Costain wins £80m water-quality works

Costain has landed a £79.8m package of works to improve wastewater quality and protect wildlife for Severn Trent.

Obtained through the water company’s capital delivery framework, Costain will carry out work at 16 sites over the next four years.

Twelve of the jobs involve Costain working to improve the quality of wastewater through measures such as removing phosphorus, according to a statement from the contractor.

Three involve work to protect elvers (juvenile eels) from entering river-water intake pipes, as part of compliance with regulations.

The other project will see Costain design and build a disinfection contact tank at the Frankley water-treatment works, which serves Birmingham.

Costain managing director of natural resources Sam White said: “It’s hugely important to both companies that we do everything we can to protect the environment, as well as offering reliable and secure water supplies to customers.

“The contract demonstrates the strength of our relationship with Severn Trent and Costain’s pedigree in projects of this kind.”

Water companies across England have been under increasing pressure to improve their performance in recent months, with criticism of the disposal of wastewater into rivers and the amount of investment put into the nation’s infrastructure compared to dividends taken out.

Half-year results for Costain released last month show its pre-tax profit and turnover had both fallen, from £11.2m to £8.5m and £665.2m to £664.4m respectively. Its cash pile grew by 38 per cent to £132.1m during the year, however.

It later emerged that 25 jobs were at risk at the firm’s technology centre in Somerset, as part of plans to “reposition its digital activities”.

This week, Construction News revealed that Costain had moved up three places to 12th on the CN100 2023 ranking of top contractors by turnover, based on its 2022 full-year financial results, when it had annual revenues of £1.4bn.

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