The next phase of procurement for the main construction works contracts for the Thames Tideway Tunnel has been reached as the invitation to tender was sent out for the second works package.

Thames Water sent out the ITT for the East package of work to construct the 25 kilometre tunnel in London today (14/01), with the final bidders expected to be announced in May 2015.

The project has been split geographically into three main construction works contracts, with the ITT for West sent out in December, and the final Central section expected to be released in April 2014.

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is a major new sewer that will help tackle the problem of overflows from the capital’s Victorian sewers and will protect the tidal River Thames from increasing pollution for at least the next 100 years.

The Development Consent Application is currently being considered by the Planning Inspectorate and, subject to consent being granted, construction on the project is due to start in 2016 and will involve 24 construction sites across London.

The three main works packages are worth a total of up to £2.3 billion – West (£300m – £500m), Central (£600m – £950m) and East (£500m – £800m).

Mike Gerrard, Thames Tideway Tunnel managing director, said:

“The tender process is now well under way and we are confident that our process will ensure competitive bids that will result in the best value for our customers.

“We are building for 22nd Century London to create a cleaner, healthier River Thames. The Thames Tideway Tunnel is needed to tackle the tens of millions of tonnes of raw sewage which discharge into the tidal River Thames every year. The river needs cleaning up and it needs to be cleaned up now.”

Alongside the environmental improvements to the tidal River Thames, the tunnel will create more than 9,000 jobs. Already, around 500 people are working on the project.

The project is expected to be financed and delivered by an independent Infrastructure Provider (IP), with its own licence from Ofwat. Thames Water, Government and Ofwat are continuing to work together to finalise the financing arrangements for the project. Procurement of the new IP is expected to begin later this year.

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