- 2020/2021 was year of progress, despite pandemic restrictions
- Three of five tunnelling sections now constructed
- Project cost estimate remains at £4.1bn and completion date 2025
Tideway, the company building London’s super sewer, has paid tribute to teams working across the project during the pandemic, as it publishes its sixth annual report and accounts.
The Company, which paused operations during the start of the national lockdown in spring 2020, reports the achievement of several key milestones delivered despite pandemic restrictions. The project was 63 per cent complete with 21km of tunnel constructed at the end of financial year 2020/21 - demonstrating marked progress towards completion of the underground phase of works. No major safety incidents or injuries were recorded during the year.
Two more tunnel sections were completed during the year, taking the total to three (of five) and the permanent structures that will form the new riverside public realm, started to take shape.
In August 2020 the company published a revised estimate of its costs and overall schedule, taking account of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. At year end the estimated project cost remains at £4.1bn and the expected completion date is 2025.
Tideway continued with its commitment to use the river as much as possible to deliver the project. 4.5m tonnes of materials have now been moved by boat, saving 275,000 HGV arrivals – avoiding an average of almost 100 lorries a day on London’s roads and around 14,500 tonnes of CO2.
Chairman Sir Neville Simms said:
“I am proud of the way the whole company responded to the pandemic and I am very pleased that we were able to make significant progress, while working within the restrictions and guidelines that were essential to keep our workforce safe.
“As we progress towards the final stages of the excavation and tunnelling work on the project, we must now look to the next critical phase of connecting the asset before we reach our goal of a cleaner and healthier River Thames. We have proved what can be achieved during an exceptionally tough year, and I look forward to supporting the team as we move into the next stages.”
Tideway also achieved ambitious sustainability commitments during the year, including delivering on its target to provide 4,000 sustainable jobs. The Company’s approach was once again recognised externally, with Tideway named Company of the Year at the Global Good Awards and Responsible Business Champion for Outstanding Employment at the Business in the Community Responsible Business Awards.
CEO Andy Mitchell said:
“This year our teams have had to meet a whole new set of challenges, including the creation of Covid-safe working environments. This was a feat of meticulous planning and care and I pay tribute to our teams, including our contractors, for what they achieved. It was this care that meant we were able to hit the ground running when we re-started and hit many milestones through the year.
“We have much work ahead of us to get this vital project over the line but with our progress in the last 12 months, we are well on our way.”
In 2019, as part of its sustainability commitments, Tideway was one of the first infrastructure projects to track its progress against the UN Sustainable Development Goals. An update of progress is included in the Annual Report.