Hitachi displayed three new excavators and a wheel loader at Bauma in April. The new ZX19-5 mini excavator, to be used on construction projects, is designed to be user-friendly. According to the manufacturer, the Zaxis-5 model offers high levels of performance, stability and easy maintenance. The boom cylinder, in the new excavator, has been moved on top of the boom to protect from potential damage, making it more efficient when working on narrow spaces, as its front minimum turning radius is smaller. A new folding travel pedal can now be used instead of the hand lever, improving the operation speed. Other improvements include the placing of the hydraulic hose inside the boom and the addition of a new blade, capable of making digging more precisely.There is also more space between the operator and the front window and more legroom in the cab. The cab has a new design that features a large LCD monitor located on the right-hand side, displaying the vital technical data, including the machine’s status and settings and a drinks holder for easy access to refreshments. Security has been improved, with an optional theft deterrent system that requires a four-digit number to unlock before the engine can be switched on.Hitachi also showcased the ZX300LCN-6 super long front medium excavator. The excavator has a six-cylinder 186kw stage IV-compliant engine, with the highest output in its class, and offers 14% higher productivity in PWR mode. Delivering lower fuel costs, the machine was specially designed for earthmoving on dredging, bank maintenance and slope finishing projects. The excavator also features a reconfigured lower roller that ensures mud falls out easily, an expansion tank that cools the engine parts, and enlarged track guards.The tilting rotator and tilting bucket modes are also included within its attachment support system.The new ZX490LCH-6 large excavator was designed to meet the demands of large-scale construction projects, set to offer a high level of durability without compromising efficiency. It features a boom reinforced with thicker plates and an undercarriage consisting of robust components such as track link, master pin, idler pedestal and bracket and upper roller bracket. The large excavator also incorporates an in-cab console, made of weather-resistant AES-grade resin that prevents UV rays damage, and sealant to eliminate any heat deterioration. These ensure the machine’s long-term cooling and low-noise performance.This excavator is able to save up to 5% fuel in eco mode with the same productivity as previous models, due to the use of HIOS IIIB technology. The after-treatment device helps the machine produce fewer emissions and to have a quiet performance. Furthermore, attachments to carry on different tasks can be easily fitted to the versatile machine that uses the attachment replacement support system.Also launched in Munich was the ZW370-6 wheel loader. With enhanced performance and low fuel consumption, the machine employs a new EU Stage IV-compliant engine that does not require a diesel particulate filter, which reduces maintenance costs.The wheel-loader has a 360° panoramic view from the spacious cab and a rear-view camera, visible on the multifunctional LCD monitor. Less noise can be heard within the cab thanks to an improved sound isolation. A smooth operation is ensured by the optional Joystick Steering System, which enables operators to reach high levels of productivity with effortless steering, it is said.There are also two types of lift arm available that customers can choose, depending on the required application.
Mainstream Renewable Power has received an approval from the Service of Environmental Assessment for its 264MW Cerro Tigre wind farm in Chile.Located close to the town of Antofagasta in north Chile, the $630M project will include 80 wind turbines in an area of 1,131ha and will be connected to the northern grid. Mainstream Renewable Power Chile’s CEO Bart Doyle said: “This work will contribute to the development of a diversified, clean and reliable energy mix which will provide an efficient solution to the country and the people of this region.“We are a company that develops its own projects and we are always looking for new opportunities for solar and wind energy developments, and the region of Antofagasta has important attributes that enable this.”The company will also commence construction of two wind farms in Chile: the Sarco wind farm which is located in Atacama, and the Aurora wind farm, located in the region of Los Lagos.With a combined generation capacity of 300MW, the two wind farms will provide power to the Central Interconnected System.
Construction firm Morgan Sindall has commenced construction work on a £70m project to transform Lambeth’s Town Hall and civic buildings in the UK. Morgan Sindall’s scope of the work will include the refurbishment of the Grade II listed Brixton Town Hall to create a more open and accessible building for residents and local businesses.The project also involves the demolition of some buildings to the rear, reinstatement of the original atrium with a new roof, and the installation of new lifts, doors and windows.Further, it will include basement modifications to offer new office space and upgraded community facilities.In addition, a new energy efficient civic facility is being built with a customer centre and council offices. The new six-storey building will offer 11,000 sq ft of office space.Morgan Sindall is also improving Buckner Road and Porden Road to ease traffic congestion.The work on the project is set to be completed in 2018.
E.ON has entered into an equal stake partnership with Norwegian energy firm Statoil to build the €1.2bn Arkona offshore wind farm.
Enel Green Power Brasil Participações (EGPB) has begun construction on Cristalândia wind farm in Bahia, Brazil.Located in the municipalities of Brumado, Rio de Contas and Dom Basilio, the $190m project will have a total installed capacity of 90MW, and is expected to commence operations in the second half of 2017. Upon completion, the wind farm will produce over 350GWh annually, which is enough to power more than 170,000 Brazilian households. It will also reduce carbon emissions by about 118,000 tonnes.The wind farm has been awarded to EGPB, a subsidiary of Enel, through the Leilão de Fontes Alternativas (LFA) — a public renewable energy auction — in April 2015.
MidAmerican Energy Company has filed a request with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to build the $3.6bn Wind XI, which would be the largest wind generation project that the company has ever undertaken.The company will scout for final locations for its Wind XI development while the IUB considers the project filing request. Wind XI is expected to add up to 2,000MW of wind power capacity in Iowa.The project will generate approximately $12.5m per year in property tax payments, $18m per year in landowner payments, and $48m per year in state and local expenditures associated with the project.The company has requested IUB to sanction its rate-making principles by September 2016 so it can take full advantage of the extended production tax credit available for the construction of new wind projects.MidAmerican Energy CEO and president Bill Fehrman said: “Once the project is complete, we will generate wind energy equal to 85% of our annual customer sales in Iowa, bringing us within striking distance of our 100% renewable vision.”
Faraday Future, a US-based electric car maker, has broken ground on $1bn manufacturing plant in Nevada.The company said that it will build its flagship production vehicle at the new facility located 25 miles north of the Las Vegas Strip.The environmentally-friendly plant will be powered by solar, wind, and geo-thermal energy. Construction work on the project will commence in less than a month’s time. The project is expected to create 4,500 jobs in the region.Faraday Future global vice president of manufacturing Dag Reckhorn said: “This first plant will be a truly modern workspace, offering a clean, open air environment, ergonomic arrangements, and an encouraged interactivity between employees and visitors. This will make for a brand new, cutting-edge west coast hub for the EV industry.”
Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA), a subsidiary of Enel, has begun construction on the Cimarron Bend wind farm in the US, which will entail an investment of about $610m.Located in Clark County, Kansas, the wind farm will be owned by Cimarron Bend Wind Project, a subsidiary of EGPNA. When completed, Cimarron Bend will have a total installed capacity of 400MW and will be able to generate around 1.8TWh annually, which will be sufficient to cater to the annual consumption needs of more than 149,000 US households. It will also prevent the emission of around 1.3m tonnes of CO2 each year.The power and renewable energy credits from Cimarron Bend will be sold under two 200MW bundled, long-term power purchase agreements with Google and Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) respectively. The project is slated to begin operations by 2017. It is financed through the Enel Group's own resources.Enel Green Power head Francesco Venturini said: "This project marks a major milestone for Enel, as not only will Cimarron Bend be the largest asset in our portfolio, but it also opens our renewable energy to new partners and uses."As we continue to invest and grow in the US we aim to cooperate with companies and partners that share the same vision for a more sustainable future."
Emaar Properties has unveiled plans to build a $1bn skyscraper in Dubai that will exceed the height of the Burj Khalifa, which is at present the tallest building in the world.The tower at Dubai Creek Harbour project will be "a notch taller" than the 828m Burj Khalifa, but its exact height has not been revealed. It has been designed by Spanish/Swiss neo-futuristic architect, structural engineer, sculptor and painter Santiago Calatrava Valls. The design will be finalised after elaborate wind tunnel testing and all mandatory seismic testing.The design of the tower has been inspired from the lily and invokes the image of a minaret, which is a common feature and distinctive aspect of Islamic culture. The building will have an observation deck, gardens, and between 18 and 20 floors dedicated to shops, restaurants and other tourist facilities.The project will take into consideration environmental and sustainability features such as environment-friendly tram service and a number of green corridors.Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar said: "The Tower in Dubai Creek Harbour is our tribute to the positivity, energy and optimism that Dubai and the UAE celebrate, led by a leadership committed to all-round progress."It will be the destination for the world to visit, enjoy and celebrate life, as Dubai prepares to host the Expo 2020."It will also position Dubai Creek Harbour as one of the most desired residential, leisure and touristic attractions, providing visitors and residents with a modern, luxurious and sustainable environment in which to live, work, learn and entertain."
Facebook has started construction of a EUR200m ($227.9m) data centre in Clonee village in County Meath, Ireland.The 621,000 sq ft Clonee facility will be Facebook’s first in Ireland and second in Europe, and sixth across the globe. The facility will be a central part of Facebook's global infrastructure allowing customers to connect with each other.Facebook has signed a long-term renewable energy supply agreement with Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners to supply 100% renewable wind energy to the Clonee facility. The agreement is in line with the company’s plan to reach the goal of powering 50% of its infrastructure with clean and renewable energy by the end of 2018.The data centre is scheduled to be operational by late 2017 or early 2018. It is expected to create 2,000 jobs during the construction phase and around 150 longer-term jobs.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is set to offer £500m to improve the power transmission network in Scotland.The project will include a 1,200MW subsea cable between Spittal in Caithness and Blackhillock in Moray. It aims to upgrade connections between wind, wave and tidal renewable energy schemes and the national power network. Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SSE, is building the project, which is due for completion in 2018. The company is investing over £1.1bn in the project.Once operational, the new link is expected to supply equivalent electricity to meet the needs of about 2m Scottish residents. The project is anticipated to create 600 construction jobs.EIB vice president Jonathan Taylor said: “Our strong partnership with SSE over many years demonstrates our firm commitment to support ambitious energy investment that creates jobs and benefits local companies.”
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.
A consortium of Enel Green Power (EGP), Moroccan energy firm Nareva Holding (Nareva) and Siemens Wind Power has been pre-awarded a contract to design, construct, develop, finance, operate and maintain five wind projects in Morocco.The wind projects, awarded by Moroccan utility ONEE, will have a total capacity of 850MW. Construction on the projects is estimated to entail a total investment of about €1bn, which will be mostly financed through project finance facilities.Three wind farms, including the 150MW Midelt, 100MW Tanger, and 200MW Jbel Lahdid will be built in northern Morocco. The remaining two facilities, the 300MW Tiskrad and the 100MW Boujdour, will be constructed in southern Morocco.EGP and Nareva will set up and own five special purpose vehicles holding the projects. Siemens Wind Power will offer the wind turbines, with several components manufactured locally.The wind farms are expected to be completed and become operational between 2017 and 2020. Energy produced by the facilities will be sold to ONEE under 20-year power purchase deals. EGP CEO Francesco Venturini said: “We are leveraging on our knowledge and expertise, in collaboration with our partners, to contribute to Morocco’s ambitious energy plan that has renewables at its core. “The country is an example in North Africa of reliability and transparency in supporting the development of renewable technologies.”
Holliday Fenoglio Fowler (HFF) has received $265m in funding for the development of 160 Leroy Street luxury condominium project in Manhattan, New York.
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.
ScottishPower Renewables is set to invest £2.5bn on its East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm project in the UK.
One critically important, but perhaps under discussed, area of the Northern Powerhouse is energy. In particular, where will it be generated, what technologies will be used now and in the future and how will it be decarbonised? And most importantly, how will it be distributed effectively and efficiently across the Northern Powerhouse. Paul Yates at Atkins Group discusses.
The UK is contemplating the pros and cons of constructing the world’s longest road tunnel. Not yet named, it would be an improvement of the A628 connection between Sheffield and Manchester, located in the Peak District, a hilly National Park in the North of England. Alex Conacher, editor of Tunnels & Tunnelling magazine, examines the potential project.