Joint venture appointed preferred bidder to build the Lee Tunnel in east London, starting in April 2010

Morgan Sindall today announced that the MVB joint venture, comprising its infrastructure services business Morgan Est, Vinci Construction Grands Projets and Bachy Soletanche, has been appointed preferred bidder to build the £417m Lee Tunnel for Thames Water.

Morgan Est has a 50% shareholding in the JV, Vinci has 30% and Bachy 20%.

The project involves the construction of a 7 m internal diameter storage transfer tunnel, which is about 6,900 m long, from Abbey Mills pumping station to Beckton sewage treatment works.

Works include the construction of two, 25 m internal diameter shafts and one 20 m shaft (two at Beckton and one at Abbey Mills) and a 38 m diameter off-line Tideway pumping station shaft.

Work will start in April 2010 and the tunnel will be complete by the end of 2014 in order to comply with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive set by the European Union.

Paul Smith, chief Executive of Morgan Sindall, said: "This is a very important project for our infrastructure services division. Being appointed preferred bidder demonstrates the strength and expertise that Morgan Est has in tunnelling, an area where we have a market leading position.

"It further strengthens our relationship with Thames Water and we look forward to starting work on the project in due course."