The Construction Index News The Construction Index - Latest News http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/public/v2/img/logo.gif The Construction Index News http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/public/v2/img/logo.gif Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:20:22 +0100 Zend_Feed_Writer 1.12.3 (http://framework.zend.com) http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news 2014 The Construction Index Skanska confirmed for £95m Mitre Square contract Skanska has signed a contract with developer Helical Bar to build a 17-storey office block in the City of London.]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:16:42 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/skanska-wins-95m-mitre-square-contract http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/skanska-wins-95m-mitre-square-contract

Skanska has signed a contract with developer Helical Bar to build a 17-storey office block in the City of London.

The Creechurch Place development, previously called One Mitre Square, will provide 26,000 square metres of office accommodation over two lower ground floors, ground and 16 upper floors. It is expected to be rated BREEAM Excellent.

Construction on the £95m contract is expected to start this summer and be complete by September 2016.

Skanska is responsible for the construction, mechanical &electrical engineering and installation of services within the main plant rooms.

Skanska managing director Paul Heather said: “We’re pleased to add Creechurch Place to our portfolio of London commercial buildings, alongside projects like New Street Square and The Monument Building. Contracts like this are evidence of our growth strategy in action. They demonstrate how our highly experienced teams are well positioned to win and deliver a range of commercial opportunities in this rising market.”

Balfour Beatty and Carillion were also shortlisted for the job.

The client's project team includes:

  • Sheppard Robson (architect)
  • GVA Second London Wall (project manager)
  • Davis Langdon (quantity surveyor)
  • Ramboll (structural engineer)
  • Grontmij (M&E engineer and fire engineer)

 

 

 

 

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New paver expands Barr's markets Barr Surfacing & Civil Engineering has put to work its new Dynapac SD2550C tracked paver for use on projects across southwest Scotland.]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:47:47 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/new-paver-expands-barrs-markets http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/new-paver-expands-barrs-markets

Barr Surfacing & Civil Engineering has put to work its new Dynapac SD2550C tracked paver for use on projects across southwest Scotland.

Barr is using the machine on the A75 Hardgrove upgrade project laying 10,000m3 of cement bound granular mixtures (CBGM).

The paver was bought especially for this contract and to take the company into the CBGM and roller compacted concrete (RCC) markets. The SD2550C , coupled with a new 120s Rapidmix concrete plant, enables Barr to work in both of these markets.

Features of the SD2550C tracked paver include a safe impact system, integrated levelling, a sliding cabin deck and an energy-saving motor.

In addition to the large tracked paver, Barr also purchased two CC1200 tandem asphalt rollers. These are designed to be suitable for use in urban areas, with low noise, good visibility, easy operation, simple servicing and a 1200mm drum width.

Barr director Colin Morrow said: “The paver is performing well and producing a product to an excellent tolerance.”

He added: “We chose the Dynapac paver as it offers good value for money while offering all the essentials required to lay both coated and composite payments. We chose the tracked paver over the wheeled version for its ability to lay composite payments to greater depths and widths. Dynapac have provided strong service and an ability to respond quickly to our needs.”

Dynapac has been part of the Atlas Copco group since 2007 but Dynapac remains as the product name.

 

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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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Jet-fuel-from-waste plant planned for Thurrock British Airways has announced multi-million pound plans to build the world’s first facility to convert landfill waste into jet fuel.]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:22:04 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/jet-fuel-from-waste-plant-planned-for-thurrock http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/jet-fuel-from-waste-plant-planned-for-thurrock

British Airways has announced multi-million pound plans to build the world’s first facility to convert landfill waste into jet fuel.

BA will build the GreenSky London fuel facility, in partnership with Solena Fuels, at the Thames Enterprise Park, part of the former Coryton oil refinery site in Thurrock, Essex.

Construction is due to start in the next 12 months and be completed in 2017.

The hope is that the project will revolutionise the production of sustainable aviation fuel.  Approximately 575,000 tonnes of post-recycled waste, normally destined for landfill or incineration, will instead be converted into 120,000 tonnes of clean burning liquid fuels using Solena’s technology.  British Airways has made a long-term commitment to purchase all 50,000 tonnes a year of the jet fuel produced at market competitive rates.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways’ parent company IAG, said:  “The construction of the GreenSky London fuel facility at Thames Enterprise Park will lay the foundations for British Airways to reduce its carbon emissions significantly.”

Solena has been developing the project and will use its patented high-temperature plasma gasification technology to convert the waste efficiently into synthetic gas. This gas is then converted into liquid hydrocarbons using third-party technologies, including cleaning and conditioning of the gas, a Velocys Fischer-Tropsch conversion process, hydrocracking and electric power production.  With the initial engineering design completed, Solena and its partners are now starting the next phase of engineering of the GreenSky London facility.

The assets of the former Petroplus Coryton Oil Refinery were acquired by a consortium comprising Vopak, Shell and Greenergy in September 2012 and rebranded as a joint venture named Thames Oilport. The joint venture proposes to develop a refurbished terminal for the bulk importation and blending of fuels and to redevelop the rest of the former refinery site as Thames Enterprise Park.

Andrew Owens, chief executive of Greenergy said: “This is an ideal site for a biofuel initiative like Solena’s and we are very pleased to be associated with it.  It is located on the Thames with fuel storage and fuel pipelines and good road, rail and jetty infrastructure.  Thames Enterprise Park’s main goal is to provide regeneration of the former Coryton oil refinery following its closure in 2012.  The facility proposed by British Airways and Solena is exactly the type of high profile technology project both we and Thurrock Council want to attract to the site, particularly given the number of skilled jobs provided.”

The GreenSky project is backed by Barclays Bank. Gabriel Buck, head of CAPEX financing solutions at Barclays, said:  “This is undoubtedly a unique and ground breaking project. The economic and environmental fundamentals will, we believe, be attractive to investors from both a debt and equity perspective. The project debt structure has been identified with preliminary agreements in place with an Export Credit Agency who are not only providing the guarantees but also the funding.  We are now focused with the project team on getting all aspects of the funding structure completed.”

 

 

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Morgan Sindall puts pen to paper on £135m Brixton deal Morgan Sindall’s urban regeneration arm, Muse Developments, has signed a deal with Lambeth Council for a £135m regeneration scheme.]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 20:49:22 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/morgan-sindall-puts-pen-to-paper-on-135m-brixton-deal http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/morgan-sindall-puts-pen-to-paper-on-135m-brixton-deal

Morgan Sindall’s urban regeneration arm, Muse Developments, has signed a deal with Lambeth Council for a £135m regeneration scheme.

The Your New Town Hall (YNTH) project will see Lambeth Council rationalising its office space, reducing its core office buildings from 14 to two, with expected savings of at least £4.5m a year. The scheme involves three sites in Brixton town centre and comes at no cost to local taxpayers.

The current Town Hall will be refurbished and a new 125,000 sq ft office building for the council will be built. The scheme also includes the provision of new commercial space and up to 275 new homes, of which the aim is to secure 40% as ‘affordable’.

Morgan Sindall’s construction business is main contractor for the project. The construction cost of the overall project will be approximately £50m.

A planning application is expected to be submitted by January 2015, and if planning consent is granted, work is due to start in summer of 2015.

Muse Developments was chosen as the preferred developer for the YNTH project late last year, ahead of Kajima and United House, who were also shortlisted.  The conclusion of the conditional development agreement now allows Muse to move onto the detailed design and public consultation stage. 

Michael Auger, development director at Muse Developments, said: “We are very excited to be on board with such a major regeneration project; we want to create something that everyone in the borough can benefit from and which adds even greater vibrancy to Brixton’s thriving community.”

Tony Dixon, managing director of Morgan Sindall’s London and aviation businesses, said: “The combined capabilities of Morgan Sindall Group offer elegant, cost effective solutions for our customers. We are committed to providing exceptional assets for Lambeth Council.”

 

 

 

 

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Loan helps pave way for £750m Knottingley power station St Paul’s Developments has been awarded £2.45m of funding from the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for remediation and infrastructure works at its 110 acre former chemical works site in Knottingley, Wakefield.]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:44:32 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/loan-helps-pave-way-for-750m-knottingley-power-station http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/loan-helps-pave-way-for-750m-knottingley-power-station

St Paul’s Developments has been awarded £2.45m of funding from the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for remediation and infrastructure works at its 110 acre former chemical works site in Knottingley, Wakefield.

The works will pave the way for a new £750m power station to be built and operated by Irish energy company ESB. This is expected to create approximately 1,000 construction jobs.

The £2.45m has been allocated from the LEP’s Growing Places fund which provides loans for projects that will create economic and employment growth in the city region. The loan is to be repaid and made available to the LEP to recycle to other projects.

Following discussions with Wakefield Council about planning options for the extensive 110 acre site, ‘special policy designation’ was granted in September 2012, providing flexibility in the way the site is used.

St Paul’s Developments has already demolished and decommissioned the former home of Oxiris Chemicals on a 25-acre section of the Knottingley site.

The first phase of development at Knottingley will be the creation of a £750m combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power station on a 50-acre plot, subject to planning approval from the secretary of state for energy & climate change by April 2015. St Paul’s Developments applied for the loan from the Leeds City Region LEP to get remediation and enabling works going ahead of handing over the site.

Development manager Dennis Enuson said; “We are delighted to have secured the funding from the Growing Places Fund to enable us to further prepare the site for the power station project which would represent a significant investment into the Leeds City Region. Our long-term vision is to bring the redundant site back to life by creating a mix of uses which can happily co-exist on such an extensive site.”

 

 

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Wates to build £12m Bradford academy Wates Construction starts this month on a £12m contract to build a new secondary school on Fenby Avenue in Bradford. ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:37:00 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/wates-to-build-12m-bradford-academy http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/wates-to-build-12m-bradford-academy

Wates Construction starts this month on a £12m contract to build a new secondary school on Fenby Avenue in Bradford.

Working for Integrated Bradford LEP Ltd, Wates will build a 7,700m2 seven-form entry school with capacity for 1,050 students aged 11 to 16 years. The school will be called Grace Academy and will be sponsored by the Bradford Diocesan Academy Trust (BDAT). 

Designed by CPMG Architects, the new building will use Wates’ Adapt Schools Solutions model.

Completion is scheduled for summer 2015.

Alongside the main school, Wates will also build an indoor sports facility with a four-court hall that will also be available for community use.  

Last September Wates completed the new £29m Dixons Allerton Academy building in Bradford.

David Price, business unit director for Wates Construction in Yorkshire, said: “Our appointment as main contractor for this new facility will see the Wates team continue our role in creating state-of-the-art school buildings for the young people of Bradford. Wates’ Adapt model has been developed over the past two years and will enable us to deliver on the individual needs of the new school in Fenby, whilst bringing true value for money throughout the project.”

CPMG associate director David Shaw added: "The Adapt solution has enabled the design team to meet an extremely tight programme with a well-considered and cost-effective school solution that has been tailored to meet the new academy's requirements for education delivery."

 

 

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Polypipe rejoins London Stock Exchange Plastic piping manufacturer Polypipe Group has been admitted to full trading on the London Stock Exchange main market.]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:36:21 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/polypipe-rejoins-london-stock-exchange http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/polypipe-rejoins-london-stock-exchange

Plastic piping manufacturer Polypipe Group has been admitted to full trading on the London Stock Exchange main market.

Previously listed on the London Stock Exchange between 1986 and 1999, the Doncaster-based manufacturer signalled its intention last month to return to the market to support its growth plans. Turnover last year was £300m.

Private equity firm Cavendish Square Partners retains 23% of the ordinary shares, with directors and senior managers holding a further 9.8%.

The offer price of 245p put a market value on the company of £490m. The share price rose on the first day of trading to 250p.

Chief Executive David Hall said the flotation “demonstrates confidence in our business and gives us the financial firepower to continue our programme of investment”.

 

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Cambridge development passes another planning milestone Proposals for University of Cambridge key worker homes at the North West Cambridge Development have been approved today by the local planning authorities.]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:33:39 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/cambridge-development-passes-another-planning-milestone http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/cambridge-development-passes-another-planning-milestone

Proposals for University of Cambridge key worker homes at the North West Cambridge Development have been approved today by the local planning authorities.

The 73 one- and two-bedroom apartments will be built to the north of the planned development’s local centre, providing a critical mass of University affordable housing alongside other residential buildings and social amenities.

The proposals by Maccreanor Lavington Architects and Witherford Watson Mann Architects, with Grant Associates designing the courtyard landscape, include three connected buildings of varying heights and two courtyards. 

Project director Roger Taylor said: “This response and style of architecture reflects the vision for the development, which is to create an urban extension to Cambridge and we are thrilled that the local authorities continue to support the designs for the North West Cambridge Development.”

Works on the North West Cambridge Development infrastructure will start in 2014 with phased completions from 2016.  It is to be built on a 150-hectare site of University farmland situated in between Huntingdon Road, Madingley Road and the M11. Outline planning permission was granted in February 2013.

The masterplan includes 3,000 homes (50% ‘key-worker’ housing, available for qualifying University and Colleges employees), 2,000 post-graduate student spaces, 100,000m2 of research space, a local centre and community facilities including a primary school, nursery, doctors’ surgery, supermarket and shops.

 

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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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Live cable explosion rocks strip-out job A North London labourer was nearly killed in an explosion he caused by severing a 415-volt electrical cable, a court has heard.]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:32:04 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/live-cable-explosion-rocks-strip-out-job http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/live-cable-explosion-rocks-strip-out-job

A North London labourer was nearly killed in an explosion he caused by severing a 415-volt electrical cable, a court has heard.

Mr Vlatko Milenkov, a 31-year-old agency worker, was hired by Acton-based Dray Building Ltd as part of a team stripping out a property in Westminster prior to refurbishment. When the explosion happened he was removing electrical equipment from a basement wall believing it all to be safely disconnected.

The worker suffered severe and extensive burns to his limbs, body and face, was in an induced coma in intensive care for two weeks, and in hospital for several more. He still has long-term psychological problems and persistent pain.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the August 2012 incident and yesterday (16th April) prosecuted Dray Building Ltd for safety failings at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that Mr Milenkov had started to strip the electrics after he had stopped work on another task to await guidance from the site manager. He believed the equipment was dead – and most of it was.

However a live cable remained, coming into the building from the street outside and ending at a cut-off box from which the rest of the equipment had been isolated by removing fuses. He was using a breaker to drill and lever the equipment from the wall when he went through the cable.

HSE’s investigation found that Dray Building Ltd had failed to provide suitable signage highlighting the live cable, and had failed to provide barriers around the work equipment for other suitable safety measures. The company’s construction plans stated that services had to be identified and that any assessed as live should be marked accordingly, but that had not happened.

Dray Building Ltd, of Dephna House, North Acton Road, London, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £9,882 in costs after admitting a breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations.

After the case, HSE inspector Stephron Baker Holmes said: “It would have been a straightforward matter to provide suitable warning notices and barriers in this case, and it is likely these simple measures would have prevented an incident like this from happening.

“As a result of Dray Building’s failures, however, this man suffered life-changing and initially life-threatening injuries, and the quality of his life remains significantly diminished.

“Controlling the risks at source would have been more effective than relying on assumptions about individuals’ awareness of the risks.”

 

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Kirkintilloch primary for Morgan Sindall Morgan Sindall has picked up a £7.7m contract from hub West Scotland to build the new Lairdsland Primary School in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire.]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:30:25 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/kirkintilloch-primary-for-morgan-sindall http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/kirkintilloch-primary-for-morgan-sindall

Morgan Sindall has picked up a £7.7m contract from hub West Scotland to build the new Lairdsland Primary School in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire.

The primary school, designed to accommodate 280 pupils in 11 classrooms, is due to complete in summer 2015.

The two-storey building will run alongside the Forth & Clyde Canal in Strathkelvin Place, and will include a large school hall with a separate dining area that doubles up as an activity and music area.

Morgan Sindall area director Eddie Carr said: “We have delivered a large number of projects in the education sector and aim to make Lairdsland Primary School the best in the region.”

 

 

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Shepherd deal for Nationwide Platforms The Shepherd Group has selected Nationwide Platforms as its preferred supplier of powered access equipment in a new three year deal.]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:27:49 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/shepherd-deal-for-nationwide-platforms http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/shepherd-deal-for-nationwide-platforms

The Shepherd Group has selected Nationwide Platforms as its preferred supplier of powered access equipment in a new three year deal.

Shepherd will call on Nationwide’s network of 26 hire depots and extensive fleet of boom and scissor lifts that range in working height from 3.5m to 70m. Over the last two years, Nationwide Platforms has invested more than £43m in new equipment.

“Having gained a comprehensive understanding of Nationwide Platforms’ resources, capability and expertise, we are pleased to reach this deal as we work towards achieving our goals over the next three years,” said a Shepherd spokesperson. 

Nationwide Platforms managing director Jeremy Fish said the deal was “exciting”.

 

Trading update: Nationwide Platforms’ UK rental revenue grew 10% year-on-year in the first three months of 2014, parent company Lavendon revealed in a trading update this morning.

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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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Persimmon’s forward sales up a third The government’s Help to Buy shared equity scheme continues to boost the bank balances of major housebuilders with Persimmon reporting a 35% leap on forward sales revenue on the back of the policy.]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:32:16 +0100 http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/persimmons-forward-sales-up-a-third http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/persimmons-forward-sales-up-a-third

The government’s Help to Buy shared equity scheme continues to boost the bank balances of major housebuilders with Persimmon reporting a 35% leap on forward sales revenue on the back of the policy.

Persimmon’s revenue from private sales for the first 15 weeks of 2014 is 35% ahead of last year’s figure. It has approximately 7,200 new homes sold forward into the private sale market for 2014 which is 38% ahead of the same point last year, with an average selling price up 3% to £200,400.

The Help to Buy scheme in England was introduced on 1 April 2013. Persimmon sold 2,203 homes to customers using mortgages associated with this scheme in 2013. With take-up accelerating, it has sold a further 2,800 homes to Help to Buyers already this year.

Persimmon holds its annual general meeting in York today. Shareholders will be told that the company’s strategy “remains focussed on exercising capital discipline through the cycle whilst growing the business as market conditions allow”.

Persimmon currently has approximately 395 active sites across the UK and has opened 75 of the 90 new outlets targeted for the first half of 2014. 

“Our build activity continues to support the improved rates of sale and we remain confident of delivering further growth in the number of new homes legally completed for 2014,” the company said.

It has also extended its £300m revolving credit facility with its banks until 31 March 2019.

Telford Homes has also provided a trading update ahead of its preliminary results for the year ended 31 March 2014, which will be released on 28 May 2014. Profit before tax is expected to be more than double last year’s £9.0m and reach a cumulative £120m over the next four financial years. Operating margin before interest is expected to be in excess of 15% for the last financial year, up from 9.7% the previous year.

Telford Homes targets more affordable parts of London. It is starting this month on a 31-storey development in Stratford, east London, comprising 181 new homes, including 157 open market properties.

With 492 open market sales last year, Telford Homes is a much smaller business than Persimmon. And, in contrast to Persimmon, it has yet to make a sale to a customer using a Help to Buy mortgage.

 

 

 

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