At least five teams are in pursuit of the Isle of Wight Council’s £1.2 billion highway maintenance PFI deal - the last of three pathfinder schemes to come to market.
It is understood that a joint venture between Vinci and its specialist subsidiary Ringway met the deadline for pre-qualification questionnaires this week.
Balfour Beatty and Amey were both also believed to be sizing up the 25-year job. Aggregate Industries, which
operates the only asphalt plant on the island, is thought to be mounting a bid for the main contractor role, and is rumoured to be teaming up with Colas to submit a PQQ.
One industry source said: “Aggregate Industries owns land on the island with its quarries. It is well thought of there and obviously thinks of it as its heartland and wants to take a stake.”
The other surprise entry is Irish contractor Lagan, which is believed to have expressed an interest in the job.
A source said: “There’s no hard rock on the Isle of Wight so Lagan would have to ship it in from Ireland and set up an asphalt plant on the docks.”
All five could find themselves on the shortlist for the job, as the council intends to invite as many as six bidders to enter competitive dialogue in June.
The winning firm will be responsible for the management, refurbishment and maintenance of all publicly maintained rural and urban roads on the island. Under the deal, work will be carried out on structures, kerbs, cycleways and footways, verges and the road drainage system.
In addition to lifecycle, routine and winter maintenance, jobs within the scope of the contract include upgrades of structures to 40 tonne capacity and all traffic signals, streetlighting columns, illuminated bollards and safety
The scope also comprises maintenance and development of car parks, parking meter maintenance, installation of coastal monitoring systems and emergency call outs for fallen trees.
Meanwhile, the other pathfinder schemes moved further along in procurement.
Four teams are thought to be in contention for the London Borough of Hounslow’s 25-year highways maintenance PFI contract. It is understood that Skanska/Jacobs, Colas/Scott Wilson, Vinci/Ringway and Balfour Beatty have
been invited to tender for the contract, valued at between £700 million and £1.4bn.
Amey is said to have pre-qualified and been invited to enter competitive dialogue for the contract, but to have declined to bid.
The bidders for Sheffield’s £2bn equivalent are Amey, a Carillion/ Mouchel/Scottish and Southern Energy consortium, and Colas/ Scott Wilson; an award is expected in February 2011.