UKTI’s High Value Opportunities programme aims to help UK companies of all sizes win business from large overseas projects
High Value Opportunities (HVOs) are large-scale projects where foreign governments look to procure services and products from overseas companies. They are usually complex projects with a large number of constituent parts.
A common misconception about HVOs is that their size and complexity rule out small or medium-sized businesses from getting involved. In reality, the value refers only to the overall project: that amount will be divided into a number of smaller, more specialised projects. SMEs can tender for a small aspect of the project without having the scale or expertise to tackle the entire contract.
UKTI wants to encourage UK businesses to get involved in these global HVOs and offers supports to help this happen. Of the companies that UKTI helped win contracts from HVOs in 2013, 30% were SMEs, and just under 30% of the wins were worth less than £300,000.
Some Current Projects
Denmark – Femern Transport Link Project
The Femern Link Project is a 19 kilometre tunnel that will allow for direct transport between Denmark and Germany. Funded by the Danish state, it aims to dramatically speed up the transport time between Scandinavia and continental Europe by connecting the German offshore island of Femern with the Danish Island of Lolland.
It will consist of a concrete section immersed tunnel that will contain a double-track railway and a four lane motorway.
Saudi Arabia – Healthcare Development Programme
Saudi Arabia is implementing a five year programme which aims to dramatically improve their healthcare provisions. This involves adding 32,000 new hospitals beds and establishing a number of new medical cities across the country enabling them to deliver sufficient and quality healthcare to the rapidly growing population. So far, around 102 hospitals with total bed capacity of 2,300 and five medical cities with a 6,200 bed capacity are being constructed including 19 new hospitals and medical centres.
Australia – Roads Project
Australian PM Tony Abbott has said that he wishes to be known as the “Infrastructure Prime Minister”. In keeping with this goal, there are many opportunities within the country for construction and related industries.
As part of the 2014 budget, the Federal Government has released a preliminary schedule of new projects to be funded and delivered over the five year life of the next Nation Building Program (2014/15 to 2018/19). One of these projects is a scheme to improve Australia’s roads and intermodal network.
This HVO focuses on the three large-scale key road projects: West Connex, Sydney; East West Link, Melbourne and the Bruce Highway Upgrade, Brisbane – incorporating the Great Northern Highway. Projects include a vast array of requirements across consultancy, finance, materials, tunnelling, flood management, bridge works, urban revitalisation, design and innovative technologies. The project is worth $26 billion, which is the largest investment in land transport ever implemented by a commonwealth country.
Hong Kong/China – Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge
At thirty kilometres long, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will be the longest sea-bridge in the world when it reaches completion in 2016, and the project is technically complicated due to an underwater tunnel section. It is hugely important to the region as it will be a six lane expressway, allowing for 24/7 border crossings and allow for a closer economic relationship between Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region of Mainland China.
How can UKTI help?
UKTI’s HVO programme can benefit your business by giving you information about upcoming opportunities at an early stage. This allows you a competitive advantage over other companies.
At any one time UKTI has information on around 100 major projects. Each of these projects has contracts available for tender with a minimum total worth of £500 million. Of this, at least £250 million will be available for UK competition. UKTI can provide you with the information that you need to win business from these large opportunities, and also help when it comes to researching and validating projects – saving you time and resources.
Global High Value Opportunities are available across a range of markets and sectors. No matter how specialised your product or service may be, it is likely that your company can play a a role in an HVO project.
In addition to providing your business with information on major projects, UKTI can help your company build relationships with stakeholders such as private sector business specialists and other government departments in the UK and overseas. By connecting you with potential business partners to enable you to bid for projects as a team, and providing lobbying support where necessary, UKTI can help your company to open doors around the world.
Through the High Value Opportunities (HVO) programme, UKTI has assisted Serco to successfully tender for a number of opportunities worth over £800 million. By helping the company increase its credibility with local authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it has helped Serco become a respected company in the UAE transport sector.
Based in North Hampshire, Serco is an international company with over 120,000 employees. The company is one of the largest rail companies in the UK, operating London’s Docklands Light Railway and, in partnership with Dutch firm Abellio, Northern Rail and Merseyrail.
In the UAE, the company operates the Dubai Metro, the world’s longest and most advanced driverless light rail system. With UKTI assistance, a £400 million contract was renewed in October 2013 for a further seven years in a new agreement worth £350 million. This is one of Serco’s largest contracts. The company also maintains and operates the Palm Jumeirah Monorail and an Automated People Mover at Dubai International Airport. Moreover, Serco has been awarded an £80 million contract to operate the Dubai Tram, beginning with 15 months of mobilisation followed by five years of service delivery.
The local UKTI team and British Consul General have assisted Serco with these opportunities. When negotiating with local government stakeholders, Serco makes it clear that the company has strong credentials and is a highly regarded company by the British Government.
In June 2013, the company was invited to join Transport Minister Simon Burns and a delegation of 17 UK companies on a UKTI mission to the UAE and Qatar. Serco attended high level meetings with local authorities and stakeholders, several of whom were already its clients. This reinforced its strong connection with UKTI and the British Government.
This governmental support has been crucial for the company, as Chris Rayner, Managing Director in Dubai Metro, Serco Middle East, points out. “To be taken seriously by a public body in the UAE, a British company must be seen to have a strong relationship with the British Government. Our association with UKTI and the British Consul General strengthens our credibility. We have always found UKTI to be available and accessible. They are good, down-to-earth people who go out of their way to help and are very keen to support our overseas business.”
Eligibility and applying
There is no barrier to participating in UKTI’s High Value Opportunities programme. Your company can be any size, in any sector, and need not have exported previously to benefit from supports.
To find out more detailed information, or to apply for participation, contact your international trade team. A member of the team will be in touch within five working days to talk to you about current opportunities that fit into your company profile.