(Alliance News) - The UK water regulator is working on rescue plans for Thames Water that could see its operations dismantled and sold off as piecemeal to rival suppliers, according to the Telegraph on


Codenamed Project Telford, the Telegraph reported that Ofwat has tasked a former private equity banker with overseeing its contingency plan for Thames Water, which is in crisis over an GBP18 bullion debt pile.

One option under consideration is to break up the UK's largest water utility, which provides water and sewage services to 16 million households, the Telegraph reported.

The Telegraph reported that Adrian Williams, formerly of HSBC Holdings PLC and Bridgepoint Group PLC, has been drafted in to supervise Ofwat's emergency backstop, which is separate from the UK Government's own contingency proposal Project Timber.


On Monday last week, Thames Water put forward new plans to boost spending and investment in its network, but warned this could see customer bills surge by 44%.

The water firm proposed increasing spending by GBP1.1 billion and revealed another potential GBP1.9 billion investment in its network as part of new business plans to regulator Ofwat.

It said its new business plan for the five years to 2030 would see spending rise to GBP19.8 billion, with the extra being used for environmental projects. If Ofwat was to give the full plans the go-ahead, this would see customer bills rise to GBP627 a year by 2030.

By Greg Rosenvinge, Alliance News senior reporter

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