UC Sets Sept. 11 Deadline for BP Fuel Project Lab Bids

By Richard Brenneman
Friday August 17, 2007

UC Berkeley issued a final call for bids today (Friday) on the building designed to house the $500 million alternative fuel project funded by a British oil company. 

Only four prequalified bidders will be allowed to compete for the building project, which will cost an estimated $125 million. 

Other figures released by the university point to a final cost, including improvements, of $160 million.  

Three nationwide firms are in the running, DPR Construction, Hunt Construction Group and McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., and one firm with offices only in California, Rudolph and Slettin, Inc., which has its headquarters in Redwood City. 

The bidding documents became available this morning, and bidders are required to attend a conference on campus on Aug. 21. 

Bids are due by 2 p.m. on Sept. 11, and will be opened at 2:02 p.m. 

The building will be located on the slopes of Strawberry Canyon at the western end of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 

The largest tenant will be the Energy Biosciences Institute, the entity created by the university to run research under the half-billion-dollar grant from BP, the former British Petroleum. 

That project has been the target of protests and teach-ins, and involves extensive use of genetic technology to modify both crops and microorganisms to break them down into the components of fuel for internal combustion engines. 

Lab officials held a scoping session Aug. 8 to receive comments to address in the project’s Environmental Impact Report—a document that won’t be completed until January, shortly before the UC Board of Regents is to vote its final approval. 

Construction would begin the following spring and be completed by the fall of 2010.