Plans for a Helsinki–Tallinn undersea rail tunnel are a step closer to reality after Finnish and Estonian ministers signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) earlier this year.The MOU binds the two states to further investigate the viability and economic impact of the tunnel’s construction.The 50-mile undersea rail tunnel has been on the table for almost a decade, with multiple studies considering the potential for socio-economic development between the two cities.According to a study financed by the European Union EUBSR Seed Money Facility, published in February 2015, the project is set to be a success.Predicted to treble travel and boost trade, the tunnel, if built, will be one of the longest underwater railway tunnels in the world, serving four million people living within a 200km radius of both capitals. It will also carry about half of future cargo traffic in the area.25,000 daily commuter trips are to be expected in the first ten years after the opening of the railway, which promises improved accessibility and reduced commuting times from the current two-and-a-half hours by ferry to a 30-minute journey. The revenue generated by passenger traffic would amount to €67bn by 2080.Trains will be able to carry 800 passengers each and cargo with a total capacity of 96/TEU, reaching speeds of 250 km/h.Expected to take eight to ten years to be finished, the total cost of the development can vary between €9bn and €13bn and construction work can start anytime between 2025 and 2030. Further plans include the construction of a €3.6bn Rail Baltica high-speed train line to link Finland, the Baltic States and Poland, improving the connection between central and northern Europe.Socio-Economic ImpactA decisive factor on the tunnel’s construction is its ability to boost economic activity in the Nordic region.The region can become one of the significant centres in Northern Europe, as the two cities house more than 2.5M inhabitants and see over 7.5M passengers travel annually by ferry for business or tourism purposes. By 2080, the total number of passengers between the two cities is expected to reach 41M.Although transport via the new tunnel is slated to bring a 1–3% increase to Finland’s GDP within 20 years in operation, that will not be replicated in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which will see only an increase of 0.5% in GDP.Both countries are expected to collect the benefits of the wider consumer market and shared labour market that the tunnel would open to.The European study concludes: "The figures also show that direct and indirect benefits during the construction and operation period to the economy of both countries are remarkable. “The competitiveness of the twin-city area will be strengthened by improved accessibility, new companies and business, better image and a variety in living options.”Risks and ChallengesThe project poses risks in the construction and execution phases as well as economic, political and technological challenges.In its initial phase, the tunnel’s main problems are related to the geology at the proposed exit location in Estonia, as an important source of water supply for the city is located there.Apart from the uncertainty surrounding its funding, the study also warns that "globally, the political risk for the project progress could be a culmination of the crisis between East and West."At a national level, tensions might arise due to the different process and culture surrounding of the decision-making process."The political success of the tunnel project will depend on the wideness of its impact area and how it is combined with the whole transport system of both countries," the study says.These are still early days for any clear decision, but a potential next step for the project would be the foundation of a Finnish-Estonian project organisation followed by a full feasibility study to make it clear when the tunnel is to be expected.According to Hannes Virkus, an adviser at the Estonian ministry of economic affairs, real decisions shouldn't be expected before 2018.* This is a version of an article that first appeared at www.railway-technology.com.
Waking up at 5.30am, spending two hours travelling to the construction site, starting work around 8am — regardless of the weather conditions — finishing the workday at 4pm and travelling back home for two hours, is the routine of construction worker Ben Grant.Grant lives in Bournemouth, but works in London. The 23-year-old turned down a warehouse career to follow one in the construction industry. “I like working in construction, because you can see the progress you are making. At the end of the day you can look back and see what you’ve accomplished, because it’s just right in front of you,” says Grant.Even though working in construction can be personally rewarding, a high demand for workers has been reported by the UK construction industry in recent months and years. “There is definitely a high demand for more construction workers. I am aware that the company we are subcontracted to is needing at least 100 more workers at the moment and I can only imagine that this is a problem throughout lots of [construction] companies,” says Grant.A survey of construction recruitment firms, recently released by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) — a membership and professional body for the UK recruitment industry — highlighted that demand.The survey also concluded that 69% of the construction recruitment agencies surveyed believe that the shortage of bricklayers, labourers and other tradesmen constitutes the first or second most significant risk to their businesses.Kate Shoesmith, REC’s head of policy, says: “One of the things that comes up time and time again [in the survey] is that in the construction industry there is a high demand [for workers] and some of the roles are really difficult to fill and to find people with the appropriate skills. “They [recruitment agencies] are saying that it is really difficult to find bricklayers, scaffolders and estimators for the temporary construction jobs. If you look at the engineering side, they are talking about high ways engineers and structural engineers. If you look at the permanent jobs, where it’s difficult to find people in construction, they are saying that it’s very difficult to find architects right now.”Bespoke Recruitment Ltd has been supplying construction workers to the sector since 2001 and has been feeling the pressure. “We have a skill shortage at the moment in construction and we are struggling. We have demand for construction workers,” says Simon Noakes, co-founder and director of Bespoke Recruitment Ltd.Meanwhile, the Chartered Institute of Building this week promoted the concept of former servicemen and women from the Armed Forces joining the construction industry, ahead of the UK Armed Forces Day on June 25.The recessionThe UK construction sector has come a long way since the global recession in late 2007, which saw a reduction in construction projects and consequently a reduction in construction jobs across the sector. In recent years, the sector has been picking up the pace — as can be witnessed in London by looking at the skyline and the number of cranes and construction sites active in the city.The latest employment data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) corroborates this scenario. According to the ONS, the construction sector was the second biggest job creator in 2015, accounting for 25% of job growth that year. And, construction output has risen 2.5% in April 2016 — the biggest monthly increase since January 2014 —slowing down now only due to the EU Referendum and the uncertainty it brings with it.The industry has a number of jobs to offer, but simply no people to fill them. “There are lots of opportunities in construction at the moment and we cannot fill these roles,” says Noakes.“We have no pipeline of talent coming through the industry, so we don’t see many 18- or 21-year-olds going to college learning to be a plumber or a bricklayer.” Despite the recession starting almost ten years ago, parts of the construction sector are still paying the price of a shortage of workers.Shoesmith at REC says: “The global recession affected the UK market particularly deeply.“There were a number of people working in the industry who, when the jobs stopped coming, [started] thinking about whether they would continue to work as labourers. There were an awful lot of building projects that just stopped and there was no more commissioning of new building projects in the UK. When the jobs started to dry up they left the industry.”Misperception and lack of informationAdding to this, Clive Turner, research manager of NHBC Foundation — the research arm of NHBC, the UK’s leading home warranty and insurance provider — believes that there is still a misperception and lack of information not only about the industry, but also about the jobs it offers. “There is a perception about house building having a bad reputation in terms of what it offers. People don’t see it offering a career progression,” says Turner.“What we fear is that people don’t see the progression opportunities. They would like it to be a worthwhile job, but they are not sure it is, and I think they don’t always see that what you do can be extremely rewarding. “If you don’t realise [that] there is a career path that you can follow you will be forever thinking this could be a dead end job for anybody. There’s nothing worse than that.”A recent study by NHBC Foundation concluded that nearly 50% of parents are not doing enough to encourage their children to pursue a career in the construction industry, specifically in the house-building sector. “[It is] quiet a serious concern and we need to do more to encourage parents to be aware of what house building can offer,” says Turner.“There is a disparity between what house building can offer and what is actually offered to young people through their parents or career advisers. “The issue is the absence of a suitable level of information and guidance on what are a range of very interesting jobs.”Possible solutionsOne way of addressing this issue is attracting and captivating young people into the industry. “We need to think about recruitment and retention strategies, we need to see more investment in things like apprenticeships, that used to be a really golden route for entering the jobs market in construction,” says Shoesmith. “It was a highly credible route. “We need to see more government support for that. We obviously need to think about how we give career advices to young people before they are even thinking about the job options. “Do young people know that there are really good careers to be having in the construction industry? Are they aware of all the opportunities for them?”Other way of engaging young people into the construction sector is offering them a wide range of work experience opportunities while they are still of school age, because — according to Shoesmith — “it’s only by seeing what is like to work in the industry that you can actually visualise yourself there and see whether is something that is right for you”.The Crossrail project has addressed the shortage of skills in the UK construction industry by setting up an academy, where they have trained 20,000 people to develop tunneling and construction skills. They have already had 550 apprentices go through the system.Initiatives such as this can help to encourage workers to join the construction industry — as may the wage rise that has taken place across the sector.The latest employment data released by the ONS shows a 7.5% year-on-year increase in wages in the construction sector.“There are obviously huge rewards there, because the pay is increasing in this sector as the skills supply gets worse,” says Shoesmith.REC’s survey also concluded that some bricklayers are taking home £1,000 ($1,470) a week. Kevin Green, REC’s chief executive, says: “If you work in construction you can expect to be earning £34 a week more than last year, and our data indicates that some employers are increasing pay faster as the competition for skilled workers intensifies.” Expected to attract a wide range of people into the industry, Bespoke Recruitment Ltd is following this trend: through the agency a bricklayer is paid £180–£200 a day and a labourer £8.50–£9 an hour.
A selection of current construction work and studies shows hydropower’s wide range, says Patrick Reynolds. Numerous hydropower and pumped storage projects are in construction or planning across the globe, and International Water Power & Dam Construction (IWP&DC) briefly notes progress and developments on a selection in Asia, Europe, North America and South America, and also the Middle East.A major hydropower scheme that is well advanced is the Ulu Jelai project, in Malaysia. Being constructed by Salini Impregilo, the project involves significant surface and underground works.Both surface and underground works feature in the Foz Tua pumped storage project, in Portugal, and which is also at an advanced stage. The project involves construction of a 108m-high double-curvature arch dam.Developing hydropower where a new dam is not needed, efforts are pushing ahead in the US to exploit existing lock and dams structures, such as the run-of-river projects being undertaken by power company American Municipal Power (AMP) on the Ohio River. The plants under construction include 72MW Smithland.Statkraft may give the go-ahead this year for two run-of-river projects in Chile, following an acquisition in 2015. However, following a recent review of its investment programme it has yet to decide what action it will take.Many further projects are coming, and a few among those include recent awards for consultants MWH Global and ÅF, respectively, in South America, Europe and the Middle East.Malaysia: Ulu JelaiConstruction of the 383MW Ulu Jelai hydropower project, in Malaysia, has been underway since 2011 and is well advanced, including the recent milestone completion of the Susu roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam.Ulu Jelai is being developed by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) in Pahang state, approximately 200km north of the capital Kuala Lumpur. It is one of five hydro projects being built at present to help stabilise the power grid.The project is located on Bertam River, and involves major dam and tunnel works. The rated net head of the scheme is approximately 360m.Key features of the project include the Susu reservoir on Bertam River, and to which water is conveyed by transfer tunnels from the Lemoi and Telom rivers, running on opposite sides of the main river. Lemoi and Telom are tributaries of Bertam and naturally join the main river downstream of the project location but are being tapped with offtake weirs at higher elevations. The tunnels have lengths of 7.5km and 8.5km, respectively.Water flows from Susu reservoir down a 9.5m-diameter unlined headrace tunnel to the underground powerhouse complex, holding a pair of 191MW Francis turbines. Ulu Jelai is expected to generate approximately 326GWh of electricity annually.Salini Impregilo is main contractor on the scheme, which is nearing completion.The Susu RCC dam is more than 80m-high with a crest length of 512.5m. Its volume is approximately 750,000m3, the contractor said.The volume of other concrete works on the project is approximately 190,000m3. Surface excavations and earth moving has involved more than 3M m3 of material.Underground construction has been performed by both TBM boring and drill and blast excavation. In total, the project has called for excavation of 26km of tunnels and also the powerhouse cavern complex. The TBMs were used to bore 15km of tunnels, and 11km of excavation of undertaken by drill and blast.Salini Impregilo notes that the total underground rock excavation is approximately 800,000m3.
A deteriorating section of the fluming carrying water to Tarraleah power station has been repaired on time and in budget, improving the safety and condition of this important infrastructure. Generating energy from water over the long term requires significant on-going investment in the safety and performance of more than dams and turbines. Water conveyance infrastructure also needs regular attention to keep the water flowing across the many, often rugged, kilometres from storages to power stations."Across a century of hydropower development, Hydro Tasmania has constructed 55 major dams, 30 power stations, and hundreds of kilometres of waterways," said Hydro Tasmania's civil portfolio manager Neil Smith."Many of these assets were world firsts when they were built and continue to provide outstanding service to this day. But, like any valuable infrastructure, our hydroelectricity and water assets require on-going maintenance to perform well into the future."A timely and successful repair of a rapidly deteriorating section of the flume carrying water to Hydro Tasmania's Tarraleah Power Station has greatly improved the safety and condition of this important piece of water conveyance infrastructure, and ensured its reliable service in Tasmania's power system for at least another 50 years.And if that isn't cause enough for celebration, this repair has also been achieved within schedule and budget, using safe and innovative design and construction methods, and carefully considering the flume's heritage values.
What links novelty personalised figurines, prosthetic body parts, components for cars and fighter jets, jewellery, guitars — and now, houses?They’re all on the list of objects that have been created using 3D printing technology. And while some of those projects will probably prove to be passing fads — feel free to take a moment at this stage to Google the inexplicable Japanese trend of printing models of Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves looking sad, if you really must — the use of 3D printing to produce entire buildings is gathering momentum.A few years ago, 3D printing or additive manufacturing (AM) was used in the construction sector mainly to produce construction components and niche parts, such as interior-decorating features, lighting effects and furniture. In recent years construction companies and national governments raised the bar with ambitious projects to 3D-print bigger and bigger structures. The goal was set: 3D print entire buildings. The challenge was laid down and the industry could only wait for the first buildings to rise. And they did. In several countries 3D-printed projects have been initiated, and in some they have now been finished. That is the case in Dubai, where the world’s first 3D-printed office building has recently opened its doors. The 250sq m single-storey building has been built in just 17 days using a 20ft tall 3D printer and a special mix of concrete — fibre-reinforced plastic and glass fibre-reinforced gypsum. The gigantic printer was 120ft long and 40ft wide and ‘worked’ almost alone, as it only needed one staffer to make sure it was functioning properly. The rest of the 18-person construction crew consisted of installers, electricians and mechanical engineers who completed the project for just a mere $140,000 in construction and labour costs, about half price of a comparable structure built using conventional methods. The building is set to have a practical use as the temporary headquarters for the Dubai Future Foundation, becoming home of Dubai’s Museum of the Future next year. The opening follows the launch of the ‘Dubai 3D Printing Strategy’ and the forecast that a quarter of buildings in Dubai will have 3D-printed elements by 2030.
Hydro projects of all stages continue to make Asia a growth sector, says Patrick Reynolds. Among the many hydropower projects in development in Asia, expansions are underway at the Baglihar scheme in India, the Tarbela dam in Pakistan, and Lamtakong Jolabha Vadhana pumped storage plant in Thailand.Also in Pakistan milestone progress has been achieved recently at Neelum Jhelum, and studies are advancing plans for Thakot and other projects in the Indus basin.A range of further supporting studies for hydro projects are underway in Nepal and Bhutan, respectively, and also Vietnam — including Lai Chai where works are advanced. A refurbishment project is in preparation for a key hydro scheme in Tajikistan.Nepal also has a focus on irrigation needs, including a wider examination of flood hazard risk.Himalayas/Central AsiaIndia: Baglihar-II The 450MW Baglihar-II project in Jammu & Kashmir, India, was inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Developed on the Chenab River, the project is the second stage of the Baglihar scheme and doubles the installed capacity at the site to 900MW. The Stage I plant was built over 2000-2008. Their joint output is expected to be approximately 4180GWh of electricity annually.Project developer is the Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation. Lahmeyer International — part of Tractebel Engineering, a division of ENGIE previously GDF Suez — is the Engineer-in-Charge of the Baglihar site, and since 1999 has had engineering responsibilities on both stages of the development.Contractor on both stages is Jaiprakash Associates. E&M supplier on Stage II are Voith Hydro and Andritz Hydro, and for Stage I were Voith Siemens and VATECH, respectively.Both stages are served by a 144.5m-high concrete gravity dam with an integrated overflow spillway. Each stage also features significant underground infrastructure. The intakes to both are located in the bank, immediately upstream of the dam.The stages have parallel diversion tunnels at the dam. The headrace tunnels also run together for most of their distance, and each has a 77m high surge shaft.The underground powerhouses of the two stages, each with 3 x 150MW Francis units, are close together — Stage II complex is located immediately upstream of the Stage I caverns. The cavern complexes are approximately 180m apart.Each powerhouse cavern is 50m high x 24m wide x 121m long; and, the transformer caverns are 24m high x 15m wide x 112m long. The caverns were excavated over 2011-2013.Downstream of each powerhouse complex are further underground works, located before the tailrace tunnels: the underground structures are ‘Collection Galleries’. For Stage I, the collection gallery is a single cavern; for Stage II, the system includes a lower gallery 20.6m high x 14m wide x 95m long, three 14m-wide riser shafts and a gate operating top gallery 9m high x 16m wide x 57m long.The tailrace tunnels are different, too — Stage I is short (130m), high (29m) and flow is free-flowing; Stage II is a 350m-long, 10m-diameter pressurised tunnel.Other projects on the Chenab that Lahmeyer has worked on include Sawalkote, Ratle and Pakal Dul.Separately, in Himachal Pradesh, Lahmeyer recently provided consultancy services for the Thana Plaun project being developed on the Beas River by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation. The 187MW scheme involves dam works and an underground powerhouse, and is expected to generate about 530GWh annually.Pakistan: Thakot Investigations are underway to prepare a feasibility study for the Thakot hydro scheme being developed on the Indus River by Pakistan's Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA).Thakot is being developed as a project of at least 2GW, and is located immediately upstream of the existing Tarbela reservoir. It is part of a cascade of large hydro schemes planned to be built on the river, and upstream projects include 2.4GW Patan and 4.5GW Daimer-Basha.Lahmeyer is working with local partners on studies for the three WAPDA projects — Thakot, Patan and Daimer-Basha, respectively.The next project upstream from Thakot in the Indus cascade is Patan, and others being planned include Dasu and Daimler-Basha, which is 315km upstream of Tarbela dam.For the Thakot project, WAPDA is seeking to exploit a head of approximately 180m between Patan and Tarbela. Planning studies for Thakot are investigating options for either a single project or a few created as a small, intermediate cascade, says Lahmeyer. Thakot dam site is at a narrow section of the river, just downstream of Besham.At Tarbela itself, WAPDA is currently constructing the 4th Extension Project at the site to add 1410MW by June 2017 — an earlier deadline to an accelerated programme, announced in January. The extension will increase the installed capacity at Tarbela to 4888MW.Civils works on the 4th Extension Project are being executed by SinoHydro, and the E&M package is being supplied by Voith Hydro. Consultants working on the project are Mott MacDonald and Coyne et Bellier with subconsultants MM Pakistan and ACE Pakistan. The consulting team has also undertaken studies for the 5th Extension project.Tarbela was completed in the 1970s, and generating units have been added in phases up to the early 1990s.An earlier project for Lahmeyer was a feasibility study review for the high-head, 34MW Harpo scheme, on a tributary on the Indus. Separately from Indus developments, WAPDA noted the milestone progress achieved in underground works in February, with a key tunnel breakthrough on the 969MW Neelum Jhelum scheme. The project is to be commissioned over the second half of 2017. Contractor is Chinese consortium CGGC-CMEC. Consultants are Neelum Jhelum Consultants, which is a joint venture of MWH, Norplan, Nespak, ACE and NDC.Tajikistan: Qairokkum rehab ILF is providing consultancy services to national utility Barqi Tojik for the rehabilitation, uprating and safety improvements at Qairokkum hydro plant, in Tajikistan.The 66-year old plant on the Syr-Darya River is to have its capacity increased from 126MW to 174MW, and various E&M and civil engineering packages of works undertaken for the rehabilitation.The project is also to deliver dam safety improvements, the quality of electricity supply, and climate change resilience.ILF will provide services during procurement and construction phases, and commissioning.Funding support for the scheme has been given by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).The bank also — along with the World Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB) — has given funding support to the related CASA-1000 transmission line project, which will help Tajikistan export hydropower to the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mott MacDonald has also carried out climate resilience studies on Tajikistan's water sector for the Asian Development Bank (ADB).Nepal Consultants Lahmeyer, Total Management Services (TMS), Entura and Manitoba Hydro International (MHI) are working across a number of water studies and projects in Nepal. The different contracts range from flood hazard studies and providing consultancy services to the Nagmati irrigation scheme and development of Tanahu hydro project, respectively.Lahmeyer is working with local partner TMS on flood hazard studies in 25 key river basins — including a focus of mitigation measures in six catchments — for the Ministry of Irrigation. The studies were due for completion in the first quarter of this year.The client division managing the task is the ministry's Water Resources Project Preparation Facility (WRPPF), which has ADB funding support to focus on urgent projects to mitigate both climate change impacts and ensure sustainability of food supply.Separately, the ministry and ADB have commissioned Entura as lead consultant for the initial services of investigations and updating the feasibility study of the Nagmati dam, near Kathmandu.Following consultancy services will include detailed design of the dam and reservoir operation regime, and assistance with procurement for the construction stage of the project to be built in the Bagmati river basin.In hydropower, development services for the 140MW Tanahu hydro project — the country's first large storage reservoir — are being provided by Lahmeyer with the support of MHI.The consultants were appointed to the project last year by the developer, Tanahu Power Ltd, a special project company established by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to build and operate the scheme.Tanahu is located on the Upper Seti River, and key infrastructure includes a 140m high gravity dam, chute spillway, underground powerhouse and associated tunnels. The reservoir will have a sediment flushing capability to help maintain the active storage volume.Bhutan The World Bank has appointed ÅF — a Swedish engineering and consulting company — to undertake an environmental and sustainability study of the 720MW Mangdechhu hydro project, currently under construction in Bhutan.ÅF is more than half way through the assignment on the Mangdechhu project being built in Trongsa Dzongkhag district in the centre of Bhutan.The run-of-river scheme is designed to operate under a minimum gross head of 344m, and includes significant dam and underground works: a 101.5m high concrete gravity dam, diversion tunnel, 13.5km long headrace, and powerhouse caverns.The consultant is due to report its findings to the bank and Bhutanese authorities before the middle of this year. The work is being conducted in accordance with the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, which covers a wide range of areas, including climate change and human rights.The Mangdechhu scheme is being developed by Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority — a joint venture of the governments of Bhutan and India, the latter providing most of the finance. The project is due for completion in 2018, generating more than 2900GWh/year, and supplying power domestically and to India.In fiscal year 2006-7, India's NHPC entered into an agreement with the Government of Bhutan to prepare a detailed project report of the proposed scheme, then envisaged with a capacity of 672MW. Feasibilities studies for the scheme were supported by Japan and Norway.SE AsiaThailand: Lamtakong Jolabha Vadhana PS, Phase 2 ÅF is supporting the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) on the extension project to double the capacity of the 500MW Lamtakong Jolabha Vadhana pumped storage plant.The underground plant has two pump-turbines in operation, and was initially commissioned in 2002. The 500MW expansion project at Lamtakong Jolabha Vadhana is due for completion in late 2018.Lamtakong Jolabha Vadhana is located in Nakhon Ratchasima province, was the first underground plant hydro facility in Thailand and remains the principal plant supplying power in the northeast provinces, says Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). Its upper reservoir is on Yai Tieng Mountain, and the powerhouse in 350m underground.Phase 2 of the project will add two further 250MW units, taking the total capacity of the PS plant to 1GW. Work at the plant is also to include installation of two circuits of 95km-long high-voltage transmission lines to connect with the Tha Lan 3 substation, in Saraburi province.ÅF signed a contract with EGAT to provide a range of services while the extension project is executed under by an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.The consultant's services include design review, project management, engineering and field services through all stages of execution, including commissioning.Vietnam: Lai Chau HEP ÅF is also active in neighbouring Vietnam, where the consultant most recent began work on the supporting the implementation of the environmental and social action plan for the Lai Chau hydro project.The 1200MW Lai Chau project is under development on the Da River, in Lai Chau province, in the northwest of the country close to the border with China. Construction of the 131m high roller compacted concrete (RCC) dam at Lai Chau was completed in mid-2015.Lai Chau is being development by Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN). ÅF has already been working on the project as sub-consultant to Power Engineering Consulting JSC No1 (PECC1), a former subsidiary of EVN, and the assignment continues to 2017.ÅF was awarded the environmental and social action plan contract by Son La Hydropower Management Board (SLaMB). The board and ÅF worked together previously on the 2400MW Son La project, on the same river and also featuring a major, 138m high RCC dam. Son La was completed in early 2011.The environmental and social action plan contract for Lai Chau is funded by KfW, and ÅF is already working on another contract in Vietnam funded by the German development bank — gap analysis on environmental aspects of a smart grid transmission project. ÅF says the contract is similar to the objectives at Lai Chau by checking environmental and social due diligence, in this case for 6 x 220kV transmission lines.
As always at Bauma, the skyline was filled with the latest crane models – here are some of the highlights.
As always at Bauma, the skyline was filled with the latest crane models – here are some of the highlights.
As always at Bauma, the skyline was filled with the latest crane models – here are some of the highlights.
April saw trade show Bauma descend on Munich once again, and as ever the stats were mind-boggling. More than half a million visitors came from 200 different countries over the seven days, to do business with the more than 3,500 companies exhibiting their products and services. No official statistics have yet been released on how many litres of beer were consumed, or how many pairs of shoes needed new soles, but those numbers will no doubt be equally impressive.
As delays in projects go, being held up by almost 350 years is a big one. The idea of building a shipping canal across Thailand’s Kra Isthmus, reducing the usual trade route for ships between the Indian and Pacific oceans by more than 1,200km, was first mooted in 1677. However, despite the proposal resurfacing in the 20th century, fears over the environmental impact and the potential for it to divide the country have held it back. Now, the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) has put forward the idea of a ‘dry canal’ to carry ships across the south of Thailand, from Kra Buri to Chumpon Bay in the Gulf of Thailand, bypassing the Malacca Strait.
Involving tunnelling through 33km of mountain, the Koralm railway tunnel is set to become the longest entirely within Austrian territory.
Lifting in New York poses a unique challenge overseen by high levels of regulations. Quickly-built and tightly-spaced skyscrapers combining with busy streets, problems with electricity supply, and mazes of subways. Now NYC Department of Buildings plans to prohibit the use of older cranes. Will North reports.