Press release 19/04/1999 00:00 CET

The Minister for Construction and London, Nick Raynsford MP, got National Construction Week off to an early start (April 16) when he helped Kvaerner Construction top out the hospital it is building in Woolwich.

Kvaerner Construction was awarded the design, build and operate contract for the 571-bed Queen Elizabeth Hospital just ten months ago by the Secretary of State for Health, Frank Dobson.

The £95 million PFI scheme, which involved the demolition of a large part of the existing ex-MoD facility as well as refurbishment of remaining buildings and a major new-build project, is due to be completed in November 2000.

Mr Raynsford, who performed the ceremony with Keith Clarke, chief executive of Kvaerner Construction, said: "There couldn’t be a better way to celebrate construction week than on a site such as this. It is a demonstration project within the rethinking construction initiative and a marvellous example of the private finance initiative. In just nine months we have seen a remarkable achievement from work starting to the building being structurally sound."

Mr Clarke added: "We are very pleased with the way the project is progressing, we’ve changed the way we work and are now working for more efficiently. The accident rate on site is half the national average; we’ve halved the design time for a project of this sort; and doubled the cladding speed."


For further information contact:

Cheryl Eaton, PR Manager - 01923 423 030

Kris Birkett, Press Officer - 01923 423 833