Press release 20/07/1999 00:00 CET

Kvaerner Construction leads the UK in winning design and construct Private Finance Initiative projects. Its first success came in the late 1980s with the groundbreaking Queen Elizabeth Crossing at Dartford, the country’s first PFI project.

To support the growing PFI market, the company has established a dedicated in-house team which has built a track record in working closely with clients and investors to bring PFI deals to financial closure. It also constantly develops its design and construction methods to ensure that jobs are completed faster and to a higher quality than previous projects.

For example wall units used at its prisons are prefabricated off site and include all mechanical and electrical fittings so that on site construction time is kept to a minimum, while a similar system is used at hospitals where exterior cladding panels are also constructed away from the main site.

The PFI team is currently building two hospitals - at Woolwich and Chepstow - and three prisons at Pucklechurch near Bristol, Consett in County Durham and Marchington near Derby. Recently completed projects include prisons at Nottingham and Kilmarnock, the M1/A1 Link Road near Leeds and the Tagus River Crossing in Lisbon, Portugal.

Lowdham Grange Prison, Nottingham

Construction Value: £30 million

Construction Commenced: November 1996

Construction Completion: January 1998

Kvaerner Construction designed and constructed this 500-bed prison in a record breaking 14-months setting a new benchmark for PFI prison construction.

Situated eight miles east of Nottingham, Lowdham Grange, a prison for category B inmates, was the third to be built and run under the government’s Private Finance Initiative. Kvaerner Construction designed, constructed and equipped the campus-style prison which includes a major workshop complex, two housing blocks, a combined sports and education block, plus visitors’ administration and state-of-the-art security facilities.

The site of the new training prison, formerly a young offenders institution, is of considerable ecological and wildlife interest. Kvaerner relocated more than a kilometre of hedgerow before building a new approach road. It planted approximately 8,000 new trees on the site plus a further 8,500 to extend surrounding woodland. Working with the Environment Agency Kvaerner also designed a drainage system to redistribute rainwater to the surrounding area, while using local materials minimised the visual impact of the two-storey buildings.

A prefabricated building system was designed and developed for this contract and includes all mechanical and electrical fittings. This enabled not only fast-track construction of Lowdham Grange but also of Kvaerner Construction’s subsequent prisons.


For further information contact:

Tanya Barnes, PR Officer - 01923 423 905

Kristian Birkett, Press Officer – 01923 423 833