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Big names up for £400m Liverpool hospital job

Some of the biggest names in contracting are battling for the £400 million contract to replace Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

The UK’s biggest two contractors by turnover, Balfour Beatty and Carillion, are both understood to have expressed their interest in the 30-year PFI deal to design, build, finance and operate the new facility.

Spanish construction giant FCC is believed to have joined the competition in a joint venture with Interserve, which would provide facilities management.

Health sector specialist Brookfield is also thought to have met the 2 June PQQ deadline for the project, which will be sited on a cleared area on the existing hospital site.

Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust will shortlist three firms on 13 July. It is not known whether other PQQs were submitted.

The chosen three will enter competitive dialogue, with one eliminated in the autumn and the remaining two submitting final bids in February 2011.

A preferred bidder is set to be named next summer, with financial close and start on site in early 2012.

The new hospital will take about three years and nine months to construct, and this will be followed by three years during which the existing hospital and associated buildings will be emptied and demolished and the site cleared and landscaped.

Up to £280 million and 89,000 sq m of the project will be funded by the PFI, while the Treasury Infrastructure Finance Unit may also provide debt finance if needed.

Bidders will be required to prepare a masterplan for the whole site, including for future investment programmes not included in this contract, such as a new biomedical campus and potential transfer of cancer services.

The redevelopment was approved by former health secretary Andy Burnham, but is understood to be under review by the coalition Government.

However, the hospital has insisted it is “business as usual” for the procurement process.

Current plans are for the building to be 10 floors high. However, the outline planning permission would allow the building to be slightly taller if necessary.

Balfour Beatty now has more than £1 billion of public sector work to play for in Liverpool. It is shortlisted against a joint venture of Laing O’Rourke and Interserve for the £288m Alder Hey Children’s Health Park project, and the firm is going head-to-head with Morgan Sindall for the £350m Liverpool BSF job.

In 2008, a consortium of FCC, Interserve, P Elliott and Allied Irish Bank won a £300m PFI contract to build a new hospital in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.

In 2009, Brookfield Europe beat Balfour Beatty and Laing O’Rourke to the £500m contract to rebuild Glasgow Southern General Hospital (pictured).

Carillion was named preferred bidder in December 2009 for the £450m redevelopment of Southmead Hospital in Bristol.