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SA Water awards major contracts for billion-dollar capital works program

SA Water has signed agreements with five construction partners to deliver its $1.6 billion capital works program over the next four years. 

Contracts for up to $500 million each were finalised last week between SA Water and Fulton Hogan Utilities, John Holland and Guidera O’Connor as a joint venture, and McConnell Dowell and Diona, also a joint venture. 

The partners will begin delivering projects this month, which SA Water Chief Executive David Ryan said would help provide work at a time when it is needed most, with the economy under stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Investing in water networks has wide reaching and long-term benefits, from the jobs created during construction to the sustainable prosperity of a business able to access fit-for-purpose water, and the ongoing health and social outcomes that clean water and reliable sanitation services embed across generations,” he said.

The agreements will combine the construction companies’ expertise with the design, project management and water industry knowledge of SA Water, Ryan said, along with the front-end engineering skills of KBR and Aurecon, which have also signed on for the 2020-24 period.

“Each of our new major framework delivery partners brings skills and experience they will share with our people as they co-manage programs of works, to ensure our customers benefit from improved service reliability and quality,” he said.

“Together, we will deliver a diverse portfolio of projects over the next four years, which includes dam upgrades, water tank refurbishments, water main replacements, sewerage network upgrades and water treatment process changes, with work spread across both the metropolitan area and regions.”

As part of the joint venture, John Holland will be responsible for delivering the engineering design and construction for the renewal and upgrade of water assets, storage tanks, pipe networks, pump stations and reservoirs. 

John Holland General Manager Infrastructure VIC/SA/TAS Struan Collins said these projects would deliver a breadth of benefits for local communities.

“South Australia (SA) is one of the driest jurisdictions on earth, therefore we understand the importance of delivering reliable and sustainable water services for communities across the state,” Collins said.

Furthermore, the program would have long-lasting impacts, said Mal Shepherd, John Holland General Manager Water Services.

“In collaboration with SA Water, we are striving to deliver innovative solutions that are reliable, resilient and sustainable for future generations,” Shepherd said.

“In securing this program, our team displayed a compelling appreciation of how to collaboratively deliver value throughout the project lifecycle.”

Up to six minor framework agreements will also be awarded by SA Water in the coming months. These will cover smaller work programs, including regional water main replacements, rehabilitation of sewerage assets and physical and electronic security such as fencing and CCTV.

A tender is also currently active for a minor civil works panel, with suppliers from around SA sought for works up to $500,000 at a time, with an estimated spend of up to $10 million across the panel.