Balfour-Vinci take £1bn HS2 deal after Bechtel drops legal action

17 September 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Old Oak Common station

A joint venture between Balfour Beatty, Vinci and Systra has been confirmed as winner of the £1bn construction management contract to deliver HS2’s new Old Oak Common station.

The JV was originally selected in February but rival bidder Bechtel then launched a legal challenge after missing out, resulting in the suspension of the contract. However, Bechtel dropped the challenge last month. 

Now the Balfour Beatty Vinci Systra JV is gearing up to undertake the final design, construction and commissioning of the station, which will deliver six underground platforms as well as up to eight platforms on the adjacent Great Western Main Line.

Balfour Beatty and Vinci each hold a 42% share in the JV, with Balfour combining its expertise on major transport terminals with Vinci’s knowledge of constructing high speed lines. Systra, which has a 16% share, has extensive experience of designing, integrating and project managing transport systems.

At construction peak the project will employ a direct management team of 140 and a wider workforce of approximately 2,500.  

Once completed, Old Oak Common will provide direct services to three major airports as well as eight of Britain’s ten largest cities.

Nigel Russell, project director for the Balfour Beatty Vinci Systra joint venture said: “This award reflects the combined strength of our joint venture and recognises our world-class capabilities in designing, managing and delivering complex infrastructure projects.

“We look forward to applying our expertise to deliver this critical piece of national infrastructure so essential to driving the skills agenda, to the rebalancing of the UK economy and to the enabling of a resilient and competitive construction and infrastructure industry.” 

Balfour Beatty and Vinci already have a contract, to deliver Lot N1 and Lot N2 of HS2’s main civil engineering works package in a two-part design and build contract, valued at around £2.5bn.

However, some uncertainty now surrounds the future of the project, after transport secretary Grant Shapps commissioned former Crossrail chairman Douglas Oakervee and his deputy Lord Berkeley to conduct an independent review into HS2, with its findings due in the autumn.

Bechtel has been contacted for comment.

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