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Asset planning software brings utility cost savings

  • Asset planning software brings utility cost savings

About the entity

Founded in 1977, Ovarro (formerly Servelec Technologies), is a market-leading provider of remote telemetry units, sensors & loggers, secure SCADA systems and business optimisation software providing complete end-to-end automation and...


Finnish multi-utility Alva is the first in Scandinavia to fully implement Ovarro's PIONEER asset investment planning software across its water and sewer networks. The implementation comes after a six-month trial for Alva’s water distribution network generated capital expenditure cost savings of 10%.

Alva serves the city of Jyväskylä and its surrounding area in central Finland, where it produces, sells and distributes electricity, heat and water to the local population and industry.

PIONEER is a web-based decision support platform that can optimise asset management planning and operational strategies, supporting utilities in reducing costs and improving services for customers. Utilities can decide how and when to survey, refurbish or replace assets at minimum overall cost, across a single asset group or an entire company network. The same software can be used to plan day-to-day operational activities effectively.

As part of the new agreement with Ovarro, the scope of assets covered by PIONEER will be extended to cover the whole of Alva’s water mains network, plus their foul and surface water sewers. As a result, the platform will be able to forecast events such as water main bursts, interruptions to supply and leakage, as well as sewer blockages, collapses, pollution events and internal flooding. These forecasts can then be used by PIONEER to target interventions at the most cost-beneficial locations.

PIONEER is a web-based decision support platform that can optimise asset management planning and operational strategies

George Heywood, analytics innovation lead for Ovarro, said: “Alva is a visionary company and we’re proud they have chosen to fully embed PIONEER to support their schedule and programme of works, across both water and wastewater.

“With this extended asset scope, Alva will see even greater savings, as the PIONEER optimiser will co-ordinate work on assets laid in the same trench, reducing the number of excavations needed.”

Tero Ponkkala, project manager and development engineer for Alva, said: “The aim of the PIONEER trial was to assess whether our data is adequate and whether our capability and maturity as an organisation is sufficient for introducing this new approach. We also had an important requirement for the tool to improve Alva’s long-term, risk-based investment planning.

“The Ovarro team established a convincing proof of concept on our water distribution networks, with clear cost-saving benefits. This is why we have moved forward to implement the technology not only on our water network but also across our sewer networks.”

Alva was also Ovarro’s first customer to benefit from the simplified functionality of the PIONEER Express interface, which makes it easier for non-specialists to use the technology’s powerful planning capability.

PIONEER has been in use in the UK for over 10 years, with five water companies making use of the platform. The software can be used for all utility asset types including potable water and heat distribution mains, sewers and electrical cabling, as well as point assets such as pumping stations, treatment works and transformers.

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