After more than a year trying to sort out the Thames Tideway Tunnel project financing, Thames Water are to turn to an independent advisor as they work out how to source the required funds.

Thames Water has been in constant touch with the government and Ofwat about the tunnel scheme, but it seems that hiring an independent advisor is the only way to get the scheme off the ground.

Big names in the banking world are readying themselves for the tender process including HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS and Merrill Lynch.

The Thames Tideway Tunnel project is essential to stop the Victorian sewers discharging raw sewage into the River Thames at times of heavy rainfall. At present only 2mm of rain has to fall before the Victorian sewer system cannot cope and emergency overflows direct the rainwater and raw sewage into the river. When the tunnel is complete it will carry the rain water and sewage to a new improved treatment works to the east of the city.

As part of the tenure the investment bank will have to work in a financing structure which will achieve a credit rating of Baa1.

Thames Tideways managing director Michael Gerrard is hoping to tender the financing and construction project early next year.

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