Multiplex in pole position to land Chinese Olympic deal after building Sydney stadium for 2000 games.
Contractors Multiplex and Bovis Lend Lease are poised to enter the race to build the £1.4bn facilities for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Beijing won the right to host the Olympics last week, sparking a wave of anticipation about construction contracts in China.

Both Bovis Lend Lease and Multiplex are being tipped as prime bidders for the olympics after their involvement in last year's games in Sydney.

Multiplex, Australia's largest private contractor, built Sydney's Olympic stadium, and Bovis subsidiary Bovis McLachlan prepared a masterplan for the Olympic village.

Bovis Lend Lease is particularly well positioned, having worked as a technical adviser to Beijing's successful bid.

Multiplex is believed to be already putting a bid team together for the project, which includes building the Olympic village, 22 sports venues and renovating other stadiums.

A Bovis Lend Lease spokesperson said the firm had built up a network of relationships in China since setting up its operation 10 years ago. The spokesperson was reticent about discussing a Bovis Lend Lease bid. She said: "It's too early to discuss specific opportunities for the Olympics."

Local consultants confirmed that there was huge interest. Quantity surveyor WT Partnership said it was "getting the network going" in preparation for bidding. WT was cost consultant on the Sydney stadium project. WT Hong Kong managing director Geoff McCauley said a director was travelling to Beijing this week.

He said: "I would imagine every man and his dog will be chasing this. A lot of design consultants and contractors have been lobbying. It's the first time the games have been staged in China – and it's going to be a showpiece."

Members of the Sydney organising committee for the Olympic games are advising Beijing – the committee was universally praised for its organisation of the 2000 games.

The Olympics is also set to spark off a boom in infrastructure and environmental work, thought to be worth at least £14bn. This will include railway links, roads and subways.