NBN Co assigns Victorian, WA builders

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NBN Co assigns Victorian, WA builders

Updated: Contracts for South Australia, Darwin yet to be sealed.

NBN Co has awarded $300 million in contracts to Transfield Services and the Service Stream-Lend Lease joint venture Syntheo to roll out the National Broadband Network at second release sites in Western Australia and Victoria.

The contracts came after Silcar won the right to roll out fibre to nine sites in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory in June under a contract worth more than $1 billion.

NBN Co head of construction Dan Flemming said at the time that NBN Co would negotiate contracts - with five potential bidders - for the remaining states by the end of August.

However, contractors for Darwin, Modbury, Prospect and McLaren Vale were yet to be awarded.

Under the contracts announced today, Transfield Services would build out fibre to two Victorian sites over two years, beginning next month.

The contract, worth an initial $133 million, had options to extend for another two years with a total value of $395 million.

An extension to the Telstra-built site in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick was also covered under the contract but would not begin until March next year.

Transfield had previously been contracted to build one of the first release sites at Kiama Downs and Minnamurra, south of Sydney.

Homes in the Western Australian cities of Geraldton, Mandurah and Victoria Park would receive fibre built by Syntheo under a $174 million contract over two years.

That contract also had a possible two-year extension for a total $484 million value.

Preliminary site works and construction would begin at Geraldton in October with the other cities to follow over November and December.

Service Stream managing director Graeme Sumner declined to comment on what changes were made to the second bid to NBN Co for it to be accepted, but said the new bid had been "commercially acceptable to both parties".

"It's been a hard-fought contest I guess over an extended period of time," he told iTnews.

The joint venture had yet to determine the workforce required to construct fibre in Western Australia.

Service Stream had previously been selected as a sub-contractor to Fujitsu to aid in rolling out fibre to greenfields sites of more than 100 premises each as part of NBN Co's responsibilities.

"Obviously a lot of the same skill sets and same contractors can in fact be deployed on a construct or a greenfields; the two often really go hand-in-hand," Sumner said.

In a statement to the ASX, Service Stream managing director Graeme Sumner said work would begin immediately.

The contracts were yet to receive final approval from NBN Co's board.

The deals with Silcar, Syntheo and Transfield represented approximately 60 percent of construction slated for the next two years, barring greenfields.

Contracts for the remaining 40 percent would include the second release sites in South Australia and Northern Territory, as well as multiple contractors for larger regional areas and capital cities. They would be awarded in the "coming weeks and months" according to NBN Co chief Mike Quigley.

"We’re progressively adding contractors to regions so what ultimately in some of the larger regions like northern NSW or country Victoria we’ll have more than one contractor," head of construction Dan Flemming said. "As we move through we want to get one contractor in every single region, that’s what we’re doing at the moment, and then we’ll go back and we’ll start adding additional contractors when it’s appropriate into some of the other regions."

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