International consortium beats Bechtel to land £100m-plus Olympic project

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The Independent Online

An international consortium was awarded a £100m-plus contract yesterday to ensure the smooth running of the Olympic construction project, the largest in Europe for several years.

The CLM group, comprising three companies with a combined turnover of £5bn and experience in seven other Olympiads, beat three others, including the favourites Bechtel. CLM pipped the American firm by offering better value for money.

The partners in CLM are Laing O'Rourke, the builders of Heathrow's Terminal 5 and the Bluewater shopping centre, the British programme management company Mace and CH2M Hill, a US engineering and construction programme manager.

CLM will perform a project management role for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), which is responsible for the construction of infrastructure and venues for the 500-acre Olympic Park to be built in Stratford. The consortium will not build any of the venues or infrastructure, contracts for which will be let separately by the ODA.

Announcing the deal exactly six years before the London Games are due to begin, David Higgins, the ODA chief executive, said CLM "pairs the best of British industry with one of the world's largest engineering firms". He added: "This is another big and positive milestone in the 2012 programme, giving us the resources to move forward to the next stage of delivery of the facilities for the Games."

He said CLM would be paid a basic amount of more than £100m although an unspecified proportion of remuneration would come in the form of annual bonuses based on performance, plus a final performance-related bonus.

CLM's chairman, Ray O'Rourke, whose connections with Olympics organisers have proved crucial in winning the contract, dismissed suggestions that the Games project might see a repeat of the delays and cost overruns at the new Wembley stadium. "We have delivered Terminal 5 nine months early and to budget. We have a wonderful reputation for delivery and this is not an issue," he said.

Jack Lemley, the ODA chairman, said: "This is not going to be a repeat of Wembley."