Rivals say UK’s biggest private contractor beginning to target more tendered work

A Sir Robert McAlpine project director who worked for over six years on the Bloomberg building is leaving the firm after more than 15 years at the business and joining Laing O’Rourke.

Allan Cameron has been with McAlpine since summer 2006 and was hailed for his efforts on the Foster & Partners-designed scheme in the City of London, picking up a silver medal for his work on the project in the office category of the 2018 CIOB awards.

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Allan Cameron is swapping McAlpine for O’Rourke after 15 years at the former

An O’Rourke spokesperson confirmed he was joining the firm as a project director with sources saying the company is on a recruitment push as it targets more work.

Rivals say the £2.5bn turnover firm is appearing on more bid lists than it has done in recent years where it has tended to favour negotiated jobs or repeat business.

“We are seeing their name more and more at the moment, whereas in the past few years you didn’t know whether or not they were going to bid a job you thought they would,” one firm said.

O’Rourke is expected to be confirmed shortly as the winner of a £150m mixed-use scheme at Baker Street for Derwent – having pipped McAlpine.

It is also bidding two high-profile jobs on the South Bank – a £120m deal to give the IBM building a makeover and a £400m scheme to turn the former London studios of ITV into new offices which will include a 26-storey tower.

Meanwhile, O’Rourke has said it will replace red diesel with hydrotreated vegetable oil in all its plant equipment before the end of next month.

The firm has been carrying out tests on machines used by its Select and Explore plant businesses in the past six months with the move reducing carbon emissions in its fleet by 90%. It said red diesel in plant is the largest single source of the company’s direct emissions, comprising 39% of the total.