Spanish JV completes HS2 bidders shortlist

Austrian construction giant Strabag will meanwhile join the existing partnership between Skanska and Costain, according to sources close to the project.

Acciona has become the fourth Spanish rail contractor to enter the HS2 running after Ferrovial announced it would be partnering with Bam Nuttall and Morgan Sindall in a JV, while Dragados has joined forces with Hotchief and Galliford Try.

FCC Construcción has been named on a JV alongside Laing O’Rourke and Murphy.

Acciona comes to the HS2 bidding process with a strong high-speed rail pedigree, having constructed 1200 km of track and 160 km of tunnel across Spain’s high-speed rail network.

The news of the Costain/Skanska/Strabag JV comes after months of speculation about a partnership between Costain and Skanska.


  • Acciona / Sisk / Lagan Construction Group
  • Costain / Skanska / Strabag
  • FCC Construcción / Murphy / Laing O’Rourke
  • Ferrovial / Bam Nuttall / Morgan Sindall
  • Dragados / Hotchief / Galiford Try
  • Carillion / Kier / Eiffage
  • Bouygues / Volker / Sir Robert McAlpine
  • Balfour Beatty / Vinci

The Austrian contractor is a relative newcomer to the UK market, with the majority of its work taking place on the continent, but has worked on Crossrail and was an unsuccessful bidder for the Northern Line Extension.

It has carried out major rail and tunnelling projects across Europe, Africa and North America, including the Limerick Tunnel in Ireland and Copenhagen’s first metro line.

The other JVs bidding for packages on the £16.3bn project are Carillion/Kier/Eiffage and Bouygues/Volker/Sir Robert McAlpine.

Three £900m enabling lots are currently in the procurement phase, with a shortlist expected to be announced this month.

These are expected to be followed by seven civils packages across the HS2 route, each worth between £700m and £1.1bn.


  • September/October 2015: Pre-qualification questionnaire released
  • MarchDecember 2016: Shortlist and invitation to tender
  • Early 2017: Contracts awarded

Four of the packages will be for tunnelling, with the other three for surface works, including earthworks and viaducts.

The procurement phase is expected to begin next month, with a shortlist drawn up between March and December 2016 and the work awarded by early 2017.

The news of the final list of bidders comes after the first JVs vying for the HS2 engineering delivery partner role were revealed.

A JV featuring CH2M Hill, Atkins and Spanish firm Sener is set to go up against a Bechtel and Jacobs JV for the work that is expected to be awarded by December this year.


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BDC 305 Jun 2023