Press release 20/08/1999 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.

M1/A1 Link Road, Leeds

Construction Value: £218 million

Construction Commenced: March 1996

Construction Completion: February 1999

Britain’s largest privately financed motorway, the £218 million M1/A1 Link Road east of Leeds opened to traffic five-months ahead of schedule in February.

The 30-kilometre road links the M62 and M1 south of Leeds with the A1 and A64 to the east and north of the city. It took less than three years to complete and includes 18 kilometres of newly built carriageway and 12 kilometres of widened road.

The contract awarded to Kvaerner Construction and Balfour Beatty in joint venture included constructing cut and cover tunnels, new interchanges and junctions and dedicated links at the M1/M62. In addition 51 major structures – including three railway crossings and a five span viaduct at the River Aire – and 90 minor structures such as gantries were built.

The new road will make a considerable contribution to Leeds by improving motorway access to the city’s industrial areas. It will relieve traffic congestion on routes through Leeds and will reduce transport costs by around £50 million within its first year while preventing an estimated 150 accidents a year.

Local companies will also benefit from the removal of heavy volumes of traffic with around 8,000 lorries per day being directed from the city’s streets.

The link road was named Transport Project of the Year at this year’s annual PFI awards. The scheme was also honoured by English Nature for helping to safeguard a rare habitat for Thistle Broomrape, recognised by law as an endangered plant.


For further information contact:

Tanya Barnes, PR Officer - 01923 423 905

Kristian Birkett, Press Officer – 01923 423 833