CONSULTING FOR Design-Build-Operate-Maintain
The third and most unique design-development strategy is the ‘fuel provider’ approach. Fuel Solutions has almost single-handedly developed this methodology as a competitive solution for CNG infrastructure which is now commonly referred to as design-build-operate-maintain (DBOM). In this approach the contractor is responsible for constructing and operating the system that produces CNG.
This strategy initially looks similar to design-build, in that the design of the facility infrastructure is based on performance specifications and a preliminary site layout that is also prepared by the consultant. However, this approach calls for the contractor to also operate and maintain the facility on a long-term basis (typically five to ten years) on the Owner’s behalf, and be responsible for all labor and material costs associated with scheduled and unscheduled repair, consumables, rebuilds, failures, wear and tear, etc. The contractor is then compensated per unit of CNG consumed by the Owner, based on a fixed schedule of CNG-fuel cost that is bid by the contractor prior to award. This design strategy typically calls for liquidated damages to be paid by the contractor in the event that the facility does not meet the performance requirement – throughout the term of the 5-10 year contract term. LDs are a strong ‘incentive’ for the contractor to design and implement durable, reliable and serviceable equipment/facilities, as well as to implement aggressive preventative-maintenance procedures.
This strategy has the benefit of providing more stable and predictable CNG-facility operations costs, which are typically competitive with commensurate costs that the Owner would have incurred had they maintained O&M responsibilities.
Fuel Solutions projects typical of this design method include Los Angeles County MTA, New York City Transit, the City of Burbank and Fresno Area Express (LCNG and CNG).