Laing O'Rourke and Bouygues are among European contractors that have said that they plan to bid for the work. New South Wales transport minister Gladys Berejiklian said that six consortiums, including more than 60 companies, have signalled their intention to bid for the contract to build the twin 15.5km tunnels between Bella Vista and Epping, following calls for expressions of interest.
“This is an outstanding result and a strong sign of the high level of interest in this project,” she said. “The companies involved are from across Australia and around the world, including Spain, the USA, France, the UK, South Africa, China, Italy and Japan.”
The next step will be the official calling for tenders in October this year to build the twin tunnels, which will be the longest and deepest rail tunnels in Australia. The project is on schedule for tunnel boring machines to be in the ground in 2014.
The joint venture parties that have lodged expressions of interest are:
- Baulderstone Bouyges North West Rail Joint Venture: Baulderstone, Bouygues Travaux Publics;
- China Rail 15th Group Australia;
- Civilinc: Acciona Infrastructure Australia, Ferrovial Agroman (Australia), Ghella;
- OHL Impregilo: Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL), Impregilo
- RapidLink: Obayashi Corporation, McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust), Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction;
- Thiess John Holland Dragados: Thiess, John Holland, Dragados Australia.
Following the call for tenders to build the tunnels, a contract is expected to be awarded in the second half of next year.
There will be three major contracts for the North West Rail Link project, covering tunnelling; surface construction works; and rail systems, trains and operations. The tender process for the two remaining contracts is expected to start later this year.