First major UK infrastructure project to use procurement to reduce carbon

Invited shortlisted bidders to tender for the £1.9 billion contracts to build the roads, green bridges, parks and woodlands

Lower Thames Crossing - Latest news - First major UK infrastructure project to use procurement to reduce carbon

Published

14 Mar 2022

Today, (Monday 14 March 2022) we have invited shortlisted bidders to tender for the £1.9 billion contracts to build the roads, green bridges, parks and woodlands of the Lower Thames Crossing project.

The proposed Lower Thames Crossing includes the longest road tunnel in the UK and 23kms of new road that would almost double road capacity across the River Thames east of London. The reliable new route would ease congestion on the Dartford Crossing, improve journeys across the region, and unlock economic growth by better connecting people to jobs and the region’s key ports, distribution hubs and manufacturing centres.

The £1.9 billion investment covers two contracts – one for roads north of the Thames in Essex and a second for roads south of the river in Kent. This is in addition to a third contract, worth a further £2.1 billion, to build the tunnels themselves and the approach roads, which will be tendered in the coming weeks.  

In February the project was designated a pathfinder project to explore carbon neutral construction, and the project’s three main works contracts – worth around £4 billion in total – are designed to maximise the environmental and social value outcomes for the local community. Key elements of all these contracts include agreeing an ambitious low-carbon baseline and then incentivising on-going reduction; maximising the benefits for the local community such as jobs, apprenticeships, and new skills; and a focus on local suppliers and SMEs.

Katharina Ferguson, Programme Procurement Director, Lower Thames Crossing, said:

“Our roads are at the heart of our way of life, and will continue to be long into our low-carbon future. The Lower Thames Crossing will improve journeys for millions of people, create opportunities for local people and businesses, as well as help the country on the road to net zero.  We know the construction industry shares our ambitions, and I am incredibly excited to see how we can work together to set a new bar for low carbon construction and maximise the benefits to the local community.”

The £1.3 billion Roads North of the Thames contract includes 16km of new road, over 30 structures including four green bridges and viaducts, and junctions with the A13 and M25, 40km of paths and new parks and woodlands. The shortlisted bidders are:

  • Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd
  • Kier Eiffage (KEJV); comprising of Kier Highways Limited and Eiffage Génie Civil

The £600 million Kent Roads contract includes 6km of new road, a junction with the A2, three green bridges, 20km of pathways and a new park near Gravesend. The shortlisted bidders are:

  • BFV JV; comprising of BAM Nuttall Limited, Ferrovial Construction (UK) Ltd and VINCI Construction Grands Projects
  • Costain Limited
  • Kier Eiffage (KEJV); comprising of Kier Highways Limited and Eiffage Génie Civil
  • Skanska Construction UK Limited
"Our roads are at the heart of our way of life, and will continue to be long into our low-carbon future."
Katharina Ferguson, Programme Procurement Director, Lower Thames Crossing

The invitation to tender has been issued following the most comprehensive programme of market engagement ever undertaken by National Highways. The project has been transparent on the challenges involved in achieving carbon neutral construction and highlighted what it expects from potential partners. The process is designed to be collaborative with an aim to set the right behaviours from the very start in the procurement.

The procurement of the three main works contracts is continuing in parallel to the development consent process with the contract awards are estimated to take place in Summer 2023. The relatively quick procurement process is designed to enable the successful contractors to start the mobilisation and design works early, and give them time to maximise the opportunities for cross-contract collaboration, the development of a local supply chain, and adoption of low-carbon innovations. 

National Highways plans to submit an application for a Development Consent Order for the new crossing later this year, once it has held a further round of consultation in the spring.

For further information contact us at info@lowerthamescrossing.co.uk or by calling 0300 123 5000. You can also get the latest updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Feedback