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Former Carillion Boss Heads Thames Tideway Tunnel
James Park - January 20, 2014

Former Carillion boss Sir Neville Simms has taken over as chairman of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project.

He joins the project team as Thames Water battles to raise funding for the Super Sewer with the water industry regulator.

Thames Tideway Tunnel needs to raise £4.1bn to fund the massive tunnelling project, which is designed to prevent untreated sewage entering the Thames when storm sewers overflow in heavy rain.

The project is expected to be financed and delivered by an independent Infrastructure Provider, with its own licence from Ofwat.

Procurement of the new IP is expected to begin in 2014 and is anticipated to take between six to nine months.

Thames Water, Government and Ofwat are working together to finalise the financing arrangements for the project.

Ofwat has already rejected a request from Thames Water to charge customers an extra £29 from next April to help fund the super sewer.

Instead, Thames Water is now requesting customers pay £8 a year above inflation for the five years from 2015 to fund the development.

Sir Neville is well-versed in delivering complex major projects and helped pioneer the private finance model for major infrastructure having led Tarmac and the Transmanche Link contractor consortium during the construction of the Channel Tunnel.

Despite questions about financing the scheme, eight consortia were shortlisted in October for the three main TBM drive packages on the 25km tunnel route.

The 7.2m diameter tunnel along the river will connect with the Lee Tunnel which is currently under construction.

A Development Consent Application is currently being considered by the Planning Inspectorate and, subject to consent being granted, construction on the project is due to start in 2016 and will involve 24 construction sites across London.