AVK UK Awarded Thames Framework

AVK UK addresses Thames Water’s key challenges to win framework supply contract 27-10-2020

AVK UK has been awarded a framework contract by Thames Water for the supply of isolation valves, non-return valves, air valves and hydrants for use in both clean water and waste water applications. The contract spans the AMP7 period, which runs from 2020 to 2025, with an option to extend for a total of 8 years.

Oliver Gambling, AVK UK Water Sales Director, led the team bidding for the work:

‘Ofwat has set water companies really demanding targets for AMP7. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the key challenge for the Thames Water team was to be able to demonstrate value gains across the valves and hydrants covered by the contract. This value was measured by TOTEX (total expenditure) cost reductions in the supply and management of clean and waste water.

TOTEX is important as it embraces all procurement costs and not simply the price of the product.

During the initial Covid-19 lockdown, AVK UK was able to demonstrate the resilience of its supply chain to Thames Water. We maintained supply throughout lockdown and flexed to meet Thames Water’s key priorities over the period. Central to our strength in maintaining supply was the agility afforded by our ‘Made in Britain’ product portfolio and dedicated engineering team. Essentially, It’s easier and quicker to respond to changes in market requirements if your manufacturing plant is just up the road rather than, for example, 1000 miles away in the Far East.

AVK helped Thames Water minimise maintenance costs through streamlining spares, offering a single source of supply across all the products covered by the framework. AVK are able to deliver the full basket of products to meet any solution and minimise the number of deliveries. My understanding is that AVK UK was -and still is- the only supplier able to do this.

Selecting and installing the wrong product on, for example, a waste water treatment works has potential short-term cost implications, if it is replaced, or long-term cost implications if it is left in place and the asset operates sub-optimally or fails. The AVK UK strategy is to work collaboratively with Thames Water’s engineers, the focus being on their desired project outcome. Ensuring the right valve is selected for the right application, ensuring that AVK offer the ‘best value solution’ for the nuances of each project. The technical support we are able to draw on across the AVK UK Group is a huge help in this regard.

AVK UK has been a supplier to Thames Water ever since privatisation in 1989. There is real value in that depth of continuity. We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with Thames Water as a strategic partner across all phases of this framework contract: supply, implementation and support. The recent tender award is testament to the value Thames Water see in partnering with a supplier who values, quality, innovative engineering and a collaborative ethos. These values are at the heart of AVK, and the award of this contract means that we can continue to develop this long held partnership. 

Our collective goal is the reliable supply of waste water services and safe and clean potable water to all Thames Water customers, and to achieve this in line with Thames Water’s business plan as agreed with Ofwat.’


Thames Water is the UK’s largest water company, providing water and waste water services to around a quarter of the UK population. It operates 100 water treatment works, 350 sewage treatment works, and numerous pumping stations and reservoirs. Its sewage treatment works include Beckton, the largest in Europe.

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