The general economic outlook for the Eastern Europe region is improving, with growth momentum building. In terms of construction output, many countries in the region posted strong growth figures over the first five months of 2017, following sharp declines over 2016. These markets rely heavily on funds from the European Union (EU) to finance ongoing major infrastructure and other public projects. In 2016, such funds stalled, and many projects in the region were put on hold. Indeed, there was a halt in investment spending across much of Europe, as the 2014-2020 funding period was delayed significantly, and, generally, the release of funds was delayed until early 2017. The stoppage in public funds had a much wider impact; private construction projects were also delayed, and it weighed on the broader economy over the year.
Russian energy firm Gazprom announced that construction has started on the TurkStream gas pipeline in the Black Sea near the Russian coast.
The European and Indian construction machinery markets have shown growth this year, while other regions have seen a slow-down, according to Germany’s engineering association the VDMA.Latest research from the Construction Equipment and Building Material Machinery arm of the VDMA suggests that the machinery sector has grown in regions including France, Germany and India. The Middle East and North America, on the other hand, have registered drops in machinery sales, in addition to the weak markets of Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia. After five years of recession, China still hasn’t recovered from a loss of an accumulated 80% of its volume, says the report.The research also anticipates a drop in the global construction machinery sales due to regional developments, even though German manufacturers are set to register a slight turnover increase of 3%.Johann Sailer, VDMA chairman, said: “This is primarily due to the strong European market.”However, growth might not be equal for all manufacturers, added Sailer: “Depending on where a company’s focuses lie individual results could still be on the negative side.”Building material machinery updateThe report from the VDMA also examines the building material plant and machinery business.The sector is subject to less instability than the construction machinery sector. Nevertheless, manufacturers depend on long-term stable growth markets and these are deficient at the moment — due to the Russian market breakdown. Only Central Europe, India and North America are rated as satisfactory.Overcapacities also present a challenge for manufacturers. When it comes to this, the sector automatically thinks about China, says the association.“We don’t expect suppliers from China to flood the market with their equipment but the trend is clear – when domestic markets are weak companies shift to export markets,” said Sailer.In addition, political and economic uncertainties are present in many sectors. “We don’t want to just keep talking about crises and many current issues do not even have a direct impact on the construction sector. But obviously, news of this kind always affect the investment climate among our customers,” said Sailer.Overall, the VDMA concluded that “the construction equipment and building material machinery industry is indeed a growth sector”.
Kobelco Construction Machinery Europe (KCME) has introduced its new SK45SRX-6 mini excavator in Europe.The 4.5t mini excavator has been jointly launched with the latest version of the SK55SRX-6.Both machines feature the Yanmar engine, which reduces fuel consumption by 23% when used in S-mode, for normal work. Further fuel savings can be achieved through the integrated hydraulic circuitry of the three on-board hydraulic pumps, which reduces the overall engine/hydraulic workload.A decelerator button can also now be found on the operation lever as well as the dashboard. Additionally, the excavators’ on-site noise is reduced with the dust cooling system together with a front-facing air inlet and an under-slung exhausting system. Bluetooth and ports for USB can also be found in the machines.In the SK45SRX-6, the operator’s chair now reclines and features mechanical suspension, and both models feature improved operator visibility from the cab.Kobelco’s KCME product marketing manager Marcel van der Winden said: “The introduction of SK45SRX-6 fulfils KCME’s ideal of providing specialist earth moving machines within all popular classes. “As with all Kobelco Short Radius excavators, SK45SRX-6 delivers exceptional working performance while maintaining reduced operating costs. Minor updates to the SK55SRX-6 underline just how effective and efficient this machine has and always will be.”
National markets across Europe are responding to current market conditions in varying ways. The team of analysts at Timetric's Construction Intelligence Center examine the current trends across the continent.
DHL Express has signed an agreement to construct a logistics hub at Milan Malpensa airport in Italy.
BAM Deutschland, the German operating company of Royal BAM Group, has won two contracts worth over €145m for university buildings in Düsseldorf and Cologne, Germany.
A joint venture led by Norwegian state-owned utility Statkraft has announced plans to invest about €1.1bn in Europe's largest onshore wind power project in central Norway.
Technology group Thyssenkrupp has announced plans to construct a new automotive components plant in Hungary.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided funding for the development of a €318m hospital in Konya, in the central Anatolian region of Turkey.
ScottishPower Renewables is set to invest £2.5bn on its East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm project in the UK.
The number of projects and the technical capabilities used by the tunnelling market in Europe has strengthened and expanded over the past two decades. Keren Fallwell reports.
When workers broke through the Eurasia Tunnel in August 2015, it marked not only the first time Europe and Asia were connected by a road tunnel, but also represented the crowning achievement for one of the world’s most challenging tunnelling projects.
The Ceneri base tunnel is an integral part of the New Rail Link through the Alps. Sally Spencer reports.
Involving tunnelling through 33km of mountain, the Koralm railway tunnel is set to become the longest entirely within Austrian territory.