Builder John Holland is preparing to launch a bid for the $1.1 billion first stage of the McGowan Government’s flagship Metronet policy despite being embroiled in a stand-off with the State over Perth Children’s Hospital.
Expressions of interest to build the Yanchep rail extension and the Thornlie-Cockburn link closed in late November and it is understood John Holland is among a handful of companies to have thrown their hat in the ring.
It comes even though John Holland is pursuing a $300 million claim for damages against the State over changes to the contract for the trouble-plagued PCH construction.
In response, the State has counterclaimed against John Holland for an unspecified amount over alleged unpaid rent at the QEII Medical Centre.
John Holland, considered one of Australia’s best rail builders, last month boosted its capability in the area by buying the rail and transport business of failed engineering company RCR Tomlinson for an undisclosed sum.
The Melbourne-based firm built rail projects in WA, including the Perth City Link as well as the Mandurah railway line, while it has also delivered Sydney’s Inner West light rail extension. The company declined to comment.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti would not be drawn on which companies had lodged their interest in building the first stage of Metronet, which the Government claims will eventually cost $3.2 billion and also include an extension of the Armadale line to Byford and a new line to Ellenbrook.
Ms Saffioti said a short list of preferred bidders would shortly be drawn up, with the contract to be awarded in the second half of the year.
“Multiple proponents have applied and more details will be made available once a short list is finalised,” Ms Saffioti said.
“Within the next few months, short-listed proponents will be selected to go through to the next stage of the ‘competitive alliance’ process, based on an assessment of their initial proposals.
“The proponents will then be asked to work with the PTA to further develop a design and a target price to complete the works.
“The final contract will be awarded during the second half of 2019, allowing works to start before the end of the year.”