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Billions up for grabs as Metronet opens up contract bidding system


TUBE STATION renewal work worth billions of pounds is now up for grabs following Metronet's decision last week to let jobs to rms that are not part of its tied supply chain.

The company announced on Friday that it had awarded design and build contracts worth £150M at six stations (see box).

There are another 78 contract packages to be bid for and completed by 2010. A spokesman said that 36 of these are likely to be let as design and build, with the remaining 48 being offered as construction management deals because the design work had already been done by Metronet in-house.

The move follows criticism of Metronet procurement set up by Public Private Partnership arbiter Chris Bolt last year (NCE 23 November), under which it gave all work to shareholder companies.

'We identified that we needed to accelerate productivity and the arbiter said we needed to be more economic and efcient.

This is a step toward ensuring that we are, ' said a Metronet spokesman.

Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Bombardier, EDF Energy and Thames Water all have equal shares in the Metronet business.

All but Bombardier are part of Trans4m, which until now implemented all work.

Trans4m will in future manage contracts for Metronet and member companies will have to bid for work competitively.

Atkins welcomed the Metronet move. 'Our objective is to become a preferred supplier, ' a spokesman said.

Metronet is awaiting guidance from the arbiter on who pays for seven test cases of unforeseen or extra work totalling £750M it has carried out since Tube privatisation in 1999.

Bolt's views, expected during the week of 12 March, will help Metronet reach a deal with its client London Underground. If not it will push Metronet into demanding that the arbiter undertake an extraordinary review and impose a settlement.

Station winners

Baker Street - Taylor Woodrow Embankment - Costain Moor Park - Celshar Rickmansworth - Celshar Sloane Square - YJL Infrastructure Westbourne Park - YJL Infrastructure

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