Fletcher Building will not say whether it is one of the eight parties which withdrew from Auckland's $3.4 billion City Rail Link tunnel and station bid, delayed after someone pulled out.
"It is not for us to comment on the CRL 3 procurement process," a Fletcher spokesperson said. "When we do bid for infrastructure projects, we are bound by very strict probity and confidentiality obligations to the client. We also tend to bid major infrastructure projects with other consortium partners, and we are also bound to maintain confidentiality in our agreements with these parties.
"To be clear, the decision we made to cease bidding in B+I does not impact our infrastructure business. We will continue to bid for infrastructure work, assuming it provides an appropriate return and risk profile."
Chris Meale, CRL chief executive, issued a statement yesterday saying the release of tender documents for the tunnels and stations would be delayed by up to three months after a preferred bidder withdrew.
The eight bidders who pre-qualified 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.
Meale said while the withdrawal of one was disappointing, it would not prevent progress on the CRL tender and discussions have already started with another prospective bidder, he said.
"We are fortunate that the initial line-up of eight bidders for the project was exceptional and it was a hard choice to determine the top two."
One made a commercial decision to withdraw this week.
"While we are naturally disappointed, we are moving on."
It is too early to tell if the three-month delay will roll on into the current project completion date of early 2024, he said.
Development opportunities for up to 20ha of new Auckland CBD and fringe city floor space were this week identified around the project.
Images were released showing development potential of the land once the project is done.