Engineering consultants support Ho Chi Minh City water upgrade

04 August 2017

To improve the water waste infrastructure of Ho Chi Minh City, the Ria Vung Tau Urban Sewerage and Development Company, supported by finances from Dutch Government's Facility for Infrastructure Development, will create a new water treatment plant in the city. Royal HaskoningDHV has been hired for around €9.5 million, to provide consultancy services to the project, which will eventually provide around 175,000 people with improved sanitation.

The Ria Vung Tau Urban Sewerage and Development Company (BUSADCO), is a Vietnam-based company, completely owned by the state. The company has various aims, largely to improve the quality of life for the country’s residents by water related research, planning and infrastructure deployment, while specialised in water supply, drainage and environmental sanitation.

One of the major difficulties faced by Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Sigon), is chronic poor sanitation. The city has for the longest time battled poor quality / a lack of sewage treatment, which has resulted in dumping in the main Nhà Bè River – making it one of the world’s more polluted waterways.

Royal HaskoningDHV support water waste improvement project in Vietnam

In a bid to reduce the impact of poor sanitation on the residents of Ho Chi Minh City and to improve the quality of the Nhà Bè River, BUSADCO developed plans to create a sewage system that is able to deal with the waste of up to 175,000 properties of the Phu My New Urban Area in the city. The new treatment plant, which is focused on both residential and industrial water waste, will have a capacity of 30,000 m3/day, leveraging a cost effective, reliable and highly efficient system.

The project is being financed by the Dutch Government, as part of the country’s wider global social development initiatives, under the Facility for Infrastructure Development (ORIO programme). To provide technical advisory services to the project, Royal HaskoningDHV, an engineering consulting firm currently involved in a number of other water technology projects including several in Indonesia, signed a €9.5 million contract with BUSADCO. The consulting firm will, among others, provide expertise in the area of Carrousel technology, which is used in the wider design of the project.

Work on the project will involve, among others, the construction of four pump stations, and around 100 kilometres of piping to connect 15,000 household and 1,000 SMEs. The firm’s experts will provide a range of services to BUSADCO, throughout the operation and maintenance phase, in addition, providing technical assistance and staff training. The completion date set for the project is the end of 2019.

The project is part of a wider investment by the ORIO funded Dutch Government investments in infrastructure in Vietnam, with around 400,000 served by the new infrastructure. Royal HaskoningDHV has taken part in all of the projects to date. The consultancy firm is active in around 10 projects across the country, including a World Bank water treatment project, also in Ho Chi Minh City.


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.