The contracting consortium Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) has procured the steel, which will be delivered to three new fabrication plants being established on the banks of the Forth in Rosyth, South Queensferry and North Queensferry.
There was negative reaction in Scotland that the steel contracts had gone overseas, but the Scottish government said the contractors offered the best value for money.
Minister for housing and transport Keith Brown said: “The FRC Principal Contract was procured under strict EU procurement law and awarded to FCBC at a price that delivered significant savings for Scotland’s capital budget. The steel fabricators that have successfully bid for these sub-contracts were included within FCBC’s original tender submission and I am content that its proposals for sourcing steel represent best value for money for the public purse and are acceptable within the terms of FCBC’s contract.”
He also insisted that local people were benefitting: “The FRC [Forth River Crossing] is an absolutely essential project for Scotland’s sustainable economic growth. It is already creating jobs for Scottish people and subcontract opportunities for Scottish firms and the realisation of these benefits will only accelerate during the five-year construction period.
“The British Chambers of Commerce has estimated the project’s knock-on economic benefits will be worth around £6bn and before Christmas it was confirmed the construction sector had already received a significant boost, with 118 sub-contracts worth over £20m in total already awarded to Scottish firms.”
FCBC project director Carlo Germani said: “Our procurement processes aimed to ensure maximum value for money and outstanding quality on the project and I’m pleased to say we have delivered that in the award of these steelwork contracts.
Around 8,500 tonnes for the steel bridge sections will be fabricated at Tecade-Megusa in Seville, Spain and 24,500 tonnes will be fabricated at Zhenhua Heavy Industries in Shanghai, China.