Thames Water has commenced formal procurement of its mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, controls and automation framework agreement for the Thames Tideway Tunnel.
The MEICA framework value is between £50m and £70m and will be a 10-year agreement with one provider.
In February, Construction News revealed that several heavyweight joint ventures, including a Balfour Beatty, Bam Nuttall and Morgan Sindall partnership, a Ferrovial and Laing O’Rourke joint venture, and a group comprising Bachy Soletanche, Costain and Vinci, were lining up to bid for the three main works construction contracts worth an estimated total of £1.6bn.
The deadline for expressions of interest in the main construction contracts ends this week.
Thames Water will invite shortlisted contractors to tender for the lucrative deals between November 2013 and April 2014.
The Planning Inspectorate will consider the development consent order application this month, with construction due to commence on site in 2016.
Thames Tideway Tunnel managing director Mike Gerrard said: “We have already had a great deal of interest expressed in the main works contracts, so we are very excited to be able to launch this next phase of work and expect to see as much enthusiasm again from the market.
“We are building for 22nd-century London to create a cleaner, healthier River Thames. The Thames Tideway Tunnel is needed to tackle the millions of tonnes of raw sewage which discharge into the River Thames every year. The river needs cleaning up and it is the responsibility of our generation to do it.”
The project is expected to be financed and delivered by an independent infrastructure provider, with its own licence from Ofwat.
Thames Water, the government and Ofwat are continuing to work together to finalise the financing arrangements for the project. Procurement of the new IP is expected to begin in 2014 and is anticipated to take six to nine months.