HS2 contracts worth £6.6bn announced by Chris Grayling

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 17, 2017

The HS2 contracts provide some badly-needed good news for Carillion which saw its share price almost halve last week after being rocked by a full year revenues warning, dividend suspension and the immediate departure of its chief executive, Richard Howson.

Balfour Beatty said its joint venture with construction company VINCI has won two contracts worth a combined GBP2.50 billion, under which it will deliver Lot N1 and Lot N2.

The first phase of HS2, connecting London's Euston station with Birmingham in the midlands, is now scheduled for completion in 2026.

The seven companies to win contracts also included Emirates and Olympic stadium builder Sir Robert McAlpine, Balfour Beatty and France's Vinci.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling defended the choice of Carillion, telling Sky News: "They're part of a consortium - they're not alone in the contracts, and we've had secure undertakings from all the members of the consortium that they will deliver that contract".

Carillion disclosed on Monday that it had appointed consultancy firm EY to help with a strategic review of the business "with a particular focus upon cost reduction and cash collection".

He said: "Obviously in the light of last Monday's announcement by Carillion, HS2 has carried out additional due diligence and sought re-assurance of both it and its two partners in the joint venture - Kier and Eiffage - that they remained committed and able to deliver the contract". My priorities are to reduce the group's net debt and create a balance sheet that will support Carillion going forward. Costain's share price rose around 1pc in early trading, while Balfour Beatty's climbed more than 3pc.

The Transport Secretary will today publish a bill to deliver the next phase of HS2, from the West Midlands to the West Coast Main Line south of Crewe.

In November previous year, ministers said the line should serve the existing central station in Sheffield, after proposals to run trains to the Meadowhall shopping centre were set aside. HS2 is a real opportunity for British steel to shine.

Campaigners have called for the original route to be backed, with residents on Mexborough's Shimmer estate protesting that the so-called "M18 route" will go through their homes or pass within yards.

This will see 11 new high-speed platforms created as well as the redevelopment of 13 existing Network Rail stations.

These include the details of the routes of Phase 2a between Birmingham and Crewe and Phase 2b between Crewe and Manchester and between the West Midlands and Leeds, to be revealed later today.

A Department for Transport spokesman said Mr Byng's claims were "incorrect" and insisted: "We are keeping a tough grip on costs and the project is on time and on budget at £55.7bn".

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