Keller VSL JV bags £167m HS2 geotechnical contract


HS2 construction VSL Keller group

The HS2 geotechnical contract was awarded to KVJV by Align, a joint venture of Bouygues Travaux Publics SAS, Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick.

This section consists of 21.6km of HS2 rail infrastructure, including a 3.4km viaduct and twin-bore 16km tunnels under the Chilterns.

KVJV’s scope of work is to construct the piled foundations for the viaducts, grouting works, retaining structures for four ventilation shafts, and ground improvement works for the execution of the tunnel cross passages.

It will require 270 highly skilled people working on-site drawing on their expertise in ground engineering and foundations (diaphragm walls, grouting, piling).


KVJV has already completed supplementary site investigations and pile testing.

The teams are currently working on advance works for the south portal of the tunnel that will be the entry point for the tunnel boring machines and the first diaphragm wall for one of the ventilation shafts.

‘A collaborative approach’

Jim De Waele, Keller president of Europe, said: “The KV joint venture is a continuation of our successful partnership on the Melbourne Metro Project in Australia.

“We’re excited to bring our complementary geotechnical capabilities, experience and capacity on one of the most demanding and exciting transport projects in Europe.”

Peter Hughes, managing director of VSL Systems (UK) Ltd, added: “We are looking forward to moving into the main works on this project.

“This award is the culmination of a collaborative approach adopted by HS2, Align, KVJV and other stakeholders, to develop the best possible solution for the project and we are excited to be involved.”

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