Edinburgh council has announced the four bids shortlisted from a field of seven to build a 4.6km extension from York Place in the old town northeast to the city’s dock at Leith, and Newhaven.
Three of the four bids are team efforts: Dutch contractor BAM has joined with Bouygues subsidiary Colas, Irish-owned Farrans Construction is bidding with Sacyr of Spain and Neopul of Brazil and Anglo-Irish contractor Sisk Group is bidding with Portuguese rail specialist Steconfer.
The fourth bid is from the Dragados subsidiary of Madrid-based ACS Group. Â
Lesley Macinnes, the council’s convenor on transport, said: "Our project team has worked closely with the market over the past 18 months to develop a contract strategy that meets market expectations and the requirements of the council.
"We were very pleased with the significant level of interest from local, national and international bidders and this process has resulted in a strong shortlist of experienced design and build contractors as we move on to the tender stage."
The teams will have until April to submit their bids, with a winner to be declared around August. If the tender is within the city’s budget, work will begin before the end of the year and will be complete by 2022.
The link to Leith was intended to be part of the main tram system, which opened in 2014, however it was lopped off to cut costs.
The winning bidder will be in charge of the design and construction of all track, overhead lines, tram stops, systems infrastructure, road infrastructure and public realm between York Place and Newhaven.
Image: A Scottish government rendering of the extension Â