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ODA looking to pre-purchase as a strategy against price inflation

NEWS

THE Olympic Delivery Authority is looking at pre-purchase as a means to protect the games against rising construction costs.

ODA chief executive David Higgins said at the Thames Gateway forum last week: 'The price of steel has gone up but the price of copper has gone up even more. One thing we can do is design less steel and use other materials, but pre-purchasing could also play a part.'

Bob Card, deputy programme director for Olympic delivery partner CLM, said: 'We are looking at bulk buying where it can add value and reduce risks, and we are working out what materials we can do that with at the moment.'

Their comments came as Olympic minister Tessa Jowell said last week that construction costs for London 2012's park would rise by £900 million to £3.3 billion - highlighting the rising cost of steel.

But Derek Tordoff, director general of the British Constructional Steelwork Association, said: 'It is not just a matter of buying steel, they would have to know what sizes they were buying. One thing they could do is book fabrication time with producers.'