20 contractors to deliver 4-year, £2bn public infrastructure framework in NW England
Construction and engineering contractors, including Kier, Laing O’Rourke and Morgan Sindall, have been selected to deliver up to £2bn of public sector infrastructure projects in northwest England.
Appointed by the Procure North West Framework, 20 companies will cover four bands of projects which public sector bodies such as hospitals, colleges and housing associations will be able to tap into until 2022.
Leisure providers, the Ministry of Defence, and other government departments will also be able to procure projects through the framework.
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Robbie Blackhurst, Managing Director of Procure North West, said: “When we built the Procure North West Framework the key driver was to establish an OJEU-compliant framework that captured all of the pockets of best practice from other framework procurement routes and pull them under one umbrella.
“This has enabled us to develop a procurement tool for the public sector that is not only effective and efficient but also offers clients a degree of flexibility whilst providing demonstrable value for money.
“Having the contractor partners on board was the last missing piece of the jigsaw and we are delighted that the framework is now live and can start to support the public sector deliver their capital projects.”
The contractors have been shortlisted as follows:
- Lot 1, covering projects worth £1-5mn: Casey Group, Crossfield, Cruden, Eric Wright, Esh, Henry Boot Construction, Seddon Construction, Whitfield & Brown
- Lot 2, covering projects worth £5-15mn: Bardsley Construction, Eric Wright, Galliford Try, Interserve, ISG, Graham, Kier Construction, Wates
- Lot 3, covering projects worth £15-25mn: Bam, Galliford Try, Interserve, Kier Construction, Laing O’Rourke, Morgan Sindall, Wates, Willmott Dixon
- Lot 4, covering projects worth more than £25mn: Bam, Laing O’Rourke, McLaren, Morgan Sindall, Willmott Dixon.
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.