It may be a couple of years before commuters can ride on Crossrail (Elizabeth line) trains running under London, but one phase of the project is now complete.
The award of a £26 million contract to ATO (Alstom/TSO/Costain joint venture) for a maintenance facility at Plumstead completes the procurement process, with every major contract now placed.
It has been something of a procurement marathon. Contracts C2114 and C2115, for Land Referencing Services, were placed with Terraquest Solutions and Mouchel on 1 June 2008. Both were valued at less than £5 million.
The two largest individual contracts, each worth over £400 million, were for the main running tunnels – East (Dragados/John Sisk JV) and West (BAM Nuttal/Ferrovial Agroman/Kier Construction JV).
In between those extremes were 125 other major contracts, all valued in the millions, which together will make up the bulk of Crossrail’s £6.5 billion spend.
But big money didn’t necessarily mean big contractors. Sixty-two per cent of companies in Crossrail’s supply chain are based outside London and 63 per cent are SMEs. They won a host of smaller – and larger – contracts which had been advertised through events held around the country and on the free procurement service CompeteFor.
The procurement process has also been used to drive economic, environmental and social sustainability through the supply chain. For example, as part of their contract conditions, major contractors have been required to provide apprenticeships and jobs for previously unemployed people. They have been made to re-use excavated material sustainably and to ensure that all lorries delivering to work sites are fitted with the latest safety measures to protect pedestrians and cyclists.
Speaking after the award of the last major contract, programme director Simon Wright said: “We have used the procurement process as a way of ensuring world class standards in the construction of the new railway as well as value for money for the taxpayer.
“The contracts we’ve signed with our principle contractors have also set the future standard for major UK infrastructure projects, helping us to deliver more than 550 apprenticeships, reducing our impact on the environment and spreading the economic benefits of the project.”