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Big names battle for £150m PFI hospital job in Cambridgeshire

Big name contractors and consortia have registered their interest in a £150 million hospital job in the east of England.

A powerhouse team of Laing O’Rourke, John Laing and Interserve is understood to have submitted a pre-qualification questionnaire for the New Papworth Hospital PFI contract.

Health and commercial contracting giant Brookfield is also understood to have expressed its interest in the deal to provide and maintain a 290-bed hospital at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Balfour Beatty, the UK’s largest contractor by turnover, is thought to have a registered interest in the project, which will consist of a three-year construction phase and a 30-year operation phase.

Olympic Stadium contractor Sir Robert McAlpine is also understood to be among up to six firms that completed PQQs before the deadline last week.

Carillion was rumoured to be sizing up the project, although it is unclear whether it decided to formally enter the running.

Papworth is the UK’s largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital, and the new facility will specialise in cardiothoracic medicine and surgery.

The contract is likely to include estate and grounds maintenance, pest control, energy and utilities management, materials management, helpdesk, car parking and traffic management services, staff, visitor and patient catering and cleaning, portering, security, and retail services.

More than 120 delegates attended a bidders’ event early this month as firms scramble to win work in the diminishing public sector.

Papworth Hospital chief executive Stephen Bridge said: “I am delighted with the response we have had from potential bidders. The strong turnout at our bidder event confirms that the New Papworth project is highly attractive.”

A shortlist of three bidders will be announced in November 2010, with a preferred bidder appointed in late 2012.

The construction phase is expected to be complete by late 2015, with a 30-year operation phase to follow on.

Balfour Beatty is shortlisted against a joint venture of Laing O’Rourke and Interserve for the £288m Alder Hey Children’s Health Park project in Liverpool.

At the end of 2009, Brookfield Europe beat Balfour Beatty and Laing O’Rourke to the £500m contract to rebuild Glasgow Southern General Hospital.