HS2 development partner award delayed as losing firm launches query

HS2 Ltd has delayed formally awarding the contract for a phase 2b development partner to CH2M whilst it holds talks with under-bidder Mace about the decision.

CH2M was named the winner for the deal earlier this month after an 11-month competitive process between seven different bidders, but now confirmation of the contract has been delayed whilst Mace, which submitted a bid for the contract as part of a joint venture with Turner & Townsend, queries the decision.

An HS2 spokesperson confirmed the news to RTM, saying: “We have received a request for information from one of the bidders about the proposed award of the role of development partner for phase 2B.

“It is important that all the bidders have confidence in the process and, as such, we have agreed to delay contract award while we meet with them to discuss the questions they have raised.”

A Mace spokesperson added: “We can confirm that HS2 has invited us to a private meeting to discuss the phase 2b delivery partner procurement process.

“We welcome that HS2 has acknowledged the need for this meeting. We continue to review our options closely.”

They also added: "“As a British owned company, we were naturally disappointed with HS2’s decision and are looking closely at our options.

"We felt our experience working on the third runway at Heathrow, the London 2012 Olympics and Hinkley Point C, combined with our strong presence in the North of England, would have been an asset to successfully completing this important British project on time and within budget.”

The £170m contract forms part of the £520m worth of deals in the phase 2b development stage. As Teams from Arup, an AECOM/Capita/INECO joint venture and a Mott MacDonald/WSP joint venture will also be taking over different lots across civils design and environmental services.

HS2 unveiled its preferred option for the phase 2 route back in November, along with the announcement of £900m worth of enabling works that will allow the railway to go ahead.

The first phase of the high-speed rail project was given the green light on late last week when the HS2 Hybrid Bill was given royal assent in Parliament, being passed resoundingly in both houses and signalling the project to move forward into its construction phase.

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Pdeaves   01/03/2017 at 09:34

Are we going to get 'sour grapes' from every losing bidder to every major contract now? It certainly seems to be getting more prevalent.

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