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Race starts for Games role

NEWS - Amec and Balfour Beatty form first team to bid for critical £250 million management function

THREE teams are likely to be in the running to oversee the construction of London's 2012 Olympics.

The Olympic Delivery Authority readvertised the programme manager's role last week as an enhanced 'delivery partner' with a combined project and programme management role and more responsibility for post-Games legacy planning.

An Amec and Balfour Beatty team is the first to break cover to bid for the seven-year role, which will run until the end of 2013. The deal is worth an estimated £250 million.

Amec business development director Ian Thomas said: 'We would only expect two or three serious rivals for the delivery partner role ? the other two will probably be Bovis Lend Lease and Bechtel, in consortia with other companies.

'We prequalified for the original deal individually, but there is no way you could consider doing this on your own, it's too large.

'Our project management skills complement Balfour Beatty's construction and engineering abilities, but we are actually thinking about adding to our consortium and looking at environmental and project management expertise at the moment.

'One other thing in our favour is that we also have a UK-wide supply chain, so the economy of the whole country will benefit.' Bidders for the contract have until the end of March to put their teams together, with tenders due in April. The new delivery partner should be in place by July.

ODA chairman Jack Lemley told the Society of Construction Law last week: 'We hope to have major construction contracts in place by mid 2007.

'But the main challenge is time. We are going to need the goodwill of the industry in the UK and Europe because we are trying to fit a 15-year construction programme into six and a half years.'

The ODA is also advertising for five senior roles this week, including the post of construction, transport and utilities directors. It wants its construction director to ensure industry best practice and design excellence.