Thames Water today confirmed the four bidders in the running to be shortlisted for the first of two major infrastructure construction contracts for its London Tideway Tunnels project.
The four bidders are confirmed as:
Laing O'Rourke/Impregilo joint venture
Morgan Est/Vinci/Bachy joint venture
Murphy/Hochtief joint venture
This is so far the largest ever single contract let by Thames Water. Pending planning and other approvals, construction of the Lee Tunnel is due to begin later this year and be completed in 2014.
Thames Water head of London Tideway Tunnels Phil Stride said: "Currently, 32M.m3 of storm sewage overflows from London's Victorian sewers into the River Thames and its tributary, the River Lee, each year.
"This untreated sewage discharges into the river on average more than once a week. The Lee Tunnel will substantially reduce the overflows by capturing and transferring them to Beckton for treatment.
"Together with the proposed Thames Tunnel, the Lee Tunnel will provide London with a 21st century sewage system and help make the river Thames cleaner and healthier for people and wildlife.
"We will now go through a vigorous assessment programme to shortlist bidders to construct the Lee Tunnel and pending planning approval, we hope to award contracts later this year."
Planning applications for the Lee Tunnel, including an extension of Beckton Sewage Treatment Works to increase its treatment capacity, were submitted to the London Borough of Newham, the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation and the Olympic Delivery Authority in May 2008.