Hill Dickinson/Co-op solve NML energy challenge

Law firm Hill Dickinson has advised National Museums Liverpool on procurement and installation of environmentally-friendly energy facilities for the new Museum of Liverpool at Mann Island.

NML, with funding from the Co-operative Bank, instructed Hill Dickinson to advise on the procurement of a contractor to design an energy efficient solution for the new museum in late 2007. Following a competitive tender process, and detailed negotiations, NML selected Ener-G Combined Power Ltd (Ener-G) as its preferred partner for the project.

Hill Dickinson was responsible for drafting a complex series of agreements between NML and the selected service provider. The contract sets out Ener-G's commitment to design and install its proposed energy solution for the new museum by early 2010, and then to operate and maintain the installation for a term of 17 years. The contract is structured in such a way as to include a guarantee by Ener-G, worth in excess of £500,000 a year, of energy savings against energy expenditure which NML had projected it would have to spend at the new museum had it not outsourced its requirements in this way.

The energy project, which was funded by the Co-operative Bank, incorporates the latest in tri-generation technology, which provides heating, power and cooling from one isolated source.

Stephen Lansdown, head of commerce and technology, Hill Dickinson, commented: "The procurement of an energy services project can be a complex process. Our team of expert advisers have an unparalleled understanding of the energy services landscape and is therefore well-placed to navigate the client through the projects' potential pitfalls in order to alleviate any financial risk. This is the latest in a long line of energy projects involving combined heat and power technology to be delivered by Hill Dickinson, and with pressure on the public sector to cut costs and operate in an environmentally friendly way we see this as a huge growth area for our practice."

Chris Hayton, from Ener-G Combined Power, added: "There are always challenges and obstacles to overcome when planning and installing an energy project. However the strength of the team and overall spirit of the partnership on the Museum of Liverpool project has made for a pleasurable working experience. We look forward to building on this already establish working relationship as we embark on the 17 year contract to operate and maintain the installed energy system."

The new museum has been designed to replace the former Museum of Liverpool Life, which was located in the old Pilotage and Salvage Association buildings on Liverpool's Waterfront. The old museum had become incapable of coping with the growing number of visitors to the museum.

Tony Allen, executive director of finance at National Museums Liverpool, concluded: "The new Museum of Liverpool will be a future landmark for the City's infamous waterfront, so it is vital that it has modern and efficient energy facilities and systems at its core. The savings that this energy project guarantees will allow funds that would ordinarily have gone towards powering, heating and cooling the building to be put towards showcasing the NML's outstanding collections in the best possible way."

The new museum is due to be completed and commissioned towards the end of 2010.

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