Three shortlisted bidders have been announced for the £600m Mersey Gateway project, with Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try consortia among them.
The three shortlisted bidders are
Merseylink consortium: Comprising equity members Macquarie Capital Group, Bilfinger Berger Project Investments, Vialia Sociedad Gestora de Concesiones de Infraestructuras S.L. and FCC Construcción S.A.
MGL consortium: Comprising equity members Galliford Try Investments, Hochtief PPP Solutions GmbH and Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras S.A.
Final tenders will go in between January and March 2013, before a preferred bidder is appointed between May and October 2013 before the final contract is signed.
The original OJEU notice was for a £590m project. The government will commit a total of £478.85m to the project through an initial £86m capital towards land remediation and up to a further £14.55m each year for 26.5 years in PFI payments.
Planning permission was granted for the project in December 2010 and a consultation was launched by the Mersey Gateway Project through Halton Borough Council.
The centrepiece of the Mersey Gateway Project is a new six-lane toll bridge over the Mersey between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes.
The three were selected by Halton Borough Council from the expressions of interest received from six groups in December 2011. The selection has been based on the published pre-qualification criteria where the shortlisted bidders were awarded the highest scores.
The successful candidates will now be invited to compete for a contract to design, build, finance and operate a new toll bridge over the River Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes and associated work in the towns. The value of the construction phase, including land, is estimated at £600m.
The existing Silver Jubilee Bridge will also be tolled as part of the project.
It is anticipated that construction work will start within two years, and that the new bridge will take around three years to complete.
Halton Borough Council leader Cllr Rob Polhill said: “We have attracted world class construction groups that have come together to compete for this prestigious contract. I look forward to announcing the eventual winner and the commencement of construction later next year.”
Mersey Gateway Project Director Steve Nicholson said: “We were delighted with the quality and the quantity of the submissions we received. Each of the six groups we evaluated met our requirements but we set out to limit the procurement process to three bidding groups and we have maintained this approach so that we can reduce bid costs whilst running an effective competition.”
He added: “During the next year the project team will work with the shortlisted bidders to develop proposals that deliver quality and value for money on behalf of the taxpayer.”