Chris Meale, the City Rail Link Chief Executive issued a statement on 20th Feb. The announcement stated that the release of tender documents for the tunnel system of CRL will be delayed by up to three months as a preferred bidder of the project had withdrawn.  

Originally, there were eight bidders pre-qualified for the project. They were Acciona Infrastructure New Zealand, Bam International Australia, China Machinery Engineering Corporation joint venture, CPB Contractors, Ferrovial Agroman (New Zealand), Salini Impregilo S.p.A, Fletcher Construction and Vinci Construction Grands Projets S.A.S (VCGP) joint venture.

One of the bidders, Fletcher Building refused to comment on the incident saying that they are bound with confidentiality obligations and strict probity. Meanwhile, Chris Meale expressed his disappointment in the withdrawal but remained positive. He stated that CRL is already discussing with other prospective bidders on the tender.

The $3.4 billion City Rail Link tunnel project was originally expected to completed by early 2024. Chris said it is too early to forecast if the delay of tender will affect the expected completion time for the project.