The Construction Index International News The Construction Index - Latest International News http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/public/v2/img/logo.gif The Construction Index International News http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/public/v2/img/logo.gif Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:57:46 +0100 Zend_Feed_Writer 1.12.3 (http://framework.zend.com) http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news 2014 The Construction Index Balfour Beatty scheme named one of USA’s top 10 green buildings The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has named the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt (EGWW) Federal Building as one of the USA’s top 10 examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions.]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:01:20 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/balfour-beatty-scheme-named-one-of-usas-top-10-green-buildings http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/balfour-beatty-scheme-named-one-of-usas-top-10-green-buildings

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has named the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt (EGWW) Federal Building as one of the USA’s top 10 examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions.

The LEED Platinum building is owned by the US General Services Administration (GSA) and was constructed by Howard S Wright, a Balfour Beatty company. The architects are Sera Architects and Cutler Anderson Architects.

The award from the AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) will be presented in June.

“We are elated that the EGWW Federal Building project was selected by COTE, from a field of hundreds, to be included in this prestigious group of award-winning projects,” said Jim Sather, Oregon division president at Howard S Wright. “By working as an integrated team with GSA, our subcontractors, and design counterparts, this modernisation project is now among the most efficient facilities in the GSA portfolio. It is an outstanding example of the best of our industry.”

The US$139m (£82.7m) Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in the heart of Portland, Oregon, is an 18-storey facility that is home to more than 16 federal agencies and 1,200 federal employees.

Through the efficiencies from the systems and envelope revisions, the team generated results that included a re-allocation of space that increased the gross building area by two additional floors of rentable area. Additional sustainable project design solutions include a    180kW photovoltaic array on the roof and new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems that will save hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of the project.

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EU launches in-depth investigation into Cemex and Holcim deal The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the planned acquisition of Holcim’s Spanish operations by its Mexican rival Cemex is in line with the EU Merger Regulation.]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 08:48:25 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/eu-launches-in-depth-investigation-into-cemex-and-holcim-deal http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/eu-launches-in-depth-investigation-into-cemex-and-holcim-deal

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether the planned acquisition of Holcim’s Spanish operations by its Mexican rival Cemex is in line with the EU Merger Regulation.

Both companies are global suppliers of cement and other building materials and the Commission has concerns that the transaction may reduce competition in certain areas of Spain where the two companies' activities overlap. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 5 September 2014, to take a decision.

Cemex intends to acquire sole control over the whole of Holcim's activities in cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates and mortar in Spain.

The Holcim assets comprise plants and quarries dedicated to the production and supply of cement, aggregates, ready-mix concrete and mortar in Spain.

The Cemex/Holcim assets transaction is linked to two other transactions. Through the first related transaction Cemex intends to acquire control of the whole of Holcim's activities in cement, ready-mix concrete and aggregates in the Czech Republic. This operation has been cleared by the Czech competition authority in March 2014, as it mainly concerns competition on the Czech market.

In another linked transaction, Holcim intends to acquire certain assets of Cemex located in western Germany. The Commission opened an in-depth investigation into that transaction in October 2013, for which the deadline is 8 July 2014.



The Cemex/Holcim assets transaction does not meet the turnover thresholds of the EU Merger Regulation. However, following a referral request from Spain, the Commission agreed to assess the transaction related to Spain.

 

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Drake & Scull wins Algiers development Drake & Scull Construction has won a turnkey project worth AED147m (£23.8m) to build a mixed-use development in Algiers, Algeria.]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:56:36 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/drake-and-scull-win-algiers-development http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/drake-and-scull-win-algiers-development

Drake & Scull Construction has won a turnkey project worth AED147m (£23.8m) to build a mixed-use development in Algiers, Algeria.

Under the terms of the contract, DSC will undertake the civil construction portion of the project, which covers a total built-up area of approximately 66,500m2. The development comprises of multi-storey residential units, which also contain commercial retail space.

Saleh Muradweij, managing director for Drake & Scull Construction, said: “Algeria remains one of our key growth areas and our gateway into the North African market and our teams will utilise our experience in the region and our skilled workforce to deliver more mega projects in the future. We remain optimistic about the potential of the Algerian real estate sector.”

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Turner & Townsend picked for 12 Irish schools Healy Kelly Turner & Townsend (HKTT) has been appointed project and cost manager, technical advisor and employer’s representative by Ireland’s Department of Education & Skills (DoES) to deliver the Rapid School Programme for 2015.]]> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:02:20 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/turner-and-townsend-picked-for-12-irish-schools http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/turner-and-townsend-picked-for-12-irish-schools

Healy Kelly Turner & Townsend (HKTT) has been appointed project and cost manager, technical advisor and employer’s representative by Ireland’s Department of Education & Skills (DoES) to deliver the Rapid School Programme for 2015.

Since the programme began in 2010, HKTT partnered with the DoES for the delivery of over 45 school buildings. Its reselection for the next phase involves tackling 12 schools on 10 sites across Ireland, ranging from extensions to new builds. The phase is set to be delivered by September 2015.

The DoES said: “Healy Kelly Turner & Townsend is providing a one-stop service for us by delivering this fast-track rapid schools programme. The team has continually brought efficiencies in the management and controlling of this multi-faceted programme, and we are delighted to have them on board.”
 

 

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Hitachi to deliver world's fastest lifts Hitachi is to deliver the world's fastest elevators - with a speed of 45mph - to the 530m-tall Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in China.]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:00:47 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/hitachi-lands-deal-to-deliver-worlds-fastest-lifts http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/hitachi-lands-deal-to-deliver-worlds-fastest-lifts

Hitachi is to deliver the world's fastest elevators - with a speed of 45mph - to the 530m-tall Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in China.

The mixed-use skyscraper is currently under construction and will open in 2016.

Hitachi will install a total of 95 elevators at Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, consisting of two of the world's fastest elevators; 28 double-deck elevators; ultra-high-speed elevators with a speed of 600m per minute; and other elevators.

Hitachi said that the 1200m/min ultra-high-speed elevators will feature systems that support safe and comfortable operation, in addition to the drive and control technologies needed to attain the world's fastest speed.

The lifts will travel a shaft height of 440m from the 1st to 95th floor in approximately 43 seconds. It will feature technologies to prevent lateral vibration and to reduce the sensation of ear blockage caused by air pressure differences. This uses Hitachi's proprietary air pressure adjustment technology, which reduces the changes in air pressure inside the elevator car that would otherwise be caused by the vertical movement.

 

 

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Europe continues to see rise in construction output Output in Europe’s construction sector rose by 0.1% in February compared with January.]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:39:38 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/europe-continues-to-see-rise-in-construction-output http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/europe-continues-to-see-rise-in-construction-output

Output in Europe’s construction sector rose by 0.1% in February compared with January.

The 0.1% figure was the same both in the group of the 18 countries of the Eurozone (EA18) and across all 28 countries of the wider EU (EU28), according to first estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In January, production in construction rose by 1.6% and 1.4% respectively.

In February 2014 compared with February 2013, production in construction increased by 6.7% in the Euro area and by 5.5% in the EU28.

The increase of 0.1% in production in construction in the euro area in February 2014, compared with January 2014, is due to civil engineering rising by 1.1%, while building construction fell by 0.4%.

In the EU28, the increase of 0.1% is due to civil engineering increasing by 1%, while building construction dropped by 0.4%.

The highest increases in production in construction were observed in Poland (+17.4%), Hungary (+8.2%) and Spain (+3.0%), and the largest decreases in Slovenia (-4.9%), Italy (-3.7%) and the United Kingdom (-2.8%).

The annual increase of 6.7% is due to building construction rising by 6.6% and civil engineering by 7.6%.

The highest increases in production in construction were registered in Slovenia (+33.1%), Hungary (+28.3%), Spain (+23.9%), Poland (+14.4%) and Germany (+14.1%), and the largest decreases in Romania (-14.7%), Portugal (-11.5%) and Italy (-7.9%).

 

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Ramboll buys Finnish construction management business Ramboll has acquired significant parts of Pöyry’s buildings and construction management businesses in Finland.]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:37:46 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/ramboll-buys-finnish-construction-management-business http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/ramboll-buys-finnish-construction-management-business

Ramboll has acquired significant parts of Pöyry’s buildings and construction management businesses in Finland.

The deal brings with it 435 specialists within the sector and makes Ramboll the largest consulting engineering company operating in Finland, where it will now have approximately 1,900 employees. After the transaction Pöyry will continue to employ about 1,600 across Finland.

The total combined annual net sales of the divested business was approximately €44m (£36m) in 2013.

The Finnish acquisition is part of Ramboll’s strategy to become a leader within the Finnish buildings market and a leading supplier of services within project management and construction management.

The transaction is also in alignment with Pöyry's own strategy to develop its services in key domestic markets, as well as strengthening its global competences in energy, industry and management consulting.

“It is our strategic ambition to develop and dominate our home markets in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. This acquisition is therefore extremely important as we will become the largest consulting engineering company operating in Finland. Ramboll is already the market leader in the transport and environment markets. After this acquisition, we will also become a leading player within buildings,” said group CEO Jens-Peter Saul, who is the global head of Ramboll’s more than 10,000 employees.

"Today's announced divestment in Finland will directly support our focused strategy,” said Pöyry president and CEO Alexis Fries. “We are continuing to strengthen and develop our consulting and engineering expertise within our traditional areas of industry and energy global competence, and locally, providing selected infrastructure services to clients regionally and within our key countries.”

With the acquisition, Ramboll said that it strengthens its competence within mechanical and electrical engineering, fire safety planning, real estate consulting, project and construction management as well as regional and urban planning. As a result, Ramboll also further develops its position within sustainable and liveable cities.

The transaction includes Pöyry's real estate design and consulting business in Pöyry Finland, together with related heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) and electrical engineering for buildings, as well as urban and regional planning. The transaction also includes Pöyry CM, which carries out construction and project management services for the real estate and infrastructure sectors, and its Russian affiliate, which mainly includes real estate-related construction management activities.

The contract has been signed and will be implemented in June once the acquisition has been approved by the Finnish Competition & Consumer Authority.

After the transaction has been closed, Pöyry CM Oy will change name to Ramboll CM Oy.

 

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Contractor picked for new Irish pier Clare County Council has signed a contract with L&M Keating for construction of a new €6m (£5m) pier.]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:03:37 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/contractor-picked-for-new-irish-pier http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/contractor-picked-for-new-irish-pier

Clare County Council has signed a contract with L&M Keating for construction of a new €6m (£5m) pier.

Construction work will begin in the coming days and is expected to be completed by mid-2015.

“This project has been long sought after by ferry operators, fishermen and tourists who use the pier,” said the mayor of Clare, Joe Arkins. “The new pier development will boost visitor numbers in Clare considering access to the Aran Islands from the County will be greatly enhanced once the project is completed.”

The completed pier will be used mainly to facilitate ferry activity between North Clare and the Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher during the tourist season while the existing pier will be available to accommodate other activities. The new pier will ensure that Doolin is accessible in all tidal conditions, which will be of particular benefit to Doolin Search and Rescue as well as the ferry operators.

Tom Tiernan, senior engineer and Doolin Pier project manager said: “I wish to pay tribute to the council consultants, led initially by Malachy Walsh & Partners, who guided the project from its inception through the various stages of planning, including the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which facilitated An Bord Pleanala’s decision in 2013 to give the go ahead for the construction of a new pier. I also want to thank Punch Consulting, who are leading the project through its tender and construction stages.”

 

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World’s largest TBM faces 11 months of repairs The tunnel boring machine working on State Route 99 in Washington, USA, will resume digging by the end of March 2015, according to a new schedule from the project’s design-build contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP).]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:13:02 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/worlds-largest-tbm-faces-11-months-of-repairs http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/worlds-largest-tbm-faces-11-months-of-repairs

The tunnel boring machine working on State Route 99 in Washington, USA, will resume digging by the end of March 2015, according to a new schedule from the project’s design-build contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP).

Construction will begin late next month on a pit that will be used to access and repair damage to the machine, which stopped tunnelling in December. The TBM, Bertha, is the world's largest.

The US$2bn (£1.2bn) project is being carried out by Seattle Tunnel Partners, a joint venture of Dragados USA and Tutor Perini Corporation. HNTB Corporation is lead designer for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) scheme.

Building the pit is the first of several steps STP has laid out to resume tunnelling:

  • Late May: Begin building the access pit’s underground walls.
  • Late July through to September: Excavate the pit.
  • October: Remove the machine’s cutterhead and begin repairing damage to the seal system and main bearing.
  • February 2015: Test the machine to ensure it is ready to tunnel beneath downtown.
  • Late March 2015: Resume tunnelling.

While this timeline delays tunnel boring by up to 16 months, STP hopes to recover as much as four months of schedule to meet WSDOT’s original tunnel opening date of November 2016. STP had proposed opening the tunnel in late 2015.

“Resuming tunnelling will take longer than any of us would have liked, but making these repairs is a significant engineering challenge that must be done safely,” said Chris Dixon, Seattle Tunnel Partners project manager. “We are committed to this project, and to taking the necessary steps to recover time and open the tunnel to drivers by WSDOT’s original target date.”

STP has informed WSDOT that crews will replace the machine’s main bearing and install a more robust seal system, which could include strengthening the seals, installing redundant systems, and adding monitoring equipment. Additional details will be included in a plan to be submitted to WSDOT for review by June 16.

The repair schedule will include additional time to accommodate potential improvements to the machine that STP or the machine’s manufacturer, Hitachi Zosen, might choose to make after the cutterhead is removed and crews are able to perform a full inspection. WSDOT will work with its strategic technical advisory team, made up of international and national tunneling experts, as well as consultants, to review the plan.

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Mega-project contract awards tail off in Saudi Arabia Construction contract awards in Saudi Arabia fell in the first quarter of 2014 from the record levels of last year, though still reached SR39.7bn (£6.3bn).]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 08:36:54 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/mega-project-contract-awards-tail-off-in-saudi-arabia http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/mega-project-contract-awards-tail-off-in-saudi-arabia

Construction contract awards in Saudi Arabia fell in the first quarter of 2014 from the record levels of last year, though still reached SR39.7bn (£6.3bn).

Absent in the quarter were the mega-project contract awards witnessed throughout 2013. However, the value of awarded contracts is expected to be further bolstered as further mega-projects are currently in the tendering phase, and will account for a significant share of awarded contracts throughout the year. The High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh said that there will be opportunities for both local and international contractors.

The power sector captured the highest share of awarded contracts with 25%, while the roads and urban development sectors took 16% and 12% shares, respectively. The healthcare and mixed-use real estate sectors contributed 9% and 8%, respectively.

The SR39.7bn in awarded contracts during Q1 of 2014 marks a 19% decline compared to Q1 of 2013, when the figure was SR49.1bn.

The construction contracts index (CCI) dropped significantly to end the quarter at 198.67 points, reflecting a 31% decline compared to Q1 of 2013.

A majority of the awarded contracts took place in the three main regions of Eastern Province, Riyadh and Makkah as they accounted for 29%, 26% and 21% of contract values, respectively.

The nature of the contracts were geared toward the rehabilitation of roads, upkeeping and enhancement of urban developments and the construction of new healthcare centres. A number of contracts in the power sector contributed to the Eastern Province’s market share.

The biggest contract by value was awarded by the Saudi Aramco to Larsen & Toubro in the amount of SR1.1bn. The contracts calls for the installation of a 230kV double circuit overhead transmission line and 55km of underground.

 

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Italian team lands €410m Slovakian motorway deal A team led by Salini Impregilo has won a €410m (£337m) contract to build a 13.4km section of motorway in northern Slovakia.]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:11:56 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/italian-team-lands-andeuro410m-slovakian-motorway-deal http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/italian-team-lands-andeuro410m-slovakian-motorway-deal

A team led by Salini Impregilo has won a €410m (£337m) contract to build a 13.4km section of motorway in northern Slovakia.

Salini Impregilo has a 75% share of the contract for the Lietavská Lúčka – Višňové – Dubná Skala section of the D1, which was awarded by the Slovakian National Motorway Authority, Národná diaľničná spoločnosť as. The main works to be built include five overpasses for an overall length of 2.5km, as well as a twin-tube tunnel 7.5km in length.

The section of motorway is part of a Trans-European Network route connecting Bratislava with Uzhhorod in Ukraine. It is financed by the Slovakian government and by the European Union through the European Investment Bank.

Work is scheduled to begin in the second half of this year and will continue for roughly five and a half years.

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BRE to work with China’s largest certification body BRE and China’s largest approved professional certification body, China Quality Certification Centre (CQC), have signed an agreement to support sustainable development in the country through collaborative training.]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:54:13 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/bre-to-work-with-chinas-largest-certification-body http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/bre-to-work-with-chinas-largest-certification-body

BRE and China’s largest approved professional certification body, China Quality Certification Centre (CQC), have signed an agreement to support sustainable development in the country through collaborative training.

The partnership will initially focus on training related to BRE’s environmental standard for buildings and communities – BREEAM. This reflects China’s growing demand for green buildings with a number of BREEAM projects now being delivered in Beijing, Shanghai and Changsha’s Meixi Lake Eco City.

BRE China director Jaya Skandamoorthy said: “Through our partnership with CQC we hope to promote the key principles of sustainability across China as well as fostering a culture of continuous improvement and quality construction across the supply chain.”

CQC vice president Mr Liu Yanbin said: “CQC have undertaken several research projects related to energy efficiency with government departments, research institutes, real estate companies and energy management companies. Our country is getting to grips with sustainable development and seeing the many benefits it brings. Collaborating with BRE in this way will help us make further progress. We are very glad that our two organisations have signed this agreement.”

 

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Virginia announces $13.1bn transport spend The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) in Virginia, USA, has released a draft programme allocating US$13.1bn (£7.8bn) to transport projects over the next six fiscal years.]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:42:28 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/virginia-announces-131bn-transport-spend http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/virginia-announces-131bn-transport-spend

The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) in Virginia, USA, has released a draft programme allocating US$13.1bn (£7.8bn) to transport projects over the next six fiscal years.

Projects include highway, road, bridge, rail, transit, bicycle/pedestrian paths and other transportation improvements across the state. It plans to spend US$9.9bn on highway construction and US$3.2bn on rail and public transport.

The focus will be on projects that either provide the greatest congestion relief for heavily travelled urban regions or promote economic development in rural areas.

“A critical aspect of the six-year program is the ongoing rehabilitation of existing roadways and bridges across the state,” said Charlie Kilpatrick, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). “VDOT has accelerated efforts to extend the life of pavements and bridges so we can get the most out of the 57,000 miles of infrastructure we’re responsible for maintaining across the state.”

 

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Bureau Veritas lands wide-ranging Kazakhstan roads role The city of Astana has appointed Bureau Veritas to tighten quality control in its road projects.]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:50:58 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/bureau-veritas-lands-wide-ranging-kazakhstan-roads-role http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/bureau-veritas-lands-wide-ranging-kazakhstan-roads-role

The city of Astana has appointed Bureau Veritas to tighten quality control in its road projects.

Its role will cover road construction and repair works in Astana city according to an annoucement on the city’s website. In addition to this, Bureau Veritas will review all organisations engaged in technical supervision of construction projects, asphalt concrete factories and construction enterprises.

The contract also covers the development of several alternative variants for the composition of upper asphalt concrete layers, meeting the climate requirements of the city. Other aspects of the work include opening a quality control laboratory.

Improvements are planned to 128 of Astana's streets with a total length of 111km long. In addition, new road construction is planned.

 

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Atkins picked for Asia Aerospace City Atkins has won a contract to serve as lead consultant and master planner to help develop Asia Aerospace City (AAC) in Subang, Malaysia.]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:05:50 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/atkins-picked-for-asia-aerospace-city http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/atkins-picked-for-asia-aerospace-city

Atkins has won a contract to serve as lead consultant and master planner to help develop Asia Aerospace City (AAC) in Subang, Malaysia.

Government agency Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), which is responsible for education and entrepreneurship in Malaysia, hopes to attract global aerospace engineering business to the region; potentially worth US$1 trillion by 2020.

The Atkins contract is with MARA’s wholly owned strategic investment and asset-management company, which will serve as master developer for AAC.

The development will be the first project to be built in conformance with MARA’s ‘Edubizpark’ concept, the goal of which is to help educational institutions become catalysts for creating targeted business opportunities. AAC will be designed as a ‘smart’ city, with academic campuses, research and development facilities, integrated office suites, a convention centre and residential areas. It is expected to generate 10,000 engineering-related jobs.

“I am excited about this strategic project,” said Atkins’ CEO for Asia Pacific, Chris Birdsong. “Asia Aerospace City will directly benefit the local community, and it also lines up with the country’s aggressive economic transformation programme —which calls for Malaysia to become a self-sufficient, industrialized nation by the year 2020.

AAC is expected to draw interest and fiscal commitments from international players in engineering and aerospace, and the aim is to transform Malaysia into the aerospace hub of Asia.  

 

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Turkey launches €1.2bn solar tender Turkey is to put a section of its solar potential to tender next month, beginning with the Elazig and Erzurum provinces in Eastern Anatolia.]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:02:10 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/turkey-launches-andeuro12bn-solar-tender http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/turkey-launches-andeuro12bn-solar-tender

Turkey is to put a section of its solar potential to tender next month, beginning with the Elazig and Erzurum provinces in Eastern Anatolia.

The tender from Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA)  will reward the highest paying investors with solar power generation licences. It is expected to result in €1.2bn worth of investments.

Site surveys and feasilibility studies have been completed in designated areas and Turkey aims to build a solar power capacity of 600MW. Nearly 500 companies have applied for solar energy generation licenses of up to 7.8GW since last year, reaching a total project value of €15bn.

The selected 258 projects are vying for the 600MW solar generation tender expected to be awarded to winning bidders by the end of the year.

The country aims to have at least 3 gigawatts of installed power made up of solar energy by 2023.

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China’s Ningbo city pours billions into construction The Ningbo government in China has signed construction contracts for 32 major projects worth a combined 120.6bn yuan (£11.7bn).]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:07:22 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/chinas-ningbo-province-pours-billions-into-construction http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/chinas-ningbo-province-pours-billions-into-construction

The Ningbo government in China has signed construction contracts for 32 major projects worth a combined 120.6bn yuan (£11.7bn).

A total of 419 projects valued at over 480bn yuan (£46bn) are expected to be completed in Ningbo by the end of 2016.

The latest package of 32 schemes includes a 4bn yuan (£387m) investment in the first-phase construction of Line 2 of the city’s subway.The contracts also cover other aspects of the city’s construction, including river control projects and industrial schemes.

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Delay to $62bn rail project catches HK government by surprise Completion of the HK$62.4bn (£4.8bn) Hong Kong section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link has been postponed by nearly a year due to construction delays including severe flood damage to a TBM.]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:03:37 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/delay-to-64bn-rail-project-catches-hk-government-by-surprise http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/delay-to-64bn-rail-project-catches-hk-government-by-surprise

Completion of the HK$62.4bn (£4.8bn) Hong Kong section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link has been postponed by nearly a year due to construction delays including severe flood damage to a TBM.

Hong Kong’s transport secretary Professor Anthony Cheung said he was surprised and disappointed to learn of the situation. “Over the last weekend, I was informed by the chairman and the chief executive officer of the MTR Corporation that based on the latest assessment of the progress of the construction works, the project will be subject to some delay,” he said.

Construction started in 2010 and was due for completion next year, followed by up to nine months of testing. The project's completion has been pushed to 2016, with the line now expected to be ready for operation in 2017.

“The Express Rail Link project is a very large undertaking and immensely complex. Since construction began, we have been presented with numerous challenges which have put pressure on our schedule,” said TC Chew, projects director of MTR Corporation. “We have been very focused on catching up through fine-tuning designs and adjusting the construction works but this latest situation with the TBM makes it clear that completion of the project by 2015 is not achievable.”

During the 'black' rainstorm on 30 March 2014, a section of tunnel in Yuen Long connecting Tsat Sing Kong and Tai Kong Po was flooded when heavy rain washed soil and debris into the work site, blocking the surface drains. As a result, flood waters found their way into the partially bored tunnel where the TBM was located. After clearing the site, the MTR project team, the contractor and TBM manufacturer conducted detailed inspection of the TBM to assess the extent of the damage.

Their findings have concluded that substantial repair work is required, particularly complete replacement of the electronic components, before the TBM can become functional again. Further studies are being carried out to determine whether the TBM should be repaired or if an alternative method should be used to finish excavating the remaining tunnel section. The current assessment is a prolonged delay of up to nine months in the construction programme.

There are two other critical locations where the challenges are of particular concern. One is the extremely difficult ground condition at the West Kowloon Terminus site. The underground rock strata sitting at a higher than expected level is requiring more time to excavate. But progress has also been hindered by boulders and uncharted utilities that had to be negotiated during the excavation process. The second critical challenge involves the complex geology at the cross-boundary section of the tunnels under the protected wetland area. As marble caverns are known to be located in the zone, tunnel boring work have to proceed with extreme care and any unforeseen circumstances will have to be dealt with as they surface.

“And it will not be possible for the works to be completed in 2015. I have to say I was totally caught by surprise by such information, and obviously I felt very disappointed and deeply concerned about the delay," said Cheung. So I've asked the Corporation to provide me with a full assessment report on the progress of the construction work as soon as possible. Separately, I've asked the director of highways to conduct an independent review and assessment of the project progress.”

 

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BAM lands €346m Kiel Canal deal BAM has won a €346m (£286m) contract to build a fifth lock a Brunsbüttel on the Kiel Canal in Germany.]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:06:37 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/bam-lands-andeuro346m-kiel-canal-deal http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/bam-lands-andeuro346m-kiel-canal-deal

BAM has won a €346m (£286m) contract to build a fifth lock a Brunsbüttel on the Kiel Canal in Germany.

Work will take seven years and be carried out by a joint venture formed by the BAM operating companies Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau, BAM Civiel and Wayss & Freytag Spezialtiefbau.  

The project includes the construction of a 360m-long sea lock between the Elbe and the Kiel Canal and alterations to the harbour entrance on the Elbe side. The construction of the fifth lock is needed for essential restoration work to the century-old lock complex at Brunsbüttel. It is also designed to ensure also smooth navigation on the busy Kiel Canal.

The contract has been awarded by the public authority responsible for management, maintenance and operation of the canal, the Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamt Brunsbüttel.

 

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Finland decides to build new nuclear plant A binding decision has been taken to finance and construct a nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki in Finland.]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:13:23 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/finland-decides-to-build-new-nuclear-plant http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/finland-decides-to-build-new-nuclear-plant

A binding decision has been taken to finance and construct a nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki in Finland.

It will employ thousands of people during construction period.

The decision was taken by Voimaosakeyhtiö and RAOS Voima, which own the project promoter Fennovoima.

Finland’s Ministry of Employment & the Economy is now preparing a proposal for Fennovoima’s application to supplement the decision-in-principle. If the government approves the application, the application will proceed to parliamentary ratification.

The project is designed to increase Finland’s self-sufficiency in electricity generation and strengthen the security of supply. According to the agreed schedule, the power plant will generate electricity for its owners at cost price starting from 2024.

 

 

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