HS2 spent more than £1.25 billion paying its suppliers to deliver Phase Two of the high-speed rail line in the north of England – which has now been scrapped by UK prime minister Rishi Sunak.
Analysis of how much the company paid Tier 1 and 2 contractors in its supply chain, as well as firms in adjacent industries for relevant services, offers insight into HS2’s finances after construction of the northern phase connecting Birmingham and Manchester was axed last week.
Balfour Beatty Group chief executive, Leo Quinn, wrote on social media the cancellation was “incredibly disappointing” for the construction and infrastructure industry.
Suppliers and invoices
Professional services firm OVE Arup & Partners is recorded as the highest paid company for its services to Phase Two, according to invoices collated by tussell, receiving £271.8 million.
MWJV, a joint venture (JV) between Mace Group and quantity surveyor Ward Williams Associates, was also among the highest paid companies, receiving £243 million.
Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering received £191.7 million for works and services for Phase Two, and a Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering-Carillion JV was paid £1.2 million by HS2.
AECOM got paid £95.1 million, engineering company Bechtel received £78.3 million, and engineering professional services firm WSP was paid £68.7 million.
An engineering and design JV between CH2M Hill, Atkins, and SENER Engineering and Systems was paid £48.1 million. CH2M Hill also received a further £882,283 solo.
Kier Construction received £43.6 million, and its business services arm was paid £374,756. Mott MacDonald received £272,570. And Network Rail Infrastructure received £36 million.
Infrastructure company Mouchel was paid more than £6.4 million, and construction engineering company WSP USA (formerly Parsons Brinckerhoff) received £1.1 million.
National Highways was paid £2.9 million. And United Utilities received £2.2 million.
Market research company Ipsos (formerly Ipsos MORI) received £314,330.
The total HS2 paid its supply chain for Phase Two was £1,252,154,841.
In March, the UK Government announced the Birmingham to Crewe section of the high-speed rail line would be delayed by two years to address soaring inflation and costs. Much of the line going to Leeds has also been cut.
Then, during his Conservative Party Conference speech in Manchester, Rishi Sunak confirmed the cancellation of construction of the northern phase of HS2 following weeks of speculation after the PM and chancellor Jeremy Hunt held talks about cost.
Mr Sunak instead pledged billions for other transport schemes in the North, the Midlands and throughout the UK – and a new Euston “development zone” with thousands of new homes and businesses.
Former chairman of HS2, Allan Cook, said to scale down HS2 would be “a betrayal of the North and our growth ambition as a country.”
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