Northern Ireland firms are being invited to bid for their share of contracts worth around £240 million after NI Water announced it is releasing contracts to that value over the next 18 months.
Everything from simple consumable supplies to complex technical equipment is up for discussion with specific interest in mobile work management, water and waste residuals and networks maintenance.
To help companies interested, it will be holding a supplier engagement event on Wednesday, October 24 at the Dunadry Hotel, Antrim, organised in partnership with InterTradeIreland.
This year NI Water is also seeking suppliers with new ideas and innovative solutions. It extends an invitation to such suppliers to come along and meet the Research, Development and Innovation team.
“NI Water has been focusing on how to make its infrastructure more understood and relevant to the customers we serve,” said director of finance and regulation Ronan Larkin.
“There are a number of exciting initiatives happening to help achieve the company’s vision of becoming a ‘world-class’ water utility, capable of meeting future customer expectations at a sustainably lower cost.
“We want to continue to build relationships with great suppliers working alongside us helping us to achieve these ambitious goals.
‘‘A new feature at our Supplier Engagement Event this year is a partnership with InterTrade Ireland to introduce a training zone to help businesses understand the tendering process and also the eTendersNI portal.”
A new feature this year will be the opportunity for small companies to meet some of the utility’s strategic contractors.
“I am delighted that Meridian Utilities and Grahams Facilities Management will be available for potential sub contractors to meet.
“InterTrade Ireland and Invest NI will be on hand to provide advice, particularly in the area of consortium bid opportunities.
‘‘The opportunities for local companies really are tremendous – for every £1 that NI Water invests, the wider knock-on effect in our community is almost double that.
“I would strongly encourage the business community, whatever your focus, to come along and meet our procurement teams.”
Caroline Sweeney, public tendering programme manager from InterTradeIreland said: “This event is a great opportunity for SMEs to meet procurement teams who may, ultimately, be making decisions about whether companies can meet tender requirements, so attendance really could be game-changing.
“From networking and meeting buyers, insights and critical information may come to light that could help a tender to rise above others.
“InterTradeIreland can support organisations throughout the tendering process and we believe that there is plenty of room in the market for SMEs.”