EDF Energy Renewables has announced the start of construction work on a new offshore wind farm off the coast of Blyth in Northumberland, UK. The Blyth Offshore wind project will be wholly owned by EDF Energies Nouvelles and will be constructed by a UK joint venture between EDF Energies Nouvelles and EDF Energy. The project, with a maximum total generating capacity of about 100MW, will generate enough electricity to power 33,000 homes in the region. The power produced from the wind farm will be supplied to an electricity substation at Blyth, which will be constructed by Balfour Beatty, for transmission to the National Grid. Offshore work will start in 2017 with the installation of five 41.5MW turbines and will be completed in the same year. The project will create about 200 jobs during peak construction.The project will use the latest generation of offshore wind turbines, to be manufactured and installed by MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, and will be the first project to use 66kV cable technology, which will be installed by VMBS — specialist in subsea power cable installation. The wind farm will use a new type of foundations developed by BAM for offshore wind turbines, representing the first time the technology will have been used.EDF Energy Renewables CEO Matthieu Hue said: “As a company, we already have a strong presence in the North East, in low carbon electricity generation and serving customers including our first offshore wind farm at Teesside so we’re pleased to be able to add another project to our portfolio in the region.“We are delighted that the gravity based foundations will be made in Newcastle. The Port of Blyth will be used for operations and maintenance and the blades for the turbines will be made on the Isle of Wight."
Plans have been submitted to Salford City Council for the second phase of the mixed-use property development MediaCityUK in Manchester.Phase two of MediaCityUK will feature 50,000sq m of offices, 1,800 apartments, retail and leisure space and a pedestrian promenade, which will run through the development. Entailing an investment of over £1bn, this phase of the project will also involve the construction of up to ten new buildings.Salford’s planning panel is expected to consider the plans in September.Peel Group CEO Steven Underwood said: “This application is another major step forward in the evolution of MediaCityUK. “Our partnership with Legal and General Capital, alongside continued support from the public sector, provides a strong platform to deliver future development phases of the UK’s fastest growing hub for the creative and digital industries.“MediaCityUK is a shining example of what can be achieved across the Northern Powerhouse, combining the talents of great people with ambition and vision.”MediaCityUK is a joint venture between Peel Land & Property and Legal & General Capital.
Skanska will invest SEK1.3bn ($160M) in the construction of the Solna United office building project in Stockholm, Sweden. Skanska Sweden won the SEK1bn ($123.2M) construction contract,for the office building, which will be located next to Solna station. The building will have ten floors and a total area of 33,000 sq m.The project will also feature a garage, a restaurant, a café, and a rooftop space.Construction work has started and involves the demolition of the existing office building. Solna United is scheduled to be ready by mid-2019.
Developer Moda Living and Apache Capital Partners have submitted plans to the Liverpool City Council for the £80M residential development in Princes Dock.To be located on Liverpool’s waterfront, the 34-storey tower is part of Peel Group’s £5.5bn Liverpool Waters project.Apache Capital is fully financing the project, which will include 304 apartments for rent, a lounge, a gym, a roof, a terrace, a garden and a cinema.Moda Living’s joint managing director Tony Brooks said: “We have worked in collaboration with Peel on their masterplan for this unique part of the city and are very excited about our first Moda Living development in Liverpool.”Peel Group development director Lindsey Ashworth said: “Our vision for developing this important waterfront and creating unique neighbourhoods in this historical part of the city will make it an incredibly vibrant and exciting place to live and provide quality accommodation for a growing city.”
Finland-based construction firm SRV Group has secured a €290M contract for the construction of Central Finland Central Hospital.The new 100,000sq m hospital, worth about €490M, will be built near the existing central hospital. Most of the hospital premises will be taken up by specialised care, while some will be reserved for the City of Jyväskylä's basic health care.The hospital's expenses will be divided among the 21 municipalities that make up the Council of Central Finland Health Care District. SRV’s head of operations in Finland Juha Toimela said: "Central Finland Central Hospital will significantly increase our already record-high order backlog. "The final target price of the project management contractor agreement was confirmed at a meeting of the Administrative Council of the Central Finland Health Care District. This is a great example on how SRV could found reduction on costs in co-operation with the client in order to meet the target price set.”Preparatory works will start in early August and actual construction is set to commence in the beginning of September 2016.
Swedish energy firm Vattenfall is set to commence construction on the €1bn offshore wind farm Horns Rev 3 off the west coast of Denmark.In February 2015, Vattenfall won the bid to build the wind farm, which will generate enough electricity to power 400,000 Danish homes. Vattenfall’s president and CEO Magnus Hall said: "Horns Rev 3 is an important part of Vattenfall’s ambitions in the field of wind and particularly on our focus on offshore wind farms."Horns Rev 3 also gives a clear signal to the world around us that Vattenfall’s strategy is to make new investments in renewable electricity generation and to grow in wind. "Vattenfall supports the transition to a totally renewable energy system and takes up the challenge, in spite of current low electricity prices and excess capacity."The wind farm will be commissioned in 2018.
The secretary of state has approved Jaguar Land Rover's (JLR) plans to develop a research and development centre at Whitley South, UK.
Sigma capital group has entered into a partnership with Keepmoat Limited to deliver 5,000 new private rented sector (PRS) homes across England by 2021.The partnership will build two-, three- and four-bedroom properties in locations across North East, Yorkshire and the East Midlands, entailing a potential investment of about £800M.Sigma will manage investment and lettings, while Keepmoat will procure the land and take the lead on the design, planning and building processes.Graham Barnet, chief executive of Sigma, said: “I am delighted to announce our partnership with Keepmoat, which has grown out of our previous relationship with them, and our continued expansion in the PRS sector. “We are very pleased that Keepmoat has chosen to work with Sigma in its first development activity in the PRS market, and believe that it underscores Sigma’s success in the PRS sector.”Keepmoat’s chief executive Dave Sheridan said: “This is a significant milestone for our business, and we are proud to be working alongside Sigma to scale-up their PRS growth ambitions.“The partnership will deliver great quality market rented homes alongside our Keepmoat homes for sale, which will allow the pace of housing delivery on strategic sites to be increased, to deliver the Government’s aspirations and provide people across the country with much-needed housing options. There is an inherent need for more housing across the country, and we are looking to tackle the issue head on.”
The University of Manchester has secured planning consent from Manchester City Council to develop a £350M engineering campus.The Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD), part of the university’s £1bn masterplan to create a world-leading campus, will bring together a multi-disciplinary engineering and scientific community and consolidate the university’s student campus around Oxford Road.Mecanoo, an architecture firm responsible for Manchester’s HOME, has been appointed to the project. Upon completion, the development is due to become home to the university’s four engineering schools and two research institutes from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Demolition on the site is currently in progress, and main construction works are scheduled to commence later in 2016. The development is scheduled to be completed in 2020.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has submitted a planning application to develop the Northgate area of Chester city centre as a mixed-use development.The £300M proposed project will include the construction of 46,500sq m of new retail, restaurant and leisure facilities in the UK city that will be delivered over two phases of construction.Phase one, expected to start in late 2017, will include the development of two restaurants within the shell of the current library building, a new market hall replacing the current Chester Market, a six-screen cinema, a new 167-bedroom four-star hotel and a conference centre. The hotel would replace the Crowne Plaza Hotel, which together with the Forum and several other buildings on the site would be knocked down in 2019. Work would then commence on the second phase of construction to create the main retail space, department store and residential development.David Lewis, managing director of Rivington Land, the council’s appointed development manager, said: “We are at a point where we have sufficient confidence in the commercial market prospects of the Northgate Scheme to advise the council to make this application for a major redevelopment of the city centre.“We have worked hard with the council and consultees to fine tune the detailed design of Chester Northgate to ensure the best possible fit with the city’s needs and the demands of retailers and other commercial interests.”
A joint venture between Murphy and Hochtief has been chosen as preferred contractor by Sirius Minerals to build the tunnel for the £2.4bn potash mine in North Yorkshire.The 37km underground tunnel, to be designed and built by the JV, will transport minerals from the mine to a processing plant on Teesside.This will involve a 6m-diameter TBM-bored tunnel between the mine head site at Dove’s Nest Farm near Whitby, and a portal near the town of Redcar.Designed by Arup, the plan is to use five hard rock TBMs, which will be lowered in at four intermediate staging shafts, at a starting depth of 350m below the surface at the mine head.The 12-month first phase of work will comprise front-end engineering design and a detailed geotech programme along the route.Chris Fraser, Sirius Minerals managing director and CEO, said: “This is the culmination of a huge amount of work by both the successful bidders and those that have been unsuccessful and we thank all of the groups involved for their efforts.“We are delighted to now be moving forward with our selected partners towards the implementation of the project.”AMC UK, a joint venture between Thyssen Group and Redpath Group, has been also selected as preferred contractor for mine site development.
Russian real estate development company LSR Group has begun construction on a new tram network in Krasnogvardeysky, St. Petersburg.The corresponding concession agreement was inked between the government of Saint Petersburg and Transportnaya Kontsessionnaya Kompaniya, a joint venture of LSR Group and Leader Investment Company. The overall project, including the upgrading of existing lines and the construction of a new tram network and its operation over the period of 30 years, is expected to cost RUB32.7bn ($488.6M).In particular, the construction and maintenance of the tram network will require an investment of RUB12.7bn ($189.7M).Construction work is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The British Film Institute (BFI) is seeking a development team to construct a new £130M film and TV centre on London’s South Bank.BFI has received an offer of support of up to £87M towards the overall project cost, subject to tendering starting immediately.The new International Centre for Film, TV and the Moving Image, to occupy a riverside position on London’s South Bank, will feature a gallery, three cinema screens and an education centre.Presently, BFI is working with landowners — the South Bank Centre, Braeburn Estates, Jubilee Gardens Trust and Lambeth Council — to ensure that the development will be sensitively designed to complement an expanded Jubilee Gardens.BFI’s CEO Amanda Nevill said: “British film and British filmmakers deserve a home now more than ever, a building that will express our optimism, our confidence and our excitement about Britain’s leading role in the future of film, television and the moving image at home and internationally. “It will be a place where filmmakers and audiences will come together to be inspired by our creative legacy and to be part of this most fast moving, dynamic and popular art-form.”As part of this development, Braeburn Estates will also create 6,500sq m of new green parkland on Jubilee Gardens, extending the current space between the London Eye and Hungerford Bridge.The project is expected to be complete in 2022.
Real estate investment company LXB Retail Properties has secured planning consent from the South Ayrshire Council for key elements of a new community development at Corton, UK.Corton is the first phase of the South East Ayr Development that will feature 2,700 new homes on a 450-acre site over 30 years. The development is set to be delivered in three phases: Corton, Alton and Cockhill.The Corton phase comprises 750 houses, a new primary school, a hotel, a neighbourhood centre, shops, a pub/restaurant, business units and community and leisure facilities.The approved plans include a Sainsbury’s supermarket, with associated car park and petrol filling station, and a new equestrian, pedestrian and cycle bridge over the A77, linking into a footpath network.The Corton development is expected to deliver a total new investment of about £184M in South Ayrshire.Sandra Carter from LXB said: “We are delighted that detailed consents for this initial phase have been granted facilitating the delivery of the new supermarket and site infrastructure.“It is anticipated that other elements of the development will soon be brought forward including a pub/restaurant, other neighbourhood business and amenity spaces together with the first phase of private and affordable housing.”
The Femern Link Contractors joint venture has won three conditional contracts for the Femernbelt transport link between Denmark and Germany.The contracts from the Danish government, which have a total value of €3.4bn, include the design and build of what is set to be the world’s longest immersed road and rail tunnel.One of the contracts covers the building of the portal structures, toll buildings, bridges and ramps, while the other two cover the construction of the immersed tunnel and the factory that will manufacture the precast tunnel elements.The tunnel will be 18km long and will connect Denmark’s Lolland Falster region with Germany’s Schleswig Holstein region, shortening the journey between both countries from one hour by ferry or a 160km detour by car to just ten minutes by car or seven minutes by train.The joint venture, which includes VINCI Construction Grands Projects, Per Aarsleff, Royal Bam Group, Solétanche-Bachy International, CFE and Max Bögl Stiftung & Co, is expected to start construction work in January 2018, subject to permits from the German Government.The link will take approximately eight and a half years to complete.
After the tunnel’s first blast in the main shaft 17 years ago, the Gotthard base tunnel in Switzerland opens today. To celebrate the completion of the world’s longest rail tunnel, the country is holding an opening ceremony.1,200 guests have been invited for the festivities that are expected to cost €8M. German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president François Hollande and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi are among the guests of honour at the ceremony. At the weekend, additional opening events are expected to attract 50,000-100,000 visitors.The longest tunnel — named after the patron saint of travelling merchants, St Gotthard— runs through the Alps, between Erstfeld, Uri, and Bodio, Ticiano. Trains using the €11bn rail tunnel won’t go into service until 11 December 2016, when it will be fully operational. Until then, test runs will be conducted at the rail line.When fully operational, 260 freight trains and 65 passenger trains will travel through the two-way tunnel each day, reducing the journey times between Zurich and Milan from more than four hours to just two-and-a-half hours. Travel through the tunnel itself will take just 20 minutes, with a stop at the control station of Sedrun.Gotthard has overtaken the 53.9km Seikan Tunnel in northern Japan as the longest rail tunnel in the world, demoting the 50.5km Channel Tunnel between Britain and France to third place.The Gotthard base tunnel in numbers: • Start of construction works: 1999• Length: 57.09km• Total length of tunnels: 151.84km• Diameter of rail tunnels: 8.5m• Highest elevation: 549m• Depth: 2,300m• Mountain rock excavated: 28.2M tonnes• Concrete used: 131,000cu m• Workforce: up to 2,600• Maximum train speed: up to 250kph• Cost: €11bn
Mott MacDonald and Sweco have won a £50M contract from Transport Scotland for the A96 Dualling road project in the UK.Under the contract, the joint venture will carry out route option assessment and detailed design work for the dualling of the 29-mile western section of the A96 between Auldearn and Fochabers next month.New Minister for Transport & Islands Humza Yousaf said: “This major design contract marks a further milestone towards the dualling of the A96 with all the investment and improvements that it will bring to local economies right across the north of Scotland.“Road users will not only enjoy the benefits of improved journey time and reliability, better connectivity between destinations but also, crucially, improved road safety for all those who use this key artery connecting two of Scotland’s economic hubs.“In addition, this contract will also provide a huge boost for the local and national economy, with the successful bidder securing steady work for years to come and many more opportunities for small and medium enterprises through subcontracted work.“We also remain on track to finalise the preferred option for the A96 Dualling Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) scheme, with draft Orders due to be published later this year.“Along with our ambitious plans to build over 80 miles of new dualled road on the A9 between Perth and Inverness, delivering the new £1.3 billion Queensferry Crossing over the Forth, and the £500M M8-M73-M74 improvements in Glasgow, this contract is yet another example of the significant investment the Scottish Government is making in transport infrastructure right across Scotland.”The A96 dualling is part of the Scotland’s trunk road upgrade project between Inverness and Aberdeen, to be finished by 2030.
Muse Developments, in collaboration with Network Rail, has submitted a planning application for a £185M mixed-use project in Manchester city centre.The proposed project will be located on a 2.5-acre site on Corporation Street, which is currently a surface-level car park, and will include three new buildings; a 13,900sq m, Grade A, eight-storey office and two residential buildings.The 20- and 25-storey residential buildings, part of Network Rail’s commitment to unlock publically-owned land to build new homes, will contain up to 520 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The development will also include a gym, 24-hour concierge, communal residents’ lounge, cycle storage and a roof garden. Muse Developments’ director David Burkinshaw said: “This is an exciting time for this area of Manchester as a number of key developments are now coming to fruition.“New Victoria presents a unique opportunity to deliver a landmark development next to the city centre’s prime leisure and retail attractions and one of the North West’s main transport hubs. New Victoria offers an unparalleled location and an outstanding development opportunity.”Muse is working with architect Sheppard Robson and Arup on detailed design proposals for the project.
The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames has given the go-ahead for a £400M project to redevelop the Eden Walk Shopping Centre in London.The plans, submitted by British Land and the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), include 380 homes, office space, a new shopping centre, a cinema, public car parking, the creation of public spaces and the remodelling of memorial gardens.Councillor David Cunningham, cabinet member responsible for regeneration at Kingston Council, said: “This development is a major boost for Kingston and its future prospects. Attracting over £400M of investment into our town centre marks a significant vote of confidence in the future direction of our borough and provides a regenerated new shopping centre as well as much needed housing. “We will be working hard with the developer over the coming months to ensure they continue the very good work they have done on engaging with Kingston residents as they seek to build this scheme.”
UK-based Balfour Beatty is set to commence construction work on 14 primary care centres across Ireland.The €140M project has achieved financial close and is being delivered by a consortium, which includes Prime, Balfour Beatty and InfraRed Capital Partners Limited.The new centres, to be built over a 27-month programme, will be located in Galway, Kildare, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Waterford, Tipperary and Wexford.Balfour Beatty bid director Tzvetelina Bogoina said: "Balfour Beatty is a trusted partner in the healthcare sector having delivered over £2bn worth of hospitals and care centres over the past decade."We look forward to handing over the primary care centres which will make a positive difference to local communities in terms of health outcomes as well as added social value outcomes in the creation of local employment and local supply chain opportunities and student placements and taster days throughout the construction phase.”