Government has today awarded an Advanced Works Contract to the joint venture between Northumbrian Water and Modern Water, which covers the design and survey work required for final planning and environmental approvals as well as preliminary site works for the treatment of sewage in Gibraltar.

These are the final steps before work can commence on the overall project, which is for the design, build and operation of the wastewater treatment plant, to treat all of Gibraltar’s urban wastewater as well as storm flows for the entire population of Gibraltar.

Following the formal tender process, the Joint Venture was announced as the preferred bidder for the project. Modern Water will be responsible for the design and build portion of the contract. On completion of the design and build phase of the project, Northumbrian Water will be responsible for the operation of the plant for 20 years, via a sub-contract with AquaGib. The intention is that works on site will begin in the first half of this year, with completion expected in 2020.

The plant will be located at the Brewery Crusher site near Europa Point. It will be odourless and covered, and so will not negatively impact on views in the area.

James King and Simon Humphrey respectively on behalf of Northumbrian Water and Modern Water, jointly said: “We are delighted to announce such a significant step towards delivering this important project for the people of Gibraltar. Together, we now look forward to working closely with the Government of Gibraltar to finalise the main Design, Build and Operate contract.

Commenting on the project the Minister for Education, Heritage, the Environment, Energy and Climate Change John Cortes said: “I am delighted at the announcement of this important step forward for this vital project, which honours the commitment made by this government. On a personal note, as an environmentalist, I take pride in being a part of leading the further developments of Gibraltar’s environmental credentials and the delivery of Gibraltar’s wastewater treatment works.

The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: "I am very happy to see that our detailed work in respect of this matter is now going to see progress in the treatment of wastewater. It has taken us time to be able to progress this as we had to start literally from scratch and the technical aspects of the work required was extraordinarily complex and challenging."