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Tue May 11 2021

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No competition for Thames Crossing tunnel spoil contract

26 Apr Land reclamation specialist Ingrebourne Valley has been earmarked for a £43.6m contract by Highways England to dispose of Lower Thames Crossing tunnel spoil after emerging as the sole bidder.

CGI of the north portal of the tunnel on the Essex side
CGI of the north portal of the tunnel on the Essex side

Ingrebourne Valley will be responsible for getting rid of two million cubic metres of spoil from the excavation of the twin bore tunnels that Highways England hopes to build under the Thames to the east of London.

The scope of works will require Essex-based Ingrebourne Valley to take delivery of spoil from the working area on the north bank of the Thames. It will be required to provide transportation from the working area to its proposed disposal site.

The bidding process identified only one interested supplier who was able to demonstrate their capabilities and relevant skill and experience in performing the required services in a manner that was compliant with the likely obligations of the development consent order.

The £6bn Lower Thames Crossing project comprises two bored tunnels beneath the River Thames with interconnecting link roads to the M25, A13 and A2. At 16 metres in diameter, the tunnels will be some of the largest bored tunnels in the world. And at 2.4 miles each, the tunnels will be the longest in the country.

Highways England tested the market for interest by way of a prior information notice (PIN 2020/S 027-063332).

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Eight companies expressed an interest in the PIN, and all were invited to participate in a one-to-one meeting to identify whether they could offer a credible technical solution to satisfy the scope requirements and associated constraints of the procurement under a signed non-disclosure agreement.

Ingrebourne Valley was the only company to accept an offer of a follow-up meeting, Highways England said. No other supplier responded to Highways England or engaged in detailed dialogue, despite the Highways England offering an extension to the deadline to express an interest in participating.

Ingrebourne Valley also highlighted that it was the only supplier with the required licenses at the site location.

Formal contract award depends on Highways England completing the planning process for the project. It expects to resubmit its application for a development consent order later this year. An application was originally submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in October 2020 but lacked essential details and so had to be withdrawn.

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