What to note when you put a district heating project out to competitive tender?

In recent years the focus in district heating construction has increasingly shifted to the expansion and renovation of existing networks. Although fewer entire networks are built in new areas, the significance of good design has not decreased at all. The significance of design is, in fact, further emphasised on renovation sites.

In our experience, design competence on district heating networks varies to some extent. Sometimes a customer’s plan must be updated jointly even in the tender phase. Of course we will help with this if such a need arises. For a successful district heating project, however, a good plan is essential. Commission a plan with a professional who has experience of designing a district heating network and whose competence is up to date.

Surprising situations occur quite often, so you must know how to prepare for them. blasting typically brings up cables or sewers that have not been mapped. Sometimes even rock mass. These always cause changes to the work and schedule to some extent.

KVL-Tekniikka has the required permits and expertise to make the necessary parts itself, even directly on the job site. For instance, we are able to cut and weld protective shells for pipes ourselves. If we face rock, we book a blasting team in advance to do the rock blasting.

Situations of change manifest a partner’s ability to provide comprehensive service as the customer’s benefit, as necessary changes can be handled in an agile manner. If you have to order parts from a factory instead, you may have to wait for them for up to 4–6 weeks. This delays the completion of the work and causes extra costs.

Four tips for competitive bidding of a district heating project

  1. District heating construction is constantly evolving. Commission plans for a district heating project with a professional who is familiar with current methods and possibilities. You will save time and money and obtain the best possible implementation.
  2. Request an offer only from professionals who have built district heating networks before. This helps you avoid unpleasant surprises during the project.
  3. Verify that the partner you choose has the required permits and qualifications. Note that large corporations often use subcontractors for building pipelines. Up-to-date details are available in the qualification register maintained by Finnish Energy (in Finnish).
  4. Although overall costs are an important criterion for decision-making, also take note of the service provider’s quality, references, competence and ability to react to changes. The final costs of a project are influenced especially by the partner’s slow or quick ability to react to changes.

We would be happy to tell you more about KVL-Tekniikka’s method of operation. Read more about our services or ask us to contact you.

Jukka Pykäläinen

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