SA Water metro services contracts garner local and international interest

Over 110 local, national and international specialist water and service delivery organisations have been briefed by SA Water on the scope of future commercial opportunities to work together in the delivery of water and wastewater services in the metropolitan Adelaide region.

The 90 minute industry briefing is the latest stage of SA Water’s Adelaide service delivery procurement process, which will ultimately lead to new contracts being signed to support two areas of its business: water and wastewater production and treatment operations; and network field services.

For the last eight years, SA Water’s Adelaide metropolitan service delivery has been supported by Allwater (a joint venture of SUEZ and Broadspectrum), with the arrangement drawing to a close at the end of its ten-year contract period on 1 July 2021.

SA Water Chief Executive, Roch Cheroux, said a primary goal in negotiating the new contracts will be ensuring flexibility in their management and delivery.

“Agility is key to our ability to continuously improve our operations and the services we provide to our customers, and the way we set up our partnerships needs to reflect this,” said Mr Cheroux.

“As well as bringing great technical expertise and practical experience, our future partners will be fully aligned to our business strategy and our vision to provide South Australians with world-class water services for a better life.

“It’s very pleasing that the industry is already indicating an appreciation of the need for expertise to be delivered in a way that prioritises customer experience.”

Mr Cheroux said the new contracts must be modern and fit for purpose.

“So many aspects of our operating environment have changed over the last ten years — including our customers’ expectations of us, and our expectations of ourselves — so we need contemporary commercial contract arrangements that position us for the immediate future and to be continually responsive to change further down the track.

“We’ve analysed the performance of the current alliance contract and looked to best practice models from around the world, and we’re confident our approach will deliver better outcomes
for our business and therefore our customers.

“Water services are essential to public health, our modern lifestyle, and social and economic development, and working together with us presents opportunities for lead and subcontractors to get close to the customers and communities we serve and have a positive impact.”

Following on from the industry briefing session, an Expression of Interest process will begin in June 2019 with shortlisted applicants proceeding to a Request for Proposal activity running from October 2019 to March 2020, with an independent probity advisor overseeing the process from start to finish.

“Together with our alliance partner Allwater, we’re working towards a strong finish of the current contract and a smooth transition to the future arrangements,” Mr Cheroux said.

“The extensive experience and knowledge of the Adelaide network will continue to be of value and people working within the alliance delivering water services in metropolitan Adelaide will have opportunities to remain in the industry, beyond July 2021.

“We’re already national leaders and recognised innovators in the production and management of water, wastewater and recycled water, and partnering with other leaders means we can learn from and leverage their expertise to help deliver a better life for our customers.”

Around 1500 SA Water staff based across South Australia ensure the company’s 1.7 million customers have access to reliable water and wastewater services, with another 400 Allwater staff helping deliver 24/7 services within the Adelaide metropolitan area.

Production and treatment operations in the metropolitan Adelaide area include six water treatment plants and five wastewater treatment sites, with field services supporting around 9200km of water mains serving more than 490,000 customer connections and 7500km of wastewater mains supporting more than 460,000 connections.

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