
WEW Engineering was set up in 2012, by founders whose experience in the water industry dates to the 1970s. In addition to the municipal sector, the consultancy provides environmental solutions for global industry leaders, such as the PM Group, pharmaceutical companies, and large food and drinks companies.
Cleantech Civils has the engineering works skills, while WEW Engineering provides the design and engineering support in developing water and wastewater treatment solutions.
“We look forward to challenges presented by Northumbrian Water Group and working together we can design and build the solution,” says Tony Mahon, Director WEW Engineering.
“Innovation is a key factor in what NWG is looking for, in relation to boosting sustainability and reducing carbon footprint.”
Flexible and agile
The success of the two SMEs – Cleantech Civils employs 60 people and WEW Engineering 11 – reflects a change in mindset among many awarding bodies when it comes to procurement, says Lisa Slattery, marketing and business development manager at WEW Engineering.
“There is a move away from larger contractors, and looking for more innovative solutions from smaller companies, including those that are flexible and can work collaboratively with other smaller companies to deliver solutions,” she says.
Killian Smith of Cleantech Civils agrees. “Smaller companies are agile and can react quickly at early engagement to support from ideation to fruition on the ground”.
“Our support will assist NWG in meeting their goals in relation to improving efficiencies, lowering bills, having zero interruptions and achieving its ambitious carbon targets”.
Innovation is key
Technology will help. Cleantech Civils has developed a proprietary mobile workers app which allows it to collate mobile data in real time from all its works sites, allowing instant information via dashboard, which brings enormous added value to its clients, points out Aileen Bonner, bid manager at Cleantech Civils, who oversaw the joint bid.
WEW Engineering use AutoCAD Plant 3D to create 3D models of their designs and to generate Smart PIDs (intelligent piping and instrumentation diagrams). Design outputs are fully compatible with Revit and Navisworks. In addition, the company is in the process of achieving BIM level 2 certification.
Also, in their favour is the fact that all three organisations, Cleantech Civils, WEW Engineering and NWG, share similar values. “We mirror one another in terms of being results driven and customer focused,” she adds.
NWG has highly ambitious sustainability targets, including a goal of achieving zero avoidable waste by 2025 and of being carbon neutral by 2027.
The fact that water companies in the UK will have mandatory standardised reporting of carbon capital by mid-2023 is something all contractors and suppliers to the sector must be aware of too. “It’s a major driving factor for this sector,” says Lisa Slattery.
From Ireland to the world
Management at both companies believe further opportunities to partner up will follow.
“Covid and remote meetings has proven without a doubt that we can provide designs from here in Kilkenny to anywhere in the world. We’re currently working remotely on a global beverage corporation’s project in Uruguay,” says Tony Mahon.
“This is a fantastic strategic opportunity for the WEW engineering team to provide our expertise in supporting Cleantech Civils with sustainable engineering solutions for NWG, building relationships, supporting delivery efficiencies, and assisting their ambitious carbon neutrality aims,” he adds.
Both are looking forward to building on their existing portfolio of water and wastewater projects across the UK and Ireland.
“We are delighted to have secured a place on both Lots to support the efficient delivery of the capital programme for Northumbrian Water and their customers,” says Killian Smith.
“We are confident that Cleantech Civils, in partnership with WEW Engineering, will evolve, innovate and add value.”