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Final tenders due in April for £600m Mersey Gateway scheme

Samsung has joined Mersey Gateway bidders FCC and Kier as a late addition to the consortia – one of the final three for the £600 million scheme.

Final tenders are expected by 10 April from the three shortlisted bidders competing to deliver the project on behalf of Halton Borough Council.

The Mersey Gateway Project approved a revision to the MGL consortium bidding for the six-lane toll bridge over the Mersey in October when it approved Bam Nuttall replacing Galliford Try.

Now Samsung C&T Corporation has joined the Merseylink consortium as part of the construction joint venture, partnering FCC Construcción S.A. and Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Limited. The Merseylink consortium equity partners (see box) remain unchanged.

The three bidders are competing for a 30-year contract to design, build, finance and operate a new toll bridge over the River Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes, together with associated work in the towns.

The three consortia bidding for the scheme are:

Balfour Beatty, Bouygues Travaux Publics, Egis Projects consortium

Merseylink consortium, comprising equity members Macquarie Capital Group Limited, Bilfinger Project Investments Europe Limited, Vialia Sociedad Gestora de Concesiones de Infraestructuras S.L. and FCC Construcción S.A.

MGL consortium; comprising equity members Bam Nuttall, Hochtief PPP Solutions GmbH and Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras S.A.

The bidders have been asked to submit their tenders by 10 April and the announcement of the preferred bidder is due in June, allowing construction to begin by the end of the year.

The value of the construction phase of the project, including land, is estimated at £600m. The total project costs/revenues over the next 30 years will be around £2 billion.

Further details about the schedule of works will be published after the appointment of the preferred bidder.

Halton Borough Council’s Rob Polhill said: “We are now nearing the end of a very detailed and complex process to appoint a private sector partner to work with us for the next three decades on the Mersey Gateway Project.

“This means that the new bridge we really need here in Halton is one step closer, which is great news.”

Mersey Gateway project director Steve Nicholson said: “We are still on track to meet our overall timetable of signing a contract with the appointed bidder during 2013.

“It is important that we continue to focus on both the need for quality on the project and the need to deliver value for money for the public purse.

“I am confident that we will get three high-quality submissions that will deliver on both counts.”

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