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EPS Celebrates 50th Anniversary

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EPS celebrated its milestone 50th Anniversary on Friday, December 14th, 2018.

Originally called Kanturk Electrical and Farm Services and starting out as a partnership between Gerald Buckley and John Joe Sheehan, the company, now known as EPS, has grown to a team of almost 500.

Over the past five decades, EPS has grown from a modest electrical and pumping services business into an innovative, internationally exporting product and service provider, now focused upon the water, wastewater and clean technology sectors.

Since 1968, the company has expanded its footprint both in Ireland and internationally. As well as 3 premises in Mallow, there are regional branches in Ballyhaunis; Mountrath & Naas, Newtownards; Alton; Thetford and Lichfield in the UK, as well as Amman, Jordan.

Managing Director Patrick Buckley says the entrepreneurial spirit shown by the original founders and partners who were in their early 20’s when the business began in 1968, remains with the company to this day. “As we prepared for the 50th Anniversary, it’s been fascinating to chart the company’s growth over the decades, identifying key decisions and strategies that propelled EPS to where it is today, from capitalising on the rural electrification scheme to developing branches outside Cork in the ‘70’s; a series of acquisitions in the ‘80’s; the roll out of the Government’s first National Development Plan in the ‘90’s; designing, building and operating wastewater treatment plants in the ‘00’s to investing in digital technologies most recently.

“Down through the decades, we’ve always believed in the power of collaboration, partnerships and our employees and those beliefs remain as relevant today, as the second generation looks ahead to the next half century”, says Patrick.

Hoisting the 50th Anniversary flag
Hoisting the 50th Anniversary flag - Friday, December 14th, 2018

While the extent of our reach may not be widely known, EPS products and services form part of everyday life in the 26 counties of Ireland. Through our local agent network, we sell pumps to the agricultural, commercial and domestic customers, while we are also assisting Irish Water in delivering and maintaining the country’s water and wastewater infrastructure, ensuring that Ireland has safe, clean, drinkable water and treating wastewater from towns, villages and factories before it reaches our rivers and streams.

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EPS Signs Contract for Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme

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West Cork is in line for a construction employment boost with the news that EPS has been awarded a significant contract to upgrade the water supply for the Skibbereen area. The works, which will be carried out in partnership with Irish Water, are valued at €28m and will improve drinking water quality and supply for over 7000 people in the local area.

The Skibbereen Regional Water Supply Scheme (RWSS) is an amalgamation of the Drimoleague Water Supply Scheme (WSS), Schull WSS, Schull/Baltimore WSS and Skibbereen WSS. The works, which are due to commence in the coming weeks, will see the decommissioning of treatment plants at Schull (Skeagh WTP), Castledonovan (Drimoleague WTW) and Leap (Ballinlough WTP) which have been deemed inadequate by Irish Water and were recently included on their Remedial Action List (RAL).

Plants at Ballyhilty and Lake Cross will not only be retained, but upgraded and expanded to service the Skibbereen area, while new treated water storage reservoirs will be built in Drimoleague, Schull, Leap and Sherkin, with existing defective water mains and those with insufficient capacity will be replaced.

Managing Director Patrick Buckley has welcomed the announcement as a further example of the company’s commitment to the Cork region and specifically to West Cork. “EPS already has a significant footprint in West Cork, with wastewater treatment plants in Dunmanway, Bantry, Clonakilty and Kinsale as well as current works underway in Bandon and further north in Millstreet. This contract will also mean a significant employment boost for the region as we undertake an extensive search for civil & mechanical engineers, project managers, site managers and quantity surveyors.”

“It’s an opportune time for anyone considering relocating to West Cork from other parts of the country or moving back home from abroad”, says Patrick. “Irish Water is investing heavily in our national water infrastructure and EPS is at the forefront of this activity as we work in partnership with Irish Water upgrading the water and wastewater network and treatment plants around the country”.

The contract also makes provision for the 1 year operation of the works once construction is complete.

Anyone interested in applying for the positions can do so via epswater.ie/group/careers.

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EPS Plays Our Part in Construction Safety Week 2018

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EPS has been playing its part in the Construction Industry Federation’s Construction Safety Week which runs from Oct 22nd to Oct 26th.

Currently undertaking the €5m upgrade of the Millstreet Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), and in partnership with Irish Water, the well-known company used the site as their targeted focus for the week, the theme of which is “Better Safety for Smaller Contractors”.

Employing almost 500 people between their offices, branches, sites and plants across Ireland, the UK and Middle East - maintaining the health and safety of the company’s expanding workforce is EPS’ top priority.

Construction Safety Week, organised by the Construction Industry Federation, is urging all large contractors and sub-contractors to evaluate their work practices and to ensure they work in a safe collaborative manner on site. With a strong economic recovery in the construction sector in recent years, there’s a concern that the increased activity is resulting in increased fatalities and efforts are underway to stop that trend.

During 2017, there was a total of 5 fatalities within the construction sector compared to 9 fatalities in 2016. All 2017 fatalities involved small contractors or self-employed construction workers.

“As we approach our 50th year in business, EPS is extremely proud of our health and safety record, but complacency can never be allowed to set in”, says Contracts Director John Lynch. “Our team is constantly revising and updating our health and safety practices, training our employees and reviewing how we get the message across to those working directly for us and sub-contractors”.

And the message was clear in Millstreet this week, with H&S briefings over breakfast, where the team was healthily fuelled ahead of their busy days on site and brought up to speed on 5 different Health & Safety topics over the week, covering working safely at height; positive mental health; working safely near utilities, with hazardous substances and with vehicles.

“We have worked on a series of animations to truly engage with our teams in our offices, branches and of course on-site”, says John. “Evidence shows that video and animation engages the audience and is an extremely effective and memorable way of communicating”.

The Millstreet WWTP is of immense importance to the local community, as it will see the existing plant, which serves a population equivalent of 1600, increase to 3220. The work is estimated to continue for at least 12 months.

The importance of safety on site will be further emphasised to the company’s UK team during Construction Safety Week. All team members from their offices in Alton, Hampshire; Thetford, Norfolk and Lichfield, Staffordshire will be addressed by James Gorry, who lost the use of his legs in a workplace accident in 2005. James gives a no-holds barred account of the impact the accident had not only on him personally, but his family.

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Official Opening of Youghal WWTP

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The €12.5m Youghal Wastewater Treatment Plant which serves a population equivalent of 16,000 will be officially opened today, Friday, September 28th.

The project, on the Breton Road, was delivered as an EPS/Sorensen joint venture in partnership with Irish Water, Cork County Council and other stakeholders.

EPS/Sorensen designed and built the wastewater treatment plant on behalf of Irish Water & Cork County Council, ending the discharge of raw sewage into the Blackwater Estuary in the process.

The investment in a new wastewater treatment plant is part of an overall investment in wastewater infrastructure of approximately €22.8m. This is a significant investment and commitment by Irish Water and EPS/Sorensen are looking forward to working with all stakeholders, including the community in Youghal.

John Lynch, EPS Contracts Director says, “The EPS/Sorensen Joint Venture used modern design and construction technologies to ensure that both Irish Water and the community of Youghal have a treatment plant to be proud of”.

Following the successful delivery of the construction phase, EPS will further operate and maintain the wastewater facility for a period of 20 years on behalf of Irish Water. EPS has an existing asset management base within the Cork/Waterford region where a cluster of wastewater treatment plants are under its care and maintenance on behalf of Irish Water.

The treatment plant at Youghal, which involves utilising well proven and modern technology, will become part of this cluster where a team of locally based EPS team members will play an active role on behalf of this community in delivering and maintaining yet another sustainable project by EPS. 

The opening is particularly timely in light of the upcoming Ironman Triathlon competition in Youghal in June 2019, which will bring valued international tourism to the region.

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Nereda Scoops Carbon Reduction Award

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EPS is celebrating the success of our Nereda® project at Anglian Water’s Great Dunmow Water Recycling Centre at this year’s New Civil Engineer TechFest Awards held in London recently. Entered by technology owner Royal HaskoningDHV, the project was the winner in Best Use of Technology: Carbon Reduction Award category.

Great Dunmow WRC is the second Nereda® granular activated sludge plant to be completed in the UK, and the first UK plant to be constructed under license to a contractor – EPS in this instance. It entailed the replacement of an obsolete MBBR works with a new 10,000 population equivalent Nereda® plant inclusive of new inlet works, storm tanks, tertiary solids removal and sludge thickening systems.

The project was delivered by Anglian Water’s delivery partner, @One Alliance, supported by EPS, RHDHV and a selection of supply chain partners. From the outset of scheme development, carbon reduction was set out as a key efficiency enabler and was an important factor in the selection of Nereda® as the process technology, as well as in site layout, delivery strategy, materials specification and equipment selection. The upshot of this was the adoption of above-ground construction, mostly in steel, and the use of off-site modular construction techniques.

Great Dunmow WRC took live flows in May 2018 and is currently completing its process proving period with Anglian Water now operating the plant on a day-to-day basis. Nereda® is providing on-going operational carbon savings through energy efficiency and zero chemicals.

“We are so proud that Great Dunmow has been recognised in this way,” says Shaun Stevens, EPS Business Development Manager. “The award is the culmination of a massive effort by dedicated teams in Anglian Water, EPS, Royal HaskoningDHV and the supply chain to deliver Nereda® in a different way to what has been seen before. The project has successfully applied a relatively new technology to meet relevant compliance and programme targets whilst outperforming against Anglian Water’s carbon reduction commitments.”

“We wish to thank our partners in the project, as well as New Civil Engineer and the judges,” he continues. We also wish to acknowledge our fellow nominees for this award and the quality of their pitches.”

EPS’s journey with Nereda® began with the securing of an RHDHV licence five years ago, since when we have constructed and now operate three plants in Ireland on behalf of Irish Water. It continues with involvement in schemes currently under construction at Inverurie and Dungannon, and with a number of other projects already going through digital design in our Design & Manufacturing Centre of Excellence.

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Achilles Clean Sweep for EPS

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Our on-going commitment to excellence has once again been recognised by the Achilles organisation, who have again awarded UVDB Verify accreditation under their B2 Category. Once again, EPS have achieved a straight set of 100% scores under the headings of Health & Safety, Environment, Quality and Corporate Social Responsibility, with assessments carried out on both our management systems and our site operations.

The results are reflective of the ever-improving standard of service being delivered to clients by EPS staff and management across our five operating divisions – these being Design & Build Contracting, Asset Management & Energy, Service & Repair, Product Sales and Off-Site Manufacturing.

“We recognise the importance of Achilles UVDB accreditation in maintaining and improving our service provision and also as an important tool for pre-qualifying EPS for many of our key projects and workstreams,” says Shaun Stevens, Business Development Manager. “To achieve a maximum score once again is testament to the efforts of our workforce in ensuring that we maintain industry-leading standards, and underpins our commitment to broadening our future range of accreditations.”

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EPS confronting Brexit challenges and developing export offering

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The threats arising from Brexit and the opportunities in global export came into sharp focus at the recent International Markets Week held in the RDS in Dublin and hosted by Enterprise Ireland. As a long-established client company of Enterprise Ireland, EPS were pleased to attend and support the event.

Eps Brexit

In her keynote address to the business leaders in attendance, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald repeated the Irish government’s commitment to respond strongly to the effects of Brexit, by supporting companies with their planning and contingency measures, by safeguarding inward and outward investment and by promoting Irish exports globally. Launching the “Irish Advantage” global export initiative, Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon re-iterated the value of Ireland’s special trading relationship with the UK but also encouraged exporters to diversify into other markets to spread risk and grow.

With an established and rapidly expanded UK business, EPS is actively assessing the potential risks of Brexit and is formulating contingency plans to manage any impacts that may arise, especially in the areas of logistics, tariffs and currency. Thanks in part to the workshops and consultations on offer at International Markets Week and the Enterprise Ireland “Brexit Scorecard” tool, EPS will continue this mitigation process in an informed and structured manner to ensure that competitiveness is maintained and enhanced for our UK client base.

The event also enabled EPS to consult freely with EI Market Advisors based in our existing and prospective export markets, and to network with like-mind Irish exporters facing similar challenges and opportunities.

“Events like this are incredibly valuable to EPS and our fellow exporters,” says Shaun Stevens. “The strategic and practical support offered by Enterprise Ireland, combined with the local intelligence and advice of their Market Advisors, provides us with a clear competitive advantage as we strive to enter new export markets. It ensures that we’re able to assess and understand new territories before entering and to tailor our offering and messaging to suit specific market needs and drivers. The value of this is evidenced in the recent export successes of EPS in the Middle East, West Africa and North America. We have also come away with greater confidence in our on-going management of the Brexit process.”

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EPS at Oman Energy & Water 2018

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EPS Water are pleased to announce that we are once again exhibiting at the Oman Energy & Water Exhibition and Conference, which is taking place in Muscat from the 30th April to 2nd May 2017. This international event highlights the Sultanate of Oman’s long term water and energy investment programmes and showcases the capabilities of indigenous and foreign suppliers to meet the demands of these infrastructure plans.

Returning to the exhibition following successful participation in 2017, EPS Water will be located on Stand 6151 within the UK Pavilion under the banner of the UK Government’s Department of International Trade (DIT) and its “Business is GREAT” initiative. EPS will be showcasing its overall export capability which includes a range of water and wastewater treatment products, containerised and off-site solutions and Nereda expertise, as well as local partnering to deliver entire projects.

“Following successes in Jordan over recent years, EPS is targeting Oman as our next growth territory in the Middle East,” says Shaun Stevens, EPS Water’s Business Development Manager. “Oman has a comparable demographic and investment profile to the Irish market and we have the relevant technologies and expertise at our disposal to serve Haya Water and other customers in the Sultanate to the highest standard. We are looking forward to returning to Muscat to develop new opportunities, catch up with our many friends from past visits and to expand our footprint and network in Oman.

EPS Water wishes to thank DIT, British Water and Intec Export Intelligence for facilitating this opportunity.

 

 

omanexhibition  picture and logo

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EPS at Plumbex 2018

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May 30th and 31st, EPS attended the PLUMBEX trade event in CityWest hotel, Dublin. 

The event was a huge success and we were delighted to have been joined by some of our product partners and to meet so many influential people across a wide range of industries. 

 

Plumbex Impressions

 

 

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trevor & guest

 

Showing new xilent

 

 

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