HS2 revises overhead catenary system plan after lack of bidder interest

9 August 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

HS2 is to revise its strategy for procuding the overhead catenary system for the whole of its Phase 1 and Phase 2a routes after a lack of bidder interest.

It announced through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) that it will hold an industry day on 3 September to “re-engage” with contractors after a lack of interest in the contract.

The notice said: “HS2 have recognised the current market conditions are challenging and the increasing concern regarding risk transfer and have therefore revised our position to provide a better balance and overall outcome. The industry day will provide an opportunity to re-engage with the market and outline our revised strategy which we believe will attract a larger number of bidders, reduce risk and thereby produce a more competitive process.”

The scope includes foundations and steelwork, small parts steelwork, support and registration equipment, in-span assemblies including tensioning devices, neutral sections, asset condition monitoring equipment, switches and sectioning arrangements, registration and panning, earthing and bonding and electrification signage.

It is the second time in less than a month that HS2 has been forced to rethink its procurement, after its search for a design and build contractor for the £435m Birmingham Curzon Street station failed to generate enough interest.

At the time, HS2 cited a “lower-than-anticipated market appetite” and acknowledged contractors were unhappy with the amount of risk they would have to take on.

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