Thames Water announces professional services framework lot winners

03 February 2017

Thames Water has appointed a number of professional services firms, including Mott MacDonald, Arcadis and Ricardo Energy & Environment, to its professional services framework. The framework, which includes five lots, will allow the company to draw on the consultancy expertise of lot members to solve strategic conundrums towards 2030.

Thames Water was founded in 1989. The water utility provides water services to more than 9 million clean water customers in London and the Thames Valley, and sewage services to more than 15 million customers. The company generates turnover in the order of £1.9 billion, employing 4,700 staff. As part of its long-term planning, focused on providing reliable, clean and environmentally friendly water solutions to regions of the UK expecting to see demand increase, Thames Water has created a new professional services framework.

The framework, which runs until 2030, consists of five lots, four of which have been populated, through which it can call on a range of professional services firms to provide solutions for the future needs of its network, from keeping bills affordable, as well as tackling challenges such as increasing demand from population growth, to making assets more resilient to climate change and adapting to new laws and regulations. In total £57 million is split unevenly between the respective lots. The biggest lot, worth £20 million to 30 million, for business consulting will be announced at a later date.

Professional services framework

A number of professional services firms have been appointed to the respective lots. Mott MacDonald was appointed to all four of the lots thus far; Arcadis has been appointed to all lots, bar Environmental Consultancy; Ricardo Energy & Environment takes a seat in the Environmental Consultancy. Other winners include Aecom, Atkins, Black & Veatch, Jacobs, MWH UK, and Ian Skinner Consulting.

Lot 1 — Engineering Consultancy (£3 million to £5 million)
Aecom - Arcadis - Atkins - Black & Veatch - Jacobs - Mott MacDonald - MWH UK

Lot 2 — Commercial Consultancy (£3 million to £5 million)
Arcadis - Atkins - Mott MacDonald

Lot 3 — Environmental Consultancy (£5 million to £7 million)
Atkins - Jacobs - Mott MacDonald - Ricardo-AEA

Lot 4 — Dispute Resolution (Consultancy (£5 million to £10 million)
Arcadis - Ian Skinner Consulting - Mott MacDonald

Regarding the win, Manager of Mott MacDonald’s water business, says, “Thames Water is always looking for organisations that share their values to deliver excellent health safety and wellbeing, customer service and value for money. We have a long, successful track record in the water sector and are recognised by many companies for our collaborative way of working and ability to deliver innovative and efficient business solutions to our clients. Having worked closely with Thames Water for many years we are delighted to continue our relationship with them. Their approach to building strong relationships with partners perfectly fits the way we work and our capabilities and expertise.


Brexit will have major impact on UK-EU electricity flows

22 April 2019

Brexit could have a major impact on the consumer price of electricity in the UK, according to an analysis by Sia Partners. The total costs for UK society could swell to €600 million annually due to less efficient flows of electricity.

As the Brexit process has perpetually stalled, with no realistic end in sight now until Halloween, underprepared businesses have been handed a lifeline. The scramble to prepare for a No Deal scenario can now continue for another half-a-year, and one of the key factors which companies will need to consider when drawing up these plans is the cost of accessing utilities post-Brexit. In the digital age, virtually no business can survive without a ready supply of electricity – while the pay-cheques of staff will also need to inflate to accommodate future rises in bills.

With significant cross-border flows of electricity between continental Europe and the UK, Brexit is destined to have a major impact on individuals and companies in this manner, according to new analysis by consulting firm Sia Partners. These flows of electricity are governed by common European rules, but when the UK leaves EU, Britain’s electricity markets will no longer be integrated into Europe’s ‘Internal Energy Market’.

European model

Historically, electricity grids and markets were developed on a national level. However, years ago the EU set out to achieve integration in electricity grids, on the premise that coupling grids and markets can lead to significant benefits. By making electricity flows possible, price arbitrage can be faded out by allowing buyers to access cheaper prices offered beyond the country’s own borders, driving up competition and lowering average prices.

Brexit will have major impact on UK-EU electricity flows

An analysis of electricity flows between the UK and Ireland demonstrates this. Before Ireland was coupled to the UK, commercial electricity exchanges on the UK - Ireland border flowed 40% of the time against the natural direction, i.e. from the higher to the lower price market. After more effective cooperation and regulation was put into place ('After the I-SEM' went live), the picture changed drastically, with commercial flows now following the price differential 96% of the time. Quantifying this welfare benefit is not easy: according to one estimate by ACER, the economic added value of having market coupling with implicit capacity allocation on the GB-Ireland border (1GW) amounts to around €110 million annually.

Europe’s aim is to achieve interconnection of at least 10% of their installed electricity production capacity by 2020. As it stands, seventeen countries are on track to reach that target by 2020, or have already reached it.

On the UK side, the region currently has a total capacity of around 5GW connected with mainland Europe (France, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium), corresponding to roughly 5% of UK’s installed capacity. In comparison with other EU countries, this ratio is on the low end; however, the UK is playing catch-up and has 10 interconnections scheduled for commissioning in the next four years.


It's clear that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will have an impact on electricity markets co-operation. The question which remains is how large will the impact will be? To provide a forecast for this, analysts at Sia Partners ran a modelling exercise with two scenarios in mind. After leaving the European bloc, the UK will have to make agreements with European countries, similar to how Switzerland and Norway currently operate. Norway has a deal with a relatively high level of integration with the EU’s internal energy market, while Switzerland stands at the other end of the spectrum, with the country excluded from several market coupling initiatives (e.g. MRC, XBID) and from implicit capacity allocation with any other EU member state.

“If Brexit leads to a construction which is similar to the Swiss deal, where UK’s electricity borders are uncoupled from its neighbouring countries, then there will be a major loss of welfare.”
– Sia Partners

If the UK follows in the footsteps of Norway, then the consequences of Brexit could be muted. According to Sia Partners’ calculations, the economic loss would be minimised in the mid-term, with only operational challenges expected. For example, the implementation of pan-European projects, such as XBID, could run into delays in the UK. The EU currently has 7 of such interconnection projects scheduled for completion before 2022.

“In case a Norwegian style deal is struck, the UK will lose its decision power related to EU energy policy but it would allow keeping the benefits linked to the internal energy market not only for itself but also for Ireland and continental Europe,” the researchers state.

If, however, a Swiss deal is struck, then the projected costs could range between €500 million to €1 billion. An expected 60% of this loss will be borne by the UK, 16% by France, and 8% by Belgium, the isle of Ireland and the Netherlands. The researchers concluded that if Brexit leads to a construction which is similar to the Swiss deal, where UK’s electricity borders are uncoupled from its neighbouring countries, “then there will be a major loss of welfare.”