The four contenders for the £5.2bn contract to deliver the 2012 London Olympics have just made their final presentations to the Olympic Delivery Authority. Emily Wright looks at who they are, and what they had to say
This week, the four remaining bidders for the role of Olympic delivery partner were given their last chance to clinch the £5.2bn project – one of the biggest in UK construction history.
Last month the contenders underwent a two-week competitive dialogue, in which the Olympic Delivery Authority questioned them about the scope of the delivery partner’s role. On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week each consortium was to be given half a day to make their final presentations.
The ODA has advised them to make this task less overwhelming by breaking their pitches down into sections such as finance and employment, each correlating with a part of the tender document. This should also help the panel that must now pick the winner; this includes David Higgins, the ODA’s chief executive, Jack Lemley, its chairman, and Godric Smith, its communications director, who is a former spokesperson for Tony Blair.
The favourite among the four candidates is Bechtel, the American engineering, construction and project management company. In fact, Bechtel had been tipped to win from day one, owing to its size, status and the fact that it is bidding as a single entity, which ought to mean that it is the least complicated partner to deal with.
When the procurement process was first conceived, it did not include the role of delivery partner. Higgins created it in January, in the process scrapping the tenders for programme manager and velopark designer. Some industry figures suspect that the delivery partner’s job was created to give Bechtel time to apply – it had not entered the race for programme manager. That said, leaving the other three contenders out in the cold would be controversial, and the panel would have to justify it.
It is expected that the ODA will whittle the four down to a single preferred bidder before negotiating a final contract in the next four or five weeks. For the unlucky three it will be an expensive loss as it is understood that the process has so far cost the four teams more than £10m between them.
As the date of the final decision draws ever nearer, Building takes a closer look at the four runners in the race to build the 2012 London Olympics.
The Legacy consortium, made up of Bovis Lend Lease, Capita Symonds and KBR
Jonathan Goring. He took on BA’s World Cargo Centre project when he was just 32, before joining Symonds and being part of a management buyout there in 2000. When Capita acquired Symonds in 2004, Goring rose through the ranks of the new company to become management and infrastructure director by 2005. He is now focusing solely on the Olympic bid.
The key to Legacy’s bid is in the name. The consortium’s main claim is that it will deliver the best and longest-lasting infrastructure.
What if it loses?
Capita Symonds and Bovis will say only that all their efforts have been focused on this bid. They refuse to confirm if there are any plans to regroup and enter the race for the main stadium or the Olympic village in Stratford. But a source close to Legacy told Building that a bid for the village was “game on”.
Cliff Mumm. The American president of Bechtel Construction Operations and North America infrastructure is originally from Rapid City, South Dakota. After completing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering he joined Bechtel in 1974 where he has been for the past 31 years. Mumm’s recent projects include overseeing the Bechtel team responsible for providing a safety programme for the Ground Zero clean-up operations after 9/11 and working as project director for the rebuilding of Iraq’s infrastructure.
A controversial consortium. Bechtel is thought to be in with a strong chance of winning because it is the only single company to bid, and because it enjoys close relations with the Labour party. On the other hand, much of the industry and the public feel that the London Olympics should be British through and through, and giving an American company the job of constructing the Games will send out a negative message about the abilities of the country’s domestic industry.
What if it loses?
Nuclear, nuclear, nuclear.
Laing O’Rourke, Mace, CH2M, Davis Langdon.
Ray O’Rourke, Laing O’Rourke’s chief executive and the consortium chairman. O’Rourke has been tipped as the best man to put the consortium’s case as he is seen as having the authority, charisma and track record at wooing clients with his can-do, no-nonsense approach.
The consortium sees itself as the “best of British” among the shortlisted bidders, and is determined to fend off the powerful Bechtel group. That said, American group CH2M was brought in to boost the consortium’s international presence. This is the bid with the closest links to the key personnel within the Olympic organisations.
What if it loses?
The consortium is likely to split, with CH2M retreating back to the USA. Laing O’Rourke may then decide to turn its attention to the Olympic stadium and other key Olympic contracts.
The G3 consortium, comprising Amec, Balfour Beatty, Jacobs, Gleeds and Faithful & Gould
Rod Hoare, former Metronet boss. Hoare retired from Metronet, where he was executive chairman, in 2003 and joined Boxwood as a non-executive director in 2004. In his earlier days he had a successful career in aviation and rail. An industry figure who has worked with Hoare says his presentation is likely to be “polished and dominating”.
The bid team went on an away day to prepare for this presentation, during which five-time Olympic gold medallist Steve Redgrave, who is a consultant for Gleeds, gave a motivational speech. The consortium sees itself as British, with Jacobs adding a bit of an American flavour and nous.
What if it loses?
According to a senior source at G3, members of the consortium are likely to bid together for the other major construction contracts, such as Zaha Hadid’s aquatic centre. “There will be opportunities to continue to bid for construction parts, as we’ve all established good relationships,” says the source.