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NI Water appoints consortium to design key North Foreshore projects

09 April 2024 10:13

 | NI Water News

NI Water has awarded an ECI (Early Contractor Involvement) contract to progress designs for the much-needed upgrade of three Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) around the North Foreshore area of Belfast Lough to an integrated team comprising local contractor, GRAHAM; civil designer, Stantec and process contractor, MWH Treatment.

Working collaboratively with NI Water and its project managers from Belfast-based RPS, the appointed team will strive to develop innovative, efficient and sustainable solutions for the extensive upgrade of the Whitehouse, Greenisland and Carrickfergus WwTW within their existing sites.

Infrastructure Minister, John O’Dowd, said: “I welcome this partnership which marks an important step in the development of these three strategic projects to upgrade key wastewater infrastructure. These upgrades form an integral part of the Living With Water in Belfast Plan, which will 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 total-cost solutions for these critical wastewater infrastructure assets. The delivery of these schemes will depend on the public expenditure processes and funding availability”

Tzvetelina Bogoina, Director of Infrastructure Delivery at NI Water added: “NI Water is delighted to take yet another step forward in its delivery of the much-needed Living With Water in Belfast Plan with the appointment of this specialist team for the extensive upgrade of the Whitehouse, Greenisland and Carrickfergus WwTW.

“This appointment marks another key milestone in NI Water’s efforts to progress the multi-year Living With Water in Belfast Plan.  This appointment follows previous ECI contracts awarded in recent times for critical upgrades at Belfast WwTW, Kinnegar WwTW and Sydenham Wastewater Pumping Station. As part of this important initial phase, the integrated ‘One Team’ will develop and test forward-thinking, sustainable and robust solutions that will ensure these key publicly owned assets can support a flourishing environment and growing economy for decades to come. The team will also 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, Tzvetelina continued: “Due to constraints in available 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 WwTW – Belfast, Kinnegar, Whitehouse, Carrickfergus and Greenisland – all within the vicinity of Belfast Lough, as well as extensive network improvements. If fully funded over the next decade, the upgrades will safeguard the future operation of the WwTW, thereby supporting every aspect of day-to-day living. Furthermore, the upgrades will lead to improved water quality in Belfast Lough and with increased capacity at each WwTW, new housing can be accommodated.

Welcoming the ECI team on board Paddy Brow, NI Water Project Sponsor said: “We are delighted to have this team of wastewater specialists support NI Water as we progress proposals for the North Foreshore projects. The highly experienced integrated team is currently working through an optioneering exercise to develop the most efficient solution for the upgrade of Whitehouse WwTW, located off the Shore Road in Newtownabbey. Subject to funding availability in NI Water’s current PC21 programme, which runs to March 2027, work to fully modernise the Whitehouse facility within the confines of the existing site will get underway.

“While designs for Greenisland and Carrickfergus will also be developed under this ECI appointment, construction work isn’t expected to commence until our PC27 work programme gets underway which extends to 2033. NI Water looks forward to working with this ECI team to progress the best possible designs for the North Foreshore projects and ultimately delivering these important upgrades if funding for the Living With Water projects is made available.”


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Notes to editors:

“Living With Water in Belfast – An Integrated Plan for Drainage and Wastewater Management in Greater Belfast” was published by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) in November 2021, following Executive endorsement. The Plan aims to address the increasing demands on the city’s wastewater and drainage network caused by population growth and increase in commerce, as well as the more frequent extreme weather events resulting from climate change.

At the time of publication, the funding required for implementation of the Plan was estimated at approximately £1.4bn of capital investment over 12 years (2021-2033).

Inflationary costs in the construction industry since November 2021, along with some changes to project scope, have impacted programme costs. The delivery of these schemes will depend on the public expenditure processes and funding availability.

The core objectives of the plan are to provide the drainage and wastewater treatment infrastructure needed to help protect Belfast against flooding, enhance the environment, and enable the city to grow.

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