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Shortlist for Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme announced

10 April 2013
Shortlist for design and construction phase of Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme announced

Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) Ltd has announced the two companies shortlisted for the design and construction phase of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme (RWSS).

The two successful companies will now undertake design work for the scheme, with detailed costings expected by September 2013. This will give farmers a more accurate pricing for access to water from RWSS. It will also provide more information on the overall viability of the scheme.

The first is French-based contractor Bouygues Construction which operates globally on large infrastructure projects, including dams and has a subsidiary based in Australia. The second is a joint venture between a Spanish global infrastructure company Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) and Hawkins which is one of New Zealand’s largest privately owned construction companies.

HBRIC Ltd Chairman Dr Andy Pearce says there were five companies from throughout the world who expressed an interest in building the $230 million water storage scheme and an extensive process was undertaken to select the two successful companies.

“We set up an expert selection panel which looked at everything from the companies’ past experience in large infrastructure and dam building to their financial capability and ability to be innovative,” says Dr Pearce.

He says all five companies were of an extremely high standard and capable of delivering the scheme.

“The two companies we chose exceeded the selection panel’s expectations around understanding what is required through the design of the scheme and providing innovation for the dam and the distribution system.”

Dr Pearce says it was accepted early on in the selection process that the size, scale and technical requirements of the project are such that it was highly likely international expertise would be required for the job.

Both companies will now be involved in a competitive final design phase which concludes in August 2013 with a decision as to which of the two companies will be successful in bidding to build the project, should the scheme gain resource consent and proceed.

“This is a major milestone for the scheme because once we have detailed costings we will be in a better position to give farmers a more accurate idea of the price of accessing the water from the RWSS.”

Background Information

Bouygues Construction

Bouygues is a French-based contractor operating globally on large infrastructure projects including dams. It has extensive dam and water infrastructure experience and access to specialist equipment for major dam construction. It has a subsidiary based in Australia which includes a number of key staff with solid dam construction experience.

The dam design team is extremely strong. The dam engineering team is drawn from MWH, a global consulting firm with a number of New Zealand-based offices including Napier. Bouygues has construction experience in multiple dam types. Its distribution design team is from MWH and Opus. Opus is an international consultancy with an extensive network of regional offices in New Zealand, including Napier and a network of offices in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Both Opus and MWH are recognized in New Zealand for their strong dam and irrigation design capability and are actively working on New Zealand projects in this area.

OHL – Hawkins Joint Venture

Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) is established globally as one of the largest infrastructure players and is currently ranked 21st among the 225 largest international contractors. Hawkins is one of New Zealand’s largest privately owned construction companies.

The dam design team is led by GHD, an Australian-based consultancy with a strong New Zealand presence and good experience in detailed design of a range of dam types.

OHL has a very strong knowledge and experience of dams and are currently constructing three concrete faced rock fill dams.

Water Infrastructure Group NZ (WIG) would be involved in the irrigation distribution area, while GHD would cover the design of structures and canals. WIG has current design and construction experience with canal and pipe optimization work on the Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation scheme and Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation.

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