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Costain Annual Report 2017
Annual Report 2017 highlights


Focusing on urgent national needs

Climate change pressures and increased strains on the energy network mean Costain and our clients need to focus on increased efficiency across large energy intensive networks – with the aim of getting the most out of existing systems through increased intelligence and smarter technologies. One way this can be achieved is through Intelligent Asset Optimisation (IAO), which will prepare water companies for the future by addressing efficiency and resilience through data, analytics and in-built responses.

To better secure the supply of water for our clients and the end users, Costain is using IAO at Hopwood Services with Severn Trent Water. Costain developed a standalone system that was installed on site to enhance the monitoring and data collection of the existing pumping station. The standalone ‘plug and play’ system is installed in between the existing control infrastructure and equipment. This means that no modifications to the existing system were required. Data is transmitted to the Costain cloud, where machine learning and analytics take place. By altering the set points for the pumps, Costain is able to generate additional live data to provide an ongoing self-learning approach.

The result of the enhanced monitoring and control of the pumps has reduced energy consumption by 15%. By reducing energy consumption, more water can be pumped for the same amount of energy, alleviating wear and tear. Pumps last longer and are subject to fewer breakdowns which also reduces the cost of water services over longer periods of sustainable operation.


Driven by the need for National Grid’s gas turbine compressors to comply with the European Industrial Emissions Directive, Costain was awarded a contract by National Grid to upgrade its existing compressor stations at Peterborough and Huntingdon, which form part of the National Gas Transmission System. The project was to install two modern and efficient gas-turbine compressors at each site, enabling a more reliable supply of energy for consumers, while at the same time reducing carbon emissions.

New compressors mean more reliable gas supplies, less unforeseen breakdowns and reduced maintenance costs. The result is maintaining safe, reliable and efficient delivery of an energy source used by over 80% of UK households.

Costain began working on the project in January 2014, completing a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study of each site at the end of 2015. The FEED focused on the technical requirements, as well as the estimated investment for the projects. With Costain undertaking the FEED, we were able to offer National Grid technology solutions which produced cost efficiencies and reduced learning curves, along with an awareness of the design and build requirements for the main works phase.


Working as part of a Highways England/DfT project being led by TRL, the global centre of innovation and transport mobility, Costain is working on the first real-world operational trial of platooning vehicles on UK roads. The trial will go beyond demonstrations to showcase the real world benefits of connected vehicle platoons in tackling fuel efficiency, driver behaviour, traffic flow and safety. Costain will be working across all four phases of the project, which concludes in 2019, and will be supplying advisory services of safety, risk and Strategic Road Network (SRN) analysis.

Platooning involves two or more HGVs connected through wireless ‘vehicle-to-vehicle communication’ with the lead vehicle controlling the speed, acceleration and braking of the following vehicles. The technology effectively allows them to communicate with each other and operate as a single unit. The pilot will explore whether this autonomous driver technology can improve the fuel efficiency of HGVs to reduce emissions output and increase traffic flow and road capacity. It is also hoped the trial will boost acceptance and understanding by road users ahead of mapping out potential future infrastructure considerations and looking at the commercial case for the adoption of the technology.


Financial highlights


Revenue (including share of joint ventures and associates)


Underlying operating profit


Underlying profit before tax


Net cash balance


Underlying basic earnings per share


Total dividend per share

Environmental and social highlights

Carbon emissions


Non operational carbon emissions reduced by 26% to 3.2tCO2e/£m

STEM engagement

16,000+ young people

Engaged through Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) activities