The Enquirer understands that Vinci, Simons ,Bowmer & Kirkland and Buckingham Group Contracting are battling it out to build the “Customer Fulfilment Centre” on the 35-acre site on the Birch Coppice Business Park.
A winner is due to be announced in early December ahead of construction starting in January with completion set for September 2012.
One contracting insider said: “This is one of the largest, and certainly the most prestigious, schemes to be tendered in the warehouse market for years.
“There are quite a few specialists in this sector who haven’t made the list for the Ocado job which is a surprise.
“I think talks have been going on for some time with these contractors because the short list was drawn-up almost immediately after the development was made public.
“In distribution centre terms it is a massive job and will have a huge M&E element as Ocado is bound to have a very sophisticated, fully automated stock system within the warehouse.”
Consulting engineer Waldeck has been appointed by Ocado to carry out civil and structural engineering work at the centre.
Director Matt Tyers said: “This will be a high-tech, cutting edge facility capable of delivering between 180,000 and 200,000 orders a week.
“One of the logistical challenges we face is co-ordinating the external building works with the construction of the internal, highly sophisticated automated system and we’re liaising closely with Ocado’s in-house project management team to ensure everything goes to plan.”