United Utilities tenders £1.75 billion contract for flagship Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Programme

Posted on 21 June 2022

​United Utilities has gone out to tender with a £1.75 billion contract to secure a Competitively Appointed Provider (CAP) via Ofwat’s Direct Procurement for Customers (DPC) process for its Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Programme.


The water company is seeking to engage a Competitively Appointed Provider to design, build, finance and maintain one of the UK water sector’s biggest water resilience supply projects.

The HARP DPC Project comprises the replacement of 6 tunnel sections of the existing Haweswater Aqueduct (HA), connections to existing multiline siphons between the tunnel sections and associated facilities. It also includes the commissioning and ongoing maintenance of the works for a period of approximately 25 years after completion.


The Provider will be appointed under a bespoke project agreement with United Utilities - the term of which will be 25 years, plus a construction period.

The utility said the tender process is designed to accommodate the participation of multi-party consortia, alongside other participants.

The current estimated cost for construction of £1.75 billion excludes:

  • costs of capital, including the costs of debt finance and any return on equity capital;

  • non-construction related costs including ongoing maintenance costs;

  • inflation or indexation of the unitary charge.

United Utilities will pay a contribution to the tender process costs incurred by each of the unsuccessful bidders - the proposed payment is included in the tender process in recognition of the unique nature of the HARP DPC Project. The water company has emphasised it is not intended to set a precedent for future UU or any other DPC tender processes.

Planning submissions have been made by the company for the whole of the HARP DPC Project – United Utilities currently anticipates that the outcome for each planning determination will achieve consent from the relevant local planning authority prior to the submission of Final Tenders by the bidder.

The water company said it will be utilising the negotiated procedure with prior call for competition and intends to award the entire scope of the HARP DPC Project to a single CAP.

The HARP DPC Project comprises:

  • design, construction, testing and commissioning of the works;

  • planned and corrective maintenance, including lifecycle maintenance, of the assets following the completion of each section of the tunnel;

  • the project management of these activities; and

  • financing of the activities

Time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate is 17 August 2022

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