Bechtel lost out on managing construction of London's Olympic Park because it was too expensive, London Mayor Ken Livingstone confirmed yesterday.
CLM, the joint venture company set up between US programme manager CH2M Hill, Laing O'Rourke and Mace, was last week appointed as the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) Delivery Partner following a head to head battle with the US giant.Livingstone said: 'Both put up a convincing performance, but Bechtel's price was considerably higher.'The US programme manger's track record of running major projects such as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and the West Coast Main Line had seen it become many people's favourite to win the £100M plus ODA contract.However, after a technical appraisal took the shortlisted bids of Legacy (Bovis Lend Lease/KBR/Capita Symonds) and G3 (Amec, Balfour Beatty and Jacobs) out of the running, Bechtel proved more costly than the victorious CLM. 'I'm delighted with the decision,' added Livingstone. 'Bechtel offers a very good package - and you can be assured that they would have built it to time and budget because of the price. But it leaves them now as a strong contender for Crossrail.'CLM will be headed by Laing O'Rourke boss Ray O'Rourke as chairman and CH2M Hill's Ron Brooks as chief executive and programme director.As Delivery Partner, CLM must manage planning, design, construction, commissioning, maintenance, and costs of building the 202ha Olympic Park in East London and then oversee conversion to legacy mode after the games.Brooks said his team's first task would be to identify immediate priorities and to work on planning applications for the Park due to be submitted in January 2007.Industry reaction to CLM's appointment was overwhelmingly positive.Costain chief executive Andrew Wyllie said he was delighted for Ray O'Rourke, while WSP chief executive Chris Cole said it was 'a good British decision'.Following a ten day cooling off period, CLM is expected to officially take up its role next week.