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Bechtel "pleased" to land £400M Crossrail delivery partner role

The £400M Crossrail project delivery partner role has been to the Bechtel, Halcrow and Systra consortium, after three weeks of behind the scenes negotiations.

Bechtel and its partners Halcrow and Systra will take on responsibility for delivering the complex central tunnelled section of London’s £16bn Crossrail scheme.

The decision follows a three week delay, while “technical issues” relating to European Union procurement rules were ironed out. The consortium will be responsible for the design and management of the 21km tunnelled section.

Losing consortia were: Legacy 3 (Parsons Brinckerhoff/Balfour Beatty/Davis Langdon), Laing O’Rourke/Atkins and Capita Symonds/Northcroft.

The Bechtel, Halcrow, and Systra consortium said it was “extremely pleased” at the announcement.

Speaking on behalf of the three companies, Bechtel senior vice president Cliff Mumm said: “We are extremely pleased to hear today’s announcement. This is one of the most important and exciting construction projects in the world. 

“We believe that we offer a proven, tried, and tested team, ready to deliver for London. We have a track record of managing large scale infrastructure projects on time and on budget, notably High Speed 1. We have complementary skills: Bechtel brings world-class project management, Halcrow is a multi-disciplinary consultancy offering world-class rail and tunnelling experience, and Systra is a world leader in railway systems, bringing technical expertise proven on the Paris RER network. The team has a wealth of experience of infrastructure projects in London. 

“We are pleased that we will now have the opportunity to bring these skills to bear for the benefit of Crossrail and London.”

The team will be led by Mumm, who has substantial experience in managing large, complex, multi-disciplinary projects. He has been responsible for major civil infrastructure projects including railways; buildings; roads; bridges; water and wastewater facilities; airports; and power projects in the UK, Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the USA.

When Bechtel was called in to complete London Underground’s Jubilee Line extension in less than a year, with two years worth of work to go, Mumm led his team to an on-time completion and received an honorary CBE for his outstanding achievements.

The decision to appoint Bechtel completes the senior management line-up for the project following the appointment in recent weeks of Transcend as programme partner. This role is one of strategic programme management, or one of “seamless integration with the client team”, as Crossrail procurement director Steve Rowsell described it in NCE’s Building Crossrail supplement.

The delivery partner in contrast will need the “hard-nosed skills”, according to Rowsell, “albeit within a partnering approach”. It is arguably the biggest job on the project and the as a result Bechtel, Halcrow and Systra are expected to commit “significant resources” and people to the job.

“The selection of the Project Delivery Partner following such a competitive procurement process marks a significant milestone in the delivery of Crossrail,” said Non-Executive Chairman of Crossrail Douglas Oakervee. “With the appointment of Bechtel Ltd as Project Delivery Partner Crossrail will have world class expertise in place to oversee the project management of this new railway and delivery of the Crossrail tunnels through central London and on to Docklands and Woolwich.”

Preparatory works will continue throughout 2009. The main Crossrail construction starts in 2010. Crossrail is scheduled to open for service in 2017. Crossrail is promoted by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL became a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London on 5 December 2008.

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