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Transport for London begins contractor search for £1bn Silvertown Tunnel job

Bidding for Transport for London’s £1bn Silvertown Tunnel in east London has begun.

TfL is looking for a contractor to design, construct, finance and maintain the project, which comprised a twin-bore road tunnel to be constructed east of the existing Blackwall Tunnel.

The launch of the procurement process follows last week’s decision by London mayor Sadiq Khan to give the green light for three new River Thames crossings, including the Silvertown Tunnel.

The other two crossings are a new pedestrian bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf and a rail crossing at Gallions Reach DLR station.

A number of heavyweight joint ventures have already assembled to bid for the Silvertown job, as revealed by CN.

Bouygues TP / Bam Nuttall and Strabag / Skanska have confirmed they have partnered to bid for the scheme.

It is also understood that Hochtief / Dragados, Costain / Vinci and Ferrovial / Kier are among the teams set to bid for the job.

Firms have until the end of November to submit their PQQs.

Construction will start on the tunnel in 2018, with work expected to be completed by 2023.

Silvertown tunnel: How the rival JVs compare

Bouygues TP / Bam Nuttall

A new team, Bam and Bouygues bring a wealth of tunnelling experience. Bam, with Ferrovial and Kier, was part of the BFK team involved in the tunnelling between Royal Oak and Farringdon on Crossrail. Bouygues TP delivered the £243m New Tyne Crossing project in Newcastle and has carried out a number of global tunnelling projects. These include the recently completed Port of Miami Tunnel project, a 35-year design, construct and maintenance deal.

Costain / Vinci

The Costain / Vinci team builds on previous partnerships on a number of roads and tunnel projects across the UK. In 2014, Costain / Vinci Grands Projets won the contract to build Scottish Water’s £85m Shieldhall Tunnel in Glasgow. This was followed last year by a Costain / Vinci JV winning the £750m contract to construct a 24 km stretch of motorway outside Newport in south Wales.

Ferrovial / Kier

Kier and Ferrovial were two of the contractors on the BFK Crossrail JV. The team won three contracts for projects valued at more than £700m, including 6.2 km of tunnels between Royal Oak and Farringdon and the sprayed lining works for Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road station tunnels. Ferrovial, alongside Laing O’Rourke, has been been chosen to construct the £900m central section of London’s Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Hochtief / Dragados

After Dragados’ parent company ACS bought a majority stake in German firm Hochtief, the two have formed close bonds on projects in the UK. Hochtief and Dragados, alongside Galliford Try infrastructure, make up HS2 JV Momentum Infrastructure. The team is currently bidding for four of the seven phase one HS2 civils packages, including the £900m Euston Tunnels package and £1.4bn Chiltern Tunnels packages. The two overseas contractors have also worked together on another major UK river crossing after leading construction on the Queensferry Crossing.

Strabag / Skanska

Strabag is one of Europe’s leading tunnelling firms and has led construction on a number of major projects on the German and Austrian high-speed rail networks. It teams up with Skanska again after partnering with the firm, alongside Costain, for HS2 work. The team will be bidding for four of the seven packages including Euston and the Northolt tunnel packages. The team has also forged a relationship on projects across Europe, and the two are working on Norway’s £129m Arna-Bergen tunnel.

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