The regional transit authority serving the Greater Seattle Area Sound Transit has inaugurated the University Link Light Rail Extension in Seattle.CH2M, serving as the lead in a construction management joint venture, announced that the rail project has been delivered six months ahead of schedule and about $200M under its $1.6bn budget.The 2.5km extension runs through twin-bored tunnels from downtown Seattle north to the University of Washington, with stations at Capitol Hill and on the university’s campus near Husky Stadium.The project involved nine separate contracts for the demolition, utilities, site preparations, two underground stations, 2.5km of twin-bore tunnel with precast placed liner, 21 hand-mined cross passages and expansion of the pre-existing rail yard. CH2M provided overall programme management, resident engineering, inspection, project controls, cost estimating, constructability reviews and contract administration for the project that lasted eight years.The project is estimated to nearly double weekday ridership on the existing light rail line to more than 70,000 riders by 2020.
Balfour Beatty Investments has secured financing for the Enterprise Data Centre (EDC) Borden expansion project in Ontario, Canada.The CAD322M ($245.2M) contract has been awarded by the Canadian government to Uptime Infrastructure Partners, a consortium that includes Forum Equity Partners, Walsh Contractors and Balfour Beatty .The consortium will provide the design, construct, finance and facilities management services for a new 10,000sq m data centre located on the Canadian Forces Base. Balfour Beatty Investments and Forum Equity Partners will finance the project, while Walsh Canada will provide construction services.Balfour Beatty Investments Canada senior vice president Chris Arthur said: “This project represents a meaningful win for our organization since this is the first of a potential pipeline of P3 projects for the Canadian Department of National Defence, and a demonstration of continued growth of our business in this key market.“We look forward to working with such a respected group of partners who have a well-established presence in the data centre sector.”Construction is expected to start in June 2016 and the first of four phases of the new facility will be completed in late 2017.
Downer NZ has been awarded an $86M network outcomes contract (NOC) by the NZ Transport Agency to manage the Coastal Otago State Highway network in New Zealand.The scope of the contract includes the regular maintenance and operation of the 773km highway network, as well as the signage and markings, resurfacing, pavement rehabilitation, winter maintenance and incident response.Ian Duncan, NZ Transport Agency’s southern business unit manager, said: “The new $86 million contract starts this winter, from 1 July, and is part of a national Transport Agency initiative to improve the efficiency of roading maintenance through the engagement of a single supplier for each highway network on a performance-based contract.“Contract tenure will be based upon Downer achieving a number of monthly and annual performance measures which evaluate the efficiency, responsiveness and quality of their work.”This new contract model is set to deliver better operational outcomes and more efficient road maintenance.
A survey of UK construction recruitment firms has highlighted the shortage of construction workers and resultant high wages, with some bricklayers taking home £1,000 a week.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has offered a £525M loan for the construction of the £2.7bn Beatrice wind farm off the coast of Scotland, UK.The EIB loan, partly guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, will have tenure of 19 years.To be constructed 14km off the Caithness coast, the 86-turbine wind farm will produce up to 588MW of electricity, enough to meet the energy needs of over 475,000 homes.The wind farm will use Siemens 7MW wind turbines with 154m diameter rotor blades. EIB’s vice president Jonathan Taylor said: “We are pleased to provide £525M to support construction of the Beatrice wind farm that will strengthen renewable energy generation in Scotland. This also represents the first Scottish scheme to be backed by the new European Fund for Strategic Investments.“EIB backing for energy investment across the UK demonstrates our firm commitment to supporting ambitious energy projects that create jobs and benefit local companies.”
Dubai Municipality has awarded a contract to build an AED 1.8bn ($490M) conference centre in Dubai.Located on a 55,000sq m site in Al Jaddaf, the centre will feature Sheikh Rashid Hall conference venue, an 18,000sq m indoor arena with a height of 98ft capable of accommodating 10,000 people. It will include theatre-style seating and will be ideal for international conferences, seminars, music concerts and shows. The project will also see the construction of five sub-halls, each covering a total area of 975sq m and accommodating up to 1,000 people. The three new adjoining towers will include a 33-storey three-star hotel, a 48-floor four-star hotel and a 36-floor office block to be linked to the halls through a concourse building featuring shops and restaurants.A 65,000sq m car park with capacity for 1,800 cars will be also built.
Spanish construction firm Grupo ACS has secured a €235M contract to construct an industrial waste treatment plant in Abu Dhabi.ACS unit Intecsa, delivering the contract on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company Takreer, will design, procure, build and commission a plant that will have a capacity to treat industrial waste from all the affiliates of Adnoc in Abu Dhabi.The facility will be situated in the industrial zone of Ruwais, about 250km west of Abu Dhabi.Construction work is set to commence next month and the plant is expected to be complete in the second half of 2019.
Skanska, in joint venture with Porr and A.Hak, has secured a contract from the National Grid for the Humber Tunnel project in Northern England, UK.Under the £150M contract, the joint venture will design and construct a 5km tunnel below the river Humber, inserting a single string of 42” steel pipe and connecting it to the above ground installations (AGIs) at Paull and Goxhill. The pipeline will connect to the existing National Grid AGI sites at Paull and Goxhill and will be able to transport natural gas at a pressure of 70barg.National Grid’s senior project manager Phil Croft said: “This pipeline will be the longest gas pipeline in a tunnel, inserted in a single string in the world. To do this we need partners with experience and a proven track record.“Skanska, PORR and A.Hak were able to demonstrate their expertise and knowledge throughout the tender process, giving us the confidence that this was the right company to build this tunnel and pipeline in such an environmentally sensitive and commercially busy river.”The planning approval from the Planning Inspectorate for the three-year project is due in September 2016.
Graham Construction has been appointed by Oxford Brookes University to its new works framework to support the delivery of its £130M campus improvement programme.The 10-year estate investment plan will include improvements to the facilities on all of Oxford Brookes’ campuses, thus supporting the university’s long-term vision. The construction firm has been selected as part of the framework panel, which will execute all projects worth more than £5M, with a total value of £65M over the next four years.According to Graham Construction, there is a provision for the framework to be extended for two more years.Graham Construction’s London office director Rob Joyce said: “As the Thames Valley market is thriving, Graham Construction’s London division is continuing its expansion westwards to meet the high demand.“We are looking forward to drawing on our broad range of experience from across the higher education sector to help deliver Oxford Brookes University’s estate investment plan.“This appointment takes us a step further towards providing sector-leading facilities on a world-class campus, which will enable the university to achieve its long-term vision.”
Professional baseball team Texas Rangers has unveiled plans for a new $1bn stadium.The proposed ballpark will include a retractable roof for climate control and a shelter for fans during the hot summer season. It is also expected to have similar design concepts as the ones featured in the construction of the Globe Life Park.The Arlington City Council will consider designating a venue project and authorising a master agreement for a public-private partnership with the Texas Rangers this evening.The new proposed master agreement could see the Rangers' partnership with Arlington extend until January 1, 2054.The project’s construction cost would be shared equally between the Texas Rangers and the City of Arlington. Texas Rangers co-chairman Ray Davis said: "The Rangers and Arlington have enjoyed a great partnership for 45 years, and we are excited about the possibility of calling this city home for many years to come."A baseball park is a very special place and the Rangers are committed to providing the best possible experience for our fans. "The construction of a new facility with a retractable roof and so many other amenities would allow us to enhance that experience in a manner that is not presently possible."The park is expected to be complete by April 2021.
Subsea 7 and Seaway Heavy Lifting have secured an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for the Beatrice wind farm turbine foundations and array cables in Scotland.The scope of the $1.3bn contract,awarded by Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited, will also involve the transport and installation of transmission modules for the offshore wind farm.The project’s management and engineering has already commenced at Subsea 7’s office in Aberdeen, Scotland and at Seaway Heavy Lifting’s offices in Glasgow, Scotland, and Zoetermeer, the Netherlands.Offshore installation activities will take place in 2017 and 2018 using seaway Heavy Lifting’s heavy-lift vessels, Stanislav Yudin and Oleg Strashnov.Subsea 7 CEO Jean Cahuzac said: “This offshore wind farm project is our largest North Sea award to date. Subsea 7 and Seaway Heavy Lifting have a strong reputation in their respective areas of expertise.“This contract recognises both companies’ capability to execute contracts safely, on time and within cost targets and is another major step forward in establishing Seaway Heavy Lifting as a leading EPCI contractor in the offshore renewables market.”When fully operational in 2019, the wind farm will produce 588MW of power.
Southern Company subsidiary Mississippi Power and Origis Energy have started construction on the $100M solar power plant in Lamar County, Mississippi.Located on a 590-acre site, the facility will feature more than 215,000 polycrystalline solar panels and will produce 52MW of energy, enough to supply about 8,000 homes. Mississippi Power will secure all energy and related renewable energy credits generated by the plant that is set to become the largest solar facility in Mississippi when completed.Mississippi Power president and CEO Anthony Wilson said: "By working with Origis Energy and the Area Development Partnership, we will have nearly doubled the amount of electricity generated by renewable energy going to the Mississippi Power grid."The project will create nearly 100 construction jobs and is scheduled to be complete in the first quarter of 2017.
NCC and Kungälv Municipality have entered into a partnership for the construction of a $36bn waterworks in Kungälv, Sweden.The project is set to provide drinking water to the municipalities of Kungälv, Tjörn, Ale and Stenungssund.The waterworks will have as its water source the Göta älv river and will be able to supply 1,080cb m of water per hour when completed.Maria Sondell, project manager at Kungälv Municipality, said: “Kungälv and the surrounding municipalities need to secure their supply of drinking water and we will build, together with NCC, a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest water purification technology.”NCC Infrastructure business area manager, Svante Hagman said: “Working on this type of sustainable community solution is incredibly motivating. “We have been working with Kungälv Municipality on project engineering and dimensioning of the new waterworks since the autumn. “We are moving into the next phase of the partnering arrangement that involves detail engineering so that we can start construction soon. This is scheduled to begin no later than May.”
Green Valley Real Estate has announced plans for a AED500M ($136M) residential project in Marrakech, Morocco.The 410,000sq m development, called ‘City of Green Valley-Marrakech’, is located 11km from Marrakech city centre and will feature 350 residential villas with 100,000sq m of green spaces.It will also include restaurants, cafes, a supermarket, a spa area, health clubs, swimming pools, bars and sports courts.Green Valley Real Estate owner and general manager, Ali Saeed Al Salami said: "We are privileged to announce the project in Marrakech. "Aside of being a state-of-the-art and cutting edge project, it also offers excellent growth potential for investors looking for substantial return on their investment in Marrakech."This is a luxury project and offers amazing investment opportunities in the city, which is otherwise considered a perfect tourist destination."The project follows the completion of developments in Turkey, UAE and other parts of the Middle East.<iframe src="https://timetric.com/c/TT4M9NW/chart/" style="width:500px;height:350px;border:0;" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>
Weston Homes plans to transform the Denham Film Laboratories into a new £120M residential development in Buckinghamshire, UK.The Grade II-listed Art Deco building was originally part of the Denham Film Studios, where Oscar-winning films were processed and then screened to the directors.The development, which will adopt the Denham Film Studios name, will involve the conversion of the main laboratory and head office building into 224 homes —154 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and 70 four- and five-bedroom family townhouses — along with a cinema and a community hall/fitness space. The new properties are set to be designed around garden squares, landscaped grounds, rill water features, private gardens and protected woodland complete with parking and garaging. The cinema — once used to screen movies to Hollywood directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg — will be renovated and turned into a cinema theatre and club for residents.Bob Weston, chairman and chief executive officer of Weston Homes, said: “For almost 80 years the Denham Film Studios played a central role in the history of Hollywood and British movie making. “With its iconic Art Deco centerpiece, the retained and restored cinema once used by Hollywood directors and its illustrious history this is without doubt the most exciting, glamorous and unique restoration projects Weston Homes has undertaken to date. “Our vision at the Denham Film Studios is to create an Art Deco and movie inspired residential address within easy commuting distance of London via rail or road.”The project will formerly launch in Spring 2017 and prices are anticipated to range from £350,000- £1,500,000.
UK-based Wates has begun construction work on the new £45M Redrock Stockport leisure and retail development.The development is part of Stockport Council’s £1bn ‘investing in Stockport’ programme and was marked with a ground-breaking ceremony.Redrock Stockport will feature 7,000sq m of leisure, retail and restaurant space that includes a 360-space NCP multi-storey car park and a ten-screen cinema.Eamonn Boylan, chief executive at Stockport Council, said: “I am thrilled that we have reached this landmark stage on Redrock Stockport, and that our vision of transforming this area of the town centre is becoming a reality. “The new cinema, restaurants and retail units will bring a new vibrancy to this area of our town centre making a great place to visit and spend time.”Wates and Stockport Council are ensuring that local SMEs are involved in the project and that on-site training and employment opportunities are created.Wates Construction North West business unit director, Tony Shenton said: “There is an anticipation growing for Redrock Stockport and for good reason; it is going to become a great asset for the town, the economic benefits of which will keep on building. “As with all of our projects, employing a local supply chain will be a key part of our delivery of Redrock Stockport, as will our ongoing engagement with and support of neighbouring businesses.”
UK-based Bericote Properties has unveiled plans for a £150M warehouse project in St Helens near Liverpool, UK.The proposed industrial and distribution warehouse development will be located off junction 23 of the M6 at Haydock, covering a total area of 130,000sq m.The project will feature sheds, office space, car parking, as well as a new highway providing access to the adjacent Haydock industrial estate.Bericote believes that the project will be well placed to take advantage of the Liverpool Superport initiative, under which the Liverpool City Region, Peel Ports and others are investing £1bn in freight and logistics around the Port of Liverpool. Bericote’s development director for Manchester office Keith Wilson said: “Bericote is proud to be bringing forward plans for this significant employment development in Haydock, creating a lasting legacy of jobs and investment for St Helens.”Construction work is expected to commence in early 2017.
Menter Newydd has been selected by Horizon Nuclear Power to build the £14bn Wylfa Newydd nuclear power project in Anglesey, UK.Menter Newydd, a specially created joint venture, includes Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Ltd., Bechtel Management Company, Ltd. and JGC Corporation (UK) Ltd. Horizon’s CEO Duncan Hawthorne said: “This is an important step in any large, complex infrastructure project and it adds to Wylfa Newydd’s growing momentum.“The depth and breadth of expertise Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Bechtel and JGC bring to the Menter Newydd venture will help us ensure the timely delivery of our project, which will be vital for meeting the UK’s energy gap and boosting the local economy in North Wales for decades to come.“We look forward to working with the team and continuing to make great strides with our plans.” Work on the site is continuing to advance and the UK ABWR remains on track to complete its regulatory generic design assessment by the end of 2017.
Hyflux and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) consortium’s project company TuasOne Pte Ltd has secured project financing for TuasOne waste-to-energy plant in Singapore.The project company has secured a SGD653M ($472.7M) 27-year loan facility, which will be utilized to fund the development, its construction and start-up costs.The project financing is provided by DBS Bank, Malayan Banking Berhad Singapore Branch, Mizuho Bank Ltd and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, which are the underwriters and book-runners for the facility.DBS Bank Ltd, Maybank Kim Eng Securities Pte Ltd, Mizuho Bank Ltd and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd were the lead arrangers in the project financing.
Germany-based KfW IPEX-Bank is providing a loan worth €104M to the French energy provider Neoen to support the construction of energy projects in France.The projects include a 30MWp photovoltaic (PV) facility and two wind farms with a total capacity of 46MWp.German manufacturer SolarWorld is providing the modules for the PV plant, which is being built in the Tarn department in southwestern France, while German wind farm manufacturer Enercon and the Danish company Vestas are supplying the equipment to the Bussy Lettrée and Raucourt II wind projects in northeastern France. Neoen corporate finance director Charlie Canevet said: “We are happy to be working with KfW IPEX-Bank again on our new projects in France. For our global activities in the field of renewable energies, we partner with dependable banks with proven structuring expertise.”The plant will be completed soon and the two wind farms are expected to be operational by the end of 2016.