Firm creates first-ever joint venture between Chinese and western multidisciplinary consultants.
Mott MacDonald has formed a joint venture with an engineering firm in Beijing in an attempt to land contracts for the 2008 Olympic Games in the Chinese capital.

The joint venture with the Beijing Engineering Consulting Corporation, the first between a Chinese multidisciplinary consultant and a western one, is due to be announced today.

The new firm, Mott MacDonald Beizi Engineering Consultants, will offer business case planning and project programme management for public utility infrastructure, sports and leisure facilities and buildings and transportation systems.

BECC's portfolio in Beijing includes plans to develop feasibility studies for the city's national stadium and national swimming centre, both for the 2008 Olympics.

The news comes as Mott MacDonald waits to hear whether it has been awarded the design contract for the 350,000 m2 third terminal of Beijing airport, which will increase capacity in time for the games. The bidders are believed to have been whittled down to three, one of which is Mott MacDonald. The winning bid expected to be announced in the next few weeks.

It is not clear who the other two bidders are.

The Olympics are a good driver, but our ambitions in China are for the longer term

Derek Fryer, Mott MacDonald

Mott MacDonald's experience in the region includes a strategic study, design, planning and project delivery for Chek Lap Kok airport in Hong Kong.

Mott MacDonald vice-chairman Derek Fryer said: "We are bringing our Chek Lap Kok experience.

There has not been a formal announcement that we are in the final three – it is an understanding."

He said the firm had been in talks for the past two years with BECC about a possible joint venture.

Fryer said: "The Olympics are a very good driver but our ambitions in China are longer term. It is a vibrant economy with 1.3bn people. The joint venture, a blend of local talents and international experience, gives us a real opportunity."

BECC's business covers investment appraisal, feasibility studies, engineering cost consulting and construction supervision in all areas of urban infrastructure development.

Mott MacDonald also has a presence in China in the form of a wholly owned local subsidiary and Cambridge Education Associates, an international subsidiary.