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

Posted on 21 June 2022

United Utilities, a prominent water company, has recently launched a comprehensive tender process seeking a lucrative £1.75 billion contract. The objective is to secure a Competitively Appointed Provider (CAP) through Ofwat's esteemed Direct Procurement for Customers (DPC) process for the Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Programme.

United Utilities is actively seeking a proficient Competitively Appointed Provider capable of undertaking the full spectrum of responsibilities, including designing, building, financing, and maintaining one of the most momentous water resilience supply projects in the entire UK water sector. This ambitious endeavour, referred to as the Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Programme (HARP) DPC Project, encompasses the extensive replacement of six tunnel sections constituting the existing Haweswater Aqueduct (HA). Furthermore, it necessitates the establishment of crucial connections to existing multiline siphons between these tunnel sections, in addition to the construction of all the associated facilities. Once completed, the appointed Provider will shoulder the responsibility of commissioning and maintaining these essential works for a projected duration of approximately 25 years.


Through a bespoke project agreement with United Utilities, the selected Provider will be appointed for an extended term of 25 years, inclusive of the construction period. The tender process has been thoughtfully designed to foster the participation of multi-party consortia and various other entities. It is important to note that the estimated construction cost of £1.75 billion does not encompass certain aspects such as capital costs (including debt financing and return on equity capital), non-construction related expenses like ongoing maintenance, or adjustments for inflation or indexation of the unitary charge.

Recognising the exceptional nature of the HARP DPC Project, United Utilities has committed to bearing the tender process costs incurred by bidders who are ultimately unsuccessful in securing the contract. However, the company emphasises that this particular arrangement should not be considered a precedent for future United Utilities or any other DPC tender processes. Notably, United Utilities has already submitted planning applications for the comprehensive HARP DPC Project and anticipates obtaining the necessary consent from the relevant local planning authorities prior to the submission of Final Tenders by potential bidders.


In their pursuit of executing the HARP DPC Project, United Utilities has opted for the negotiated procedure with a prior call for competition. Their intention is to award the entirety of the project's scope to a single Competitively Appointed Provider (CAP). This extensive scope encompasses various crucial elements, including the design, construction, testing, and commissioning of the works. Furthermore, it involves both planned and corrective maintenance, encompassing lifecycle maintenance of the assets following the completion of each tunnel section. Additionally, the appointed Provider will be responsible for project management and financing of all the activities involved.

Prospective participants are advised to take note of the deadline for submitting tenders or requests to participate, which has been set for August 17, 2022. This date marks a significant milestone in the tender process, and interested parties are encouraged to ensure the timely submission of their proposals or expressions of interest.

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