Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Government has shortlisted three consortia for Sydney Metro West’s first two major tunnelling projects.

The three consortia include the John Holland, CPB Contractors and Ghella Australia Joint Venture (JV); Gamuda and Laing O’Rourke Australia JV; and Acciona Australia and Ferrovial Australia JV.

The JVs will initially compete for the Central Tunnelling Package. The successful consortia will receive the contract to build 11km of twin tunnels from The Bays to Sydney Olympic Park.

Subsequently, the remaining two bidders will place tenders for the Western Tunnelling Package, which involves the 9km construction of twin tunnels from Westmead to Sydney Olympic Park.

The successful bidder of the Central Tunnelling Package will not eligible to place a tender for the Western Tunnelling Package.

NSW transport minister for Andrew Constance said: “These contracts will require tunnellers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, concrete workers, truck drivers, labourers and security guards.

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“The three shortlisted consortia have a wealth of Australian and international experience in delivering high-quality infrastructure projects. We expect to be in a position to award the first contract by the middle of next year.”

The Sydney Metro West project involves building an underground railway between Greater Parramatta and the Sydney CBD. The line will have seven metro stations.

The project is expected to create more than 10,000 direct new jobs and 70,000 indirect jobs.

Subject to approvals, early works on the project are slated to start this year. The first tunnel boring machine is expected to be in the ground by the fourth quarter of 2022.

Last year, the NSW Government allocated A$6.4bn ($4.4bn) of funding for the Sydney Metro West project.