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HS2 announces Bechtel as development partner

HS2 High Speed Rail

High Speed 2 Ltd (HS2 Ltd) has announced Bechtel as preferred bidder for its Phase 2b development partner role.

It said letters had just gone out announcing the decison, marking the start of the standstill, which is the 10 day period where challenges against the appointment can be made. If no challenges are made, the contract between the two parties will be signed.

“HS2 Ltd can confirm that Bechtel are being taken forward to the next stage of the 2b development partner procurement process,” said an HS2 Ltd spokesperson.

“The bidder now enters the standstill period allowed for under the process prior to contract award. Following discussions we are confident they are able and prepared to deliver the contract on time, on budget, and to a high standard.”

Letters have been sent to Bechtel and Mace/Turner & Townsend informing them of HS2 Ltd’s intention to award the contract to Bechtel. CH2M has received a letter acknowledging its withdrawal from the process.

In February this year, HS2 Ltd awarded the £170M contract to CH2M. However, the American company subsequently pulled out of the role over questions of potential conflicts of interest raised by rival bidder Mace. The questions were put to HS2 Ltd and were about its procurement process. The previous HS2 Ltd interim chief executive Roy Hill and now permanent chief executive Mark Thurston had both been recruited from CH2M.

The announcement comes ahead of tomorrow’s Transport Committee hearing in Parliament where transport secretary Chris Grayling MP and High Speed 2 Ltd chairman Sir David Higgins will be questioned about the procurement process for the Phase 2b development partner contract.

It has not been confirmed at this stage whether Mace will challenge the decision, however the company has previously said it would not rule out the prospect of legal action against the appointment of Bechtel and HS2’s decision not to re-run the procurement process.

New Civil Engineer has contacted Bechtel for a response.



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