Menter Môn hires consultants to run Environmental Impact Assessments

13 July 2016

Menter Môn has hired Royal HaskoningDHV and Welsh consultancy MarineSpace to run Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for project bids to be carried out at its marine energy demonstration zone, the West Anglesey Demonstration Zone.

Marine energy production systems aim to leverage the energy contained within various natural marine environments in a sustainable manner. Several technologies exist, including tidal energy, wave energy, and difference of temperature and salinity energy. The technology, in many instances, is still in the development phase. 

In a bid to provide marine energy technology developers with a space to test their latest innovations, the Crown Estate is leasing a range of marine areas within its estate, around the UK, that make for a suitable test bed. One of the areas secured is the West Anglesey Demonstration Zone (Morlais Tidal Energy Demonstration Zone), which offers appropriate wave and tidal energy potential and access to necessary infrastructure, including ports and the electricity grid.

Menter Môn is a social enterprise, which was founded around 1995. The enterprise has taken on the role of Third Party Manager for the Morlais Tidal Energy Demonstration Zone with the aim of accommodating marine technology developers as well as servicing their requirements once they have located on Anglesey – thereby creating a range of benefits for the local economy.

Menter Môn hires Royal HaskoningDHV to run Environmental Impact Assessments

Menter Môn has called upon consultancy firm Royal HaskoningDHV to run Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for the 12 companies that have so far started bidding to use space for their projects within the Morlais Tidal Energy Demonstration Zone. The consultancy will work closely with Welsh consultancy MarineSpace, to deliver EIAs for applicant projects.

Dafydd Gruffydd, Menter Môn, comments that the social enterprise is “very excited” to begin this next phase of the project with the support of these teams. Gruffydd adds: “Alongside our ongoing leasing round and progress towards grid and finance, this is an important milestone in our project development.”

Frank Fortune, Royal HaskoningDHV Technical Director, adds: “Royal HaskoningDHV is very pleased to continue its excellent relationship with Menter Môn on the Morlais project. This is a great opportunity to continue our leading position in the tidal energy sector and build on our successes to date, and Morlais is a key project for the tidal sector in Wales, as well as being internationally significant. Together with the MarineSpace team, our aims are to deliver consent for Menter Môn, and secure Wales’ position in the tidal sector.”


How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.