Client will now retender £300m marine works contract

Swansea Tidal Bay Lagoon

Source: Preconstruct

The Chinese contractor doing the marine works on the £1.3bn Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon has been thrown off the job, the project’s developer has confirmed.

China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) was named preferred bidder for a £300m deal last June to build a 9.5km seawall for the scheme.

But the marine construction giant’s contract will now be re-tendered after the client, Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP), conducted a review of all of the “advanced works packages” on the project.

TLP said CHEC’s designs had “limited workability” and did not offer value for money, adding that the works will be retendered “in line with the requirement to deliver optimal value-for-money to investors and to consumers.”

The client also insisted retendering the contract was the only change to the project following its review and it will not have an impact on the project’s funding or delivery timetable.

The scheme is on hold until a government review on the feasibility of tidal lagoons is complete, with negotiations over a strike price postponed until after the review is completed in the autumn.

Other big winners on the scheme include Laing O’Rourke, who were named preferred bidder last year for a £200m deal to build the lagoon’s turbine house, which is now reported to be worth £350m.

Local contractor Alun Griffiths is the preferred bidder for a deal to provide ancillary civil engineering for the project’s public realm works, the value of which has since increased by £10m from the time of the initial announcement to £35m now.

It has also emerged that Andrew McNaughton, the former Balfour Beatty chief executive, has left his role as construction director of Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.

Mike Unsworth, the project’s delivery director, will take over McNaughton’s role.

McNaughton is now in discussions with TLP over taking an ongoing advisory role on the project.

According to widespread reports, the overall cost of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon has escalated from £800m last year to £1.3bn.

CHEC’s removal from Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon comes a month after fellow Chinese contractor China State Construction Engineering Corporation’s joint venture with Interserve mutually agreed to end its deal to construct London’s One Nine Elms tower with client Wanda One.