First major tunnelling contract for Sydney Metro West project awarded

Monica Gameng   |   July 19, 2021
Westmead Station (cr: Sydney Metro)

Tunnelling works on New South Wales’ massive Sydney Metro West project will soon commence following the award of a $1.96 billion contract to the ACCIONA Construction Australia Pty Ltd and Ferrovial Construction (Australia) Pty Ltd Joint Venture. 

With the first tunnelling contract now awarded, mega tunnel boring machines (TMBs) are expected to begin digging the 11-kilometre twin tunnels between Sydney Olympic Park and The Bays before the end of next year. 

Scope of works under the almost $2 billion contract include: 

  • Twin 11-kilometre metro railway tunnels from The Bays to Sydnye Olympic Park 
  • Excavation and civil works foe five new stations at The Bays, Five Docks, Burwood North, North Strathfield and Sydney Olympic Park 
  • Two double-shield, hard rock TBMs 
  • A crossover cavern at Burwood North and one of the two precast concrete factories at Eastern Creek 
  • More than 70,000 concrete segments to line the twin tunnels 
  • Two access shafts at Burwood North and The Bays 
  • A TBM launch site at The Bays Station and a TBM retrieval site at Sydney Olympic Park Station 

Tunnelling works are due to be completed in 2025. 

Following a competitive tender process, the joint venture between ACCIONA and Ferrovial was chosen to deliver the first tunnelling package. The two other shortlisted tenderers – the John Holland, CPB Contractors and Ghella Australia Joint Venture (JHCPBG JV) and Gamuda and Laing O’Rourke Australia Joint Venture (GALC JV) – will continue to be in the running for the Western Tunnelling Package. 

The Western Tunnelling Package – which is the second major tunnelling contract – will include the delivery of the nine-kilometre twin tunnels between Westmead and Sydney Olympic Park. The contract is anticipated to be awarded by the end of this year. 

In addition, Sydney Metro has commenced the process to find a contractor that will deliver the third tunnelling package – the Eastern Tunnelling – that will include building the tunnels between The Bays and Hunter Street in the Sydney CBD. This contract is set to be awarded by late 2022. 

“Due to the massive scale of the Sydney Metro project, the final tunnelling contract value may vary due to ongoing fine-tuning and optimisation involving the other major contracts, for which tenders have yet to be received,” Sydney Metro said in a statement. 


Sydney Metro West is expected to create over 10,000 direct new jobs as well as 70,000 indirect jobs, with majority of the jobs to be generated through the first major tunnelling contract award. 

Sydney Metro said: “To build these tunnels, a broad range of skills will be required including tunnellers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, concrete workers, truck drivers, labourers and security guards.” 

Once completed, Metro West will double rail capacity between Greater Sydney and the CBD, with commuters able to travel from Parramatta to the Sydney CBD in just about 20 minutes. 

This significant transport infrastructure will also provide metro services to more communities, supporting employment growth and housing supply in the region. 

In June 2021, Sydney Metro announced the beginning of the next planning stage for Metro West, which includes the construction of nine new metro stations between Westmead and Hunter Street in the Sydney CBD. Read more about the next planning stage here. 

Source: Sydney Metro (1, 2); The Urban Developer; Australia New Zealand Infrastructure Pipeline (1, 2); Acciona Australia; Ferrovial – Press Room 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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