Three world-leading consortia have been short-listed to construct twin twenty kilometres of tunnel as part of two works packages on one of Sydney’s biggest rail tunnelling projects.

In his latest announcement, NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance has said that three consortia have been selected as short-listed contenders to deliver the Central Tunnelling Package and the Western Tunnelling Package as part of the Sydney West Metro project which will connect Greater Parramatta with the central CBD.

The shortlisted consortia are:

  • John Holland, CPB Contractors and Ghella Australia Joint Venture (JHCPBG JV);
  • Gamuda and Laing O’Rourke Australia Joint Venture (GALC JV); and
  • Acciona Australia and Ferrovial Australia Joint Venture (AF JV)

Set to double rail capacity between Greater Parramatta and the Sydney CBD and reduce travel time between Parramatta and the CBD to around 20 minutes, the Sydney Metro West project involves around twenty kilometres of twin rail tunnels which will run parallel to the existing Main Suburban and Main Western railway lines and at least seven new stations at Bays Precinct, Five Dock, Burwood North, North Strathfield, Sydney Olympic Park, Parramatta and Westmead.

The tunnelling contract will be awarded in two packages.

The three tenderers will firstly participate in the Central Tunnelling Package, with the successful tenderer awarded a contract to build 11 kilometres of twin tunnels from The Bays to Sydney Olympic Park.

The remaining two tenderers will then bid for the Western Tunnelling Package, with the successful tenderer awarded a contract to build 9 kilometres of twin tunnels from Westmead to Sydney Olympic Park.

The successful tenderer for the Central Tunnelling Package will not be eligible to be awarded the Western Tunnelling Package – a move Constance says will drive greater competition in the delivery of Australian tunnelling infrastructure.

In a statement, Constance said the project will generate more than 10,000 new direct jobs and 70,000 indirect jobs – many of which will be generated by the tunnelling contracts.

“These contracts will require tunnellers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, concrete workers, truck drivers, labourers and security guards,” he said.

“The three shortlisted consortia have a wealth of Australian and international experience in delivering high quality infrastructure projects”

The first contract is expected to be awarded by the middle of next year.

Subject to planning approval, work on the project is expected to start in The Bays later this year, with the first of four mega tunnel boring machines expected to be in the ground before the end of 2022.

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