The railway along the strategic TEN-T North Sea-Baltic Corridor, linking the Baltic Sea with the Ukraine border, is to be upgraded by PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe. €250m of funding will be provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the project, which will contribute to the modernisation of the 171km section of the railway line between Warsaw and Lublin and the rehabilitation of the Łuków-Lublin freight bypass. EIB believes that the project will ease commuter traffic in Warsaw and Lublin through the construction of new tracks. The upgraded railway connections will also enhance passenger safety through the implementation of updated security systems. EIB’s vice president László Baranyay said: "The EIB loan will help to improve Poland's railways along a strategic Trans-European transport corridor with positive consequences for the environment, transport safety, capacity and speed. "This will help to improve the quality of life of passengers, particularly people commuting to work in Warsaw and Lublin, as well as modernising the transport links needed to help further Poland's economic development."
UK based housebuilding company Keepmoat has announced that the housing development Mandale Park in Stockton is nearing completion after 11 years.In 2004, the Mandale Estate compromised 578 homes, half of which were unoccupied, as well as three retail units and a community centre. Stockton Council, Barratt Homes, ISOS Housing and Keepmoat Homes entered into an agreement to transform the area building 891 new homes, 641 of which were to buy and 250 available for rent.The project, which entailed an investment of £120m, also includes the £1m Allison Trainer park, named in honour of the councillor who played a pivotal role in bringing the investment to the area.Keepmoat North East regional managing director Richard Bass said that prior to the redevelopment properties on the estate were sold for an average of £13,500 and that now new homes on the estate are reaching prices over £150,000. Keepmoat has built 445 new dwellings as part of the £90m regeneration scheme.Construction of the 333 Barratt Homes created 945 jobs, 95% of which were filled by local people from within a 10-mile radius of Thornaby.Barratt Homes North East managing director Mike Roberts said: "In 2004, the Mandale Estate was in a dire state of repair, with almost half of the 578 units of residential accommodation in the area unoccupied."Since then however, it has been amazing to see the regeneration of not only the estate, but of the area as a whole, not to mention the annual benefit to the local economy of £1m in council tax and over £6m in spend in local shops."Now out of the 333 properties we have built, there are only two left to purchase, and there is now a fantastic community of happy homebuyers on the site. We are really proud of what we have managed to achieve and the positive impact this has had on the area."
Biopharmaceutical company Shire has unveiled plans to expand its global biotechnology manufacturing capacity by investing $400m in Ireland.The investment is planned to take place over the next four years to meet the growing demand for rare disease treatments.Shire will create a new biologics manufacturing campus on a 120-acre site at Piercetown, County Meath. The facility will employ the latest bio-processing techniques and flexible production strategies to supply both clinical and commercial scale products.About 700 jobs will be created during the construction phase. When operational, the facility will create 400 permanent jobs in the areas of research and development, operations, technical staff and engineering.Shire’s senior vice president of technical operations Tim Kelly said: "The expansion supports our manufacturing strategy to develop and provide innovative specialty medicines for patients."Ireland is a strategically important location for Shire, providing both excellence in life science R&D and manufacturing. We already have a strong team on the ground in Ireland and believe that it is the right location for us to build a new state of the art facility which will complement our existing manufacturing operations in the US." The project’s construction is expected to begin in mid-2016 with the site scheduled to be operational by mid-2019.
Graham-BAM Healthcare Partnership, a joint venture between Graham Construction and BAM International, has been selected by South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust to build Ulster Hospital’s new £95m Acute Services Block in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
A joint venture led by Astaldi and Max Bogl has won a €100m contract from National Company of Motorways and National Roads for the Brasov–Oradea motorway in Romania.
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.
London Luton Airport (LLA) has unveiled plans to build a new £200m light rail link between Luton Airport Parkway station and the airport terminal.The mass passenger transit (MPT) system project is part of a wide-ranging £1.5bn inward investment programme of Luton Council that outlines a 20-year plan for major transformation of the town.LLA has appointed Arup to design and procure the scheme. The MPT system will be a fully-automated, two-way, 24-hour, guided light rail based on latest system technology and design innovation, and when complete will enable more than 2m passengers to undertake a direct journey between the railway station and the airport terminal in less than 30 minutes.Work is slated to begin in 2017 with the system ready for operation by the end of 2020.LLA CEO Nick Barton said: "Improving rail links is a crucial part of LLA's development, and integral to ensure that we provide the best service possible for all our passengers."The creation of a light rail link between Parkway station and the terminal is a significant milestone in the airport's transformation and the first step towards creating a world-class air-rail service."
BAM Deutschland, in a joint venture with Max Bögl Stiftung & Co. KG, has secured a new contract for the construction of a hospital in Frankfurt Höchst, Germany.The contract value for BAM Deutschland, the German operating company of Royal BAM Group, is over €150m.The project has been designed by Wörner Traxler Richter Architekten in Frankfurt. The six-floor hospital building will have total floor area of 79,000 sq m.It will feature 664 beds, ten operating rooms and a 'hybrid operating room', which will have specialist equipment including a CT and MRI scan. The facility will cater to 33,500 patients each year.Construction of the hospital is expected to be completed by early 2019.
UK-based construction firm Hill has begun construction on a housing project worth about £70m for army families at Tidworth in Wiltshire.Hill will deliver the project working on behalf of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, an operating arm of the UK’s Ministry of Defence.The development will include 322 new three- and four-bedroom homes for service personnel and their families based at barracks on and around Salisbury Plain.The housing units will incorporate red bricks and traditional roof styles that feature in surrounding villages. The project will also feature five open green spaces.The project is set to be completed in spring 2018.Hill deputy chief executive Kieran Larkin said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Ministry of Defence in what will be our largest single contract to date.“This is not only a completely new sector for us at Hill, but it’s also our first project in Wiltshire, and is a fantastic opportunity to create homes for service personnel.”
The University of Glasgow has unveiled expansion plans to transform the former Western Infirmary site into a learning hub.The university has taken possession of the 14-acre site that will see an estimated £1bn investment over the next 10 years.The proposed plan will involve the creation of a research and innovation centre and new facilities for social sciences, health and engineering.It will include public routes and a new central square that will connect Byres Road to the cultural centre for the West End, with new connections to Kelvingrove and the newly-revamped Kelvin Hall. The proposed development will also feature a hotel, restaurant, bars and cafes. It is expected to create 2,500 jobs during the construction period.The University of Glasgow principal and vice-chancellor Anton Muscatelli said: “We hope to use the new site as a catalyst to attract and grow the very best academics, to attract the very best students and to ensure that Glasgow continues to be one of the top universities in the world.“The first major development will be a Learning and Teaching Hub – situated not on the former Western Infirmary site but on University Avenue. It will provide spaces for 3,000 students at any one time, as well as state-of-the-art facilities, and will allow us to use the latest techniques in pedagogy.”
Linkcity Ile-de-France has signed a construction contract worth about €200m with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) for the construction of the Alto Tower at La Défense, Paris.The company is the property development unit of Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction.Designed by IF Architectes, AltoTower will be 150m tall, and provide 38 floors of office space with total floor space of 51,000 sq m. It will feature glass-scale façade and an unusual flare shape.The surface area of each floor will range from 700 sq m at the foot of the tower to 1,500 sq m at the top. The project will also include a car park, shops and a vast square developed with EPADESA, the development authority of La Défense.The new tower will replace the Les Saisons office building, which leads into the Les Saisons sector. It will form part of the urbanisation of the La Défense ring road and will link the Ancre neighbourhood in Courbevoie with La Défense.The detailed preliminary design is slated to be completed during 2016, with site work to begin in September 2016. The handover is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020. Construction will be undertaken by Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France Construction Privé.Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France CEO Bernard Mounier said: "The award of this contract, following 18 months of technical and engineering studies, repays the motivation and hard work of all the teams."By combining their range of skills, we were able to meet our customer's expectations. We are very enthusiastic to have the chance to build a new skyscraper in the La Défense district."
Keepmoat and Strata have obtained a contract from Leeds City Council to build 1,000 new homes in Leeds, UK, which will involve an investment of £142m.The homes will be built across 13 sites in the Seacroft, Halton Moor and Osmandthorpe areas of Leeds.The council has committed to ensure that development takes place on brownfield land first, and hence all the construction will take place on land previously used for industrial or commercial purposes. Construction is slated to begin in early 2017.Keepmoat operations director in Yorkshire Ian Hoad said: “We are actively expanding our presence in West Yorkshire, where we see a real appetite for new homes. With 95% of our developments built on brownfield land we are perfectly placed to deliver this scheme and we’re thrilled to have been selected as chosen developer alongside Strata.“Working in partnership with Strata will allow us to accelerate the delivery of these new homes, with the target of achieving 150 properties per annum.“We aren’t just taking one development in one part of the region. We are completely overhauling three neighbourhoods and potentially putting nearly 1,000 people in the region on the property ladder.”
Balfour Beatty has secured an £82.5m contract from BAE Systems to build engineering and training facilities at RAF Marham in Norfolk, UK.The contract will help prepare the base for the arrival of the RAF's first F-35 Lightning II aircraft in 2018. RAF Marham will be the main operating station for the F-35 Lightning II jets.Under the contract, Balfour Beatty will construct three new facilities covering 25,000 sq m that will feature an integrated training centre, a logistics operations centre and a maintenance and finishing facility.Balfour Beatty will use digital tools such as 4D modelling and BIM throughout the construction of the facilities.Before getting the contract, Balfour Beatty worked closely with BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, the UK Ministry of Defence's Lightning Project Team and RAF Marham for the past six months as a preferred supplier to prepare for the project.Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in April 2016 and will be completed by mid-2018. The project will create 300 construction jobs during the peak phase.Balfour Beatty managing director UK construction services Dean Banks said: "Our proven expertise in defence and aviation means that we have developed technically advanced delivery solutions that will help to ensure that RAF Marham's operational capability is maintained throughout our construction activities on base."
DAA, formerly known as Dublin Airport Authority, is set to construct a new runway at Dublin Airport.Estimated to cost €320m, the project will include multiple contracts and packages of works.Dublin Airport received planning permission in August 2007, which got delayed due to the economic downturn and subsequent decrease in passenger numbers. The current planning permission was granted with 31 conditions attached.The 3,110m runway will be built 1.6km north of the existing main runway. Enabling works are set to start later in 2016 with construction of the north runway scheduled to start in 2017. The project will create about 1,200 jobs during its development. It is expected to be completed in 2020.DAA chief executive Kevin Toland said: "We are progressing our plans to deliver the new runway in accordance with the development and pathway for growth outlined in the Government's National Aviation Policy (NAP)."Dublin Airport's North Runway will significantly improve Ireland's connectivity supporting trade, foreign direct investment and tourism."
VINCI Construction has won a €496m contract to build the new La Défense station and adjacent tunnels.The company was awarded the contract through its subsidiaries VINCI Construction France, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, Dodin Campenon Bernard, Soletanche Bachy France and Botte Fondations, in a joint venture (JV) with Spie Batignolles TPCI and Spie Fondations, The contract, awarded by SNCF Réseau, will involve the construction of a new La Défense station under the CNIT dome and extension of RER line E towards the west of Paris (Eole). Apart from the underground structural work beneath the CNIT itself, the JV will also build 1km of tunnel, a 40m-deep and 15m-diameter shaft and a large number of underground pedestrian corridors enabling connections between the RER E and A lines, the L and U lines of the Transilien and the T2 Tramway.Extending the E line and building the new CNIT-La Défense station is intended to provide commuters with a better quality of service, and connections with other RER lines and the future Grand Paris Express network.The construction work, including the unearthing of 350,000 cubic metres of rubble, will be undertaken without affecting the daily operations of all the CNIT offices, shops and hotel.Work on the project will commence in mid-2016 and will continue for just over five years.The project will create 700 construction jobs at the peak period. It will require 4m hours of labour with more than 300,000 hours that will be carried out under work-integration programmes.
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.
Budimex, a subsidiary of Ferrovial Agroman, has secured a project worth about €175m to design and build the Olsztyn bypass in north-eastern Poland.The scope of the work will include the construction of 14.7km of the S51 highway as it passes south-east of the city.It will also involve the construction of two intersections and access roads, 16 overpasses (one for the railway line), two bridges and a pedestrian overpass.Further, Budimex will also improve some other roads in the municipality. The work on the project is anticipated to be completed in 28 months, excluding the winter time.Recently, Budimex has increased its backlog of road projects with the award of two sections of the S7 (between Nowy Dwor Gdanski and Kazimierzowo and in Ostroda), two sections of the S6 (Ploty-Kielpino and Goleniow-Nowogaid), two segments of the S17 (Garwolin-Gonczyce and Gonczyce to the Lublin-Warsaw provincial border) and the Kepno bypass, on the S11. It has also been selected to build the depot for the light railway system in Olsztyn.
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.”
A joint venture between Skanska and BAM Nuttall has secured a contract from Network Rail to build the new Ordsall Chord project in Manchester, UK.The project will connect Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly for the first time, helping to deliver faster and more frequent train service. It forms part of the Northern Hub project to enhance railway services across northern England.The contract runs from 2016 to 2019. Skanska’s share in the contract will be more than £74m, which will be included in order bookings for Skanska UK in the first quarter of 2016.BAM Nuttall sector director Alan Cox said: “This alliance continues a long association we have had with the railway in the North West and we are delighted to be creating such an important new link with an iconic structure that will enrich the railway heritage and passenger experience in the whole region.”Skanska managing director James Richardson said: “This is a significant part of Network Rail’s plan to stimulate economic growth in the north of England and Skanska is delighted to be part of the alliance delivery team helping to achieve this goal.”
Westminister Council has approved a £1bn plan to redevelop the Whiteleys shopping centre in west London.A joint venture between a Meyer Bergman-advised fund and Warrior Group has submitted a planning application to Westminster City Council redevelop the former Whiteleys department store in Bayswater.Designed by Foster + Partners, the mixed-use project will include more than 500,000 sq ft of homes and shops built behind the existing 1911 facade.It will include the construction of more than 100 homes, a mixture of apartments and townhouses. These will be arranged around an inner courtyard with new retail units, a boutique hotel, gym and other enhanced leisure facilities, including a new cinema at basement level.