HS2 (High Speed Two) has officially confirmed that US-based Bechtel is the preferred bidder for the £170 million (€203 million) role of delivery partner in phase 2b of the UK rail project after CH2M dropped out amid controversy last month.
CH2M had originally been awarded the contract but subsequently withdrew after third placed losing bidder Mace raised concerns about possible conflicts of interest.
The decision by HS2 to give the contract to second placed bidder Bechtel allows the company to avoid re-running the procurement process.
With that said, there remains a standstill period in which Mace is still able legally to challenge the decision, which means that a re-run could still take place.
CH2M has also received a letter from HS2 officially acknowledging its withdrawal from the process.
The contract is for the construction of two lines, from Crewe to Manchester and from West Midlands to Leeds.
Referring to Bechtel, HS2 said, “Following discussions, we are confident they are able and prepared to deliver the contract on time, on budget and to a high standard.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins are to sit in front of the transport select committee to answer questions about the procurement process for the phase 2b award.