Just three teams are left in the race for the London Borough of Hounslow’s £1.4 billion, 25-year highways maintenance PFI contract - with Colas understood to have been knocked out.
It is thought that Skanska/Jacobs, Balfour Beatty and a joint venture of Vinci and its subsidiary Ringway have progressed to the next stage of the competitive dialogue.
A Colas/Scott Wilson joint venture is understood to be the first team eliminated from the lengthy procurement process - a decision that has surprised many in the industry.
One industry source told Construction News: “Any betting man would have thought Colas would have made it through to this stage. They are a strong competitor in any PFI situation.”
Another contractor source said they were surprised at the decision given Colas’s PFI track record and its progress to the final three bidders on the other two pathfinder PFI maintenance schemes, being procured by Sheffield City
and the Isle of Wight council.
Five teams were initially invited to bid for the Hounslow job, valued at between £700 million and £1.4bn, but maintenance giant Amey is said to have declined to do so.
London Borough of Hounslow project director Trevor Wallis said the three remaining bidders would receive the next set of documents on 5 July.
Once detailed submissions have been received at the end of January 2011, the council will look to pick the final two contenders in March or April.
Mr Wallis added that the project’s future looked secure despite Government cuts and the 20 October comprehensive spending review.
He said: “We’re not suspended. It would be disingenuous to suggest that we’re isolated from the spending review, but we’re confident the scheme has continued support and we’re going ahead with the planned timetable.”
A preferred bidder is expected in January 2012 and the contract is scheduled to commence in June that year.
The contract covers maintenance and refurbishment work across the borough’s 432 km of road carriageways and 762 km of footways, excluding those managed by Transport for London.