Enel Green Power North America (EGPNA), a subsidiary of Enel, has begun construction on the $290M Aurora solar project in Minnesota. Aurora will feature 16 PV plants with a total installed capacity of 150MWdc and will be able to generate more than 210m kWh per annum, which is equivalent to the energy consumption needs of over 17,000 US households. It will also eliminate over 150,000t of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere each year. EGPNA’s CEO Rafael Gonzalez said: "The Aurora project marks a significant step forward in the growth of our solar portfolio“By maximising the distributed solar model, Aurora highlights how innovation and design are driving the future of renewables, while providing communities with access to energy that delivers both the biggest possible environmental benefits and the most economic value.”Construction work is set to create 400 jobs at its peak, and all 16 sites are expected to be operational by the end of 2016.
US-based developer VanTrust Real Estate is set to construct the first phase of the $1bn Frisco Station mixed-use project in Texas
TransCanada has received the final permits from the BC Oil and Gas Commission for the Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project in Canada. The pipeline will be connected to the proposed LNG Canada natural gas liquefaction and export facility near Kitimat, British Columbia. Estimated to cost about $4.8bn, the project will create about 2,000-2,500 jobs during construction.TransCanada’s president and CEO Russ Girling said: "This is a significant regulatory milestone for our project, which is a key component of TransCanada's growth plan that includes more than $13bn in proposed natural gas pipeline projects which support the emerging liquefied natural gas industry on the British Columbia Coast."A final investment decision by LGN Canada and partners is expected in late 2016 and if the project is set to proceed, construction work will begin in 2017.
Bayhealth Medical Center has received approval for the construction of a new health campus in southern Delaware, USA.The $300M project, designed by CannonDesign, will be developed on a 165-acre site and will offer inpatient and outpatient care services. CannonDesign’s senior vice president Troy Hoggard said: “Our team explored southern Delaware to learn more about the landscape and we used our findings as inspiration in developing a concept for the exterior façade of the hospital and outpatient centre.“What we found were sprawling farmlands, waves crashing onto the beaches, and sand rippled after a summer storm, and each is reflected in our design.”The work on the project is set to commence in spring 2016.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced a $357m Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for the construction of four new toll lanes on State Highway (SH) 288 in Houston, Texas.The project includes the construction of more than 10 miles of tolled lanes between US 59 and the Harris County line, including direct ramps to the Texas Medical Center, a new interchange with the Sam Houston Tollway and improvements to the Loop 610 interchanges.US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: “The TIFIA loan program is designed to help communities like Houston begin projects like this — a project that they would have otherwise had to wait years to start.“The new tolls lanes will provide a more reliable commute in one of America’s most congested metro areas, and improve access to jobs and community services in neighborhoods there.”
The Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah is planning to construct a $740m concourse north of the existing terminal. The new concourse is expected to accommodate forecasted growth in passenger traffic and replace aging facilities.The project is in addition to the South Concourse, which is just starting construction as part of the Salt Lake City Department of Airport’s (SLCDA) Terminal Redevelopment Program (TRP).The new facility will increase the TRP from $1.8bn to $2.6bn and will replace existing gates on Concourses B, C and D, which have deficiencies that would require costly renovations if retained.The plans are on to include a flexible gate layout to serve a mix of aircraft sizes, even though the concourse will primarily be used for narrow-body and small, wide-body aircraft.The north concourse layout will allow an additional 15 gates to be added to the east for a total of 45 gates. Further, a passenger tunnel will be built to connect the North Concourse to the South Concourse and the new terminal.Phase one of the construction work will commence on the west portion of the building and is set to be finished in 2020, in conjunction with the opening of the South Concourse-West and the new terminal.
US-based chemical company Chemours is set to build a new $230m facility in Ingleside, Texas. The new move is part of the company’s five-point transformation plan to invest in large-scale manufacturing to expand supply of its Opteon family of products.Set to be built over three years, the new facility will be located at the Chemours Corpus Christi site and it is expected to triple the production capacity of Opteon products.The new plant will use an innovative, patented process to produce Opteon YF (HFO - 1234yf), which is used in automotive air conditioning and in Opteon refrigerant blends for a range of applications.Chemours’ president and CEO Mark Vergnano said: “Opteon products were developed in response to increasingly stringent environmental regulations, and in many cases they perform better than the products they replace.“This is another step in our transformation plan, and is a shining example of how Chemours is investing in innovative growth opportunities as we become a higher value chemistry company, delivering essential solutions that improve the quality of life.”The site is expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2018.
Texas A&M University System chancellor John Sharp has unveiled plans for a new $150m research and development (R&D) campus. The new project will be located at the Riverside Campus, in the former Bryan Air Base, a World War II facility that Texas A&M University acquired in 1962. The 2,000-acre tract will be named the Rellis Campus.The $150m investment includes $25m to demolish 32 old buildings, rebuild roads and update utilities. The base's chapel and two hangars will be renovated in recognition of the site's role of training pilots for the World War II.Construction of the first building is likely to begin in September 2016 and the $25m in upgrades is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
Israel-based construction firm Shikun & Binui has completed the fundraising for the planning, construction and maintenance of a proposed express lane in the Houston Metropolitan area in Texas. Financial closing for most of the $1bn project and the initial drawing of funds is likely to take place during the next several weeks, subject to the fulfilment of a number of customary terms set out in the financing agreements, including the receipt of the final approval of the project's bond offerings from the Texas legislature.The project’s concessionaire, known as the Blueridge Transportation Group, has committed to build, finance, maintain and operate the portion of the road defined in the contract for 52 years, including the construction period In return, the concessionaire will be given the right to collect tolls from users of the Express Lane.Shikun & Binui’s chairman Moshe Lahmani said: "The completion of this project's financial closing is another key step in our 'go international' strategy, whose goal is to diversify and expand the geographic scope of our operations, and enter the American market."The US is a sophisticated, competitive market, and the choice of Shikun & Binui confirms the excellence of our capabilities and the high level of professional and know-how that we bring to complex infrastructure projects. We intend to further deepen our activities throughout the Americas in general, including the US, Colombia and other Latin American countries."Work on the project is expected to last for three years.
China-based Sun Paper is set to invest more than $1bn in a bio-products mill in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. The mill will be the company’s first facility in North America and will be located in the heart of Arkansas' timber industry, where 18.8m acres of its area are covered by forests. The facility will convert wood into pulp to be used for paper production.The project will create more than 2,000 direct jobs during construction work Once operational, the mill will employ 250 people directly and generate an additional 1,000 indirect jobs in the timber industry.Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson said: "The fact Sun Paper is investing more than $1 billion in south Arkansas speaks volumes of their confidence in our workforce and pro-business environment."This is among the largest private investments in the state's history and the impact will be felt for generations. Thanks to Sun Paper for choosing Arkansas as the location for its first North American facility."Construction is expected to start in the first half of 2017 and production is scheduled to begin in late 2019.
Clean energy company Invenergy has broken ground on the $1.2bn Lackawanna Energy Center (LEC) in Jessup, Pennsylvania. The environmentally-friendly facility is being built on a site that is located on the far side of the highway and set behind a tree line, minimising visibility and noise.LEC will be equipped with GE's latest technology, and will generate fewer emissions due to the high-efficiency combustion turbines. The combined-cycle facility will maximize the usage of the heat from natural gas as fuel, increasing efficiency.Kiewit Power Constructors has secured the construction contract for the 1,500MW power plant, which will employ up to 800 construction workers during the construction peak. The energy centre is expected to be operational in 2018 and will then create 30 full-time jobs.
Pharmaceutical company Allergan has begun work on a $200m expansion of its facility in Waco, Texas. The Waco facility is the company's flagship manufacturing facility for its eye care products such as Restasis, Lumigan, Combigan, Refresh Plus, Refresh Tears and Latisse. The project will increase the manufacturing space of the existing facility by 322,000 sq ft, nearly doubling its current footprint. The expansion will add a new raw material dispensary, an automated bulk formulation suite and ten new production lines, as well as warehousing space. The Waco facility will be able to manufacture more than 40 different products and its production capacity will be increased by more than 50%. When completed, the extended capacity will add about 100 full-time jobs, and at full utilization will have the potential to add 250 more. Allergan’s president and CEO Brent Saunders said: "Today's groundbreaking marks an important milestone for Allergan, strengthening our commitment to our people, operations and the partnership we have built with Waco and the Central Texas communities for 27 years. "This investment will add highly-skilled jobs to the Waco and Central Texas economies, elevate our manufacturing capabilities and increase our ability to provide more complex medicines to more physicians and their patients around the globe.” The construction, commissioning and validation of the facility expansion and production processes are scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Florida’s Department of Transportation has broken ground on the second phase of the SunRail system in Florida. The $187m project is the first extension of the commuter rail system, which opened on May 1, 2014 and currently serves 12 stations between DeBary, in Volusia County, and Sand Lake Road, south of Orlando’s city. The expansion project, awarded to Middlesex-Herzog joint venture, is a 17,2-mile extension of the existing SunRail service and will include four new stations at Meadow Woods, the Tupperware Station, the Kissimmee Station adjacent to the current Amtrak station and the Poinciana station. Other features of the project include grade crossing improvements, the construction of vehicle storage and layover facilities at the Poinciana station, the installation of a second track and an upgraded signal system. The construction work is expected to be completed in about two years, opening to passengers in 2018.
The Georgia Institute of Technology and John Portman & Associates (Portman) have unveiled plans for the Coda collaborative building in Tech Square, Atlanta.Estimated to cost $375m, the 750,000 sq ft mixed-use development is being designed by Portman in order to achieve the primary goal of bringing research and commercialisation together.The development will have 620,000 sq ft of office space, half of which will be occupied by Georgia Tech, and nearly 40,000 sq ft of retail space, including the adaptive reuse of Crum & Forster building, which will become a local gathering place and outdoor living room for Tech Square and Midtown Atlanta.The development will also include an approximately 80,000 sq ft data centre, which Next Tier HD has been selected to operate.Coda will be programmed around high performance computing modelling, simulation and a sustainable innovation ecosystem, integrating the existing assets of Tech Square with new opportunities in interdisciplinary research, commercialisation and sustainability.The project is expected to create 2,100 construction jobs and 2,400 jobs onsite after completion. Portman Holdings’ CEO Ambrish Baisiwala said: "We're excited to develop Coda, encompassing collaborative office space, co-working and research facilities, a high performance computing centre and interactive community space, collectively enhancing the innovation ecosystem created by Georgia Tech and Midtown."
Sound Transit has broken ground on the $3.7bn East Link light rail extension project that will connect Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond's Overlake area and Microsoft campus.The 14-mile light rail will provide 24-minute trips from Bellevue to Westlake Station in downtown Seattle.Contractors have started site preparation just south of downtown Bellevue near East Main Street and Northeast 112th Street, where a tunnel portal will allow trains to transition from the surface to a 1/3-mile-long tunnel before re-emerging at the surface near Northeast Sixth Street.East Link's 10 stations are expected to open in 2023. By 2030, East Link is likely to carry about 50,000 people daily.
Work has begun on SUNY Polytechnic Institute's new computer chip production facility for Ams AG at the Marcy Nanocenter in Utica, New York.Marcy Nanocenter has been designed to replicate the success of SUNY Poly's Nanotech Megaplex in Albany. The new facility is being built close to a campus of SUNY Polytechnic Institute in New York's Tech Valley. The initial private investment in the project is $2bn.The factory, which is being built to Ams's specifications, is initially expected to offer a capacity of at least 150,000 200mm-wafer equivalents per year, and will be able to surpass an operating capacity of 450,000 200mm-wafer equivalents per year with the expansion to follow. Production capacity will supplement Ams' existing production operations at its headquarters near Graz, Austria. The groundbreaking marks a major milestone in the governor's Nano Utica initiative, which is now projected to create at least 4,000 jobs over the next decade, and includes research and development at the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (QUAD C) in partnership with General Electric.Ams CEO Alexander Everke said: "Building this new wafer fab enables Ams to achieve its plans for growth and to meet the increasing demand for sensor solutions produced at advanced manufacturing nodes."Our decision to locate the facility in New York was motivated by the availability of a highly skilled workforce, the proximity to prestigious educational and research institutions, and the favorable business environment, backed by public and private partners.”The plant is scheduled to become operational in the first half of 2018 and Ams will operate the facility under a 20-year lease.
Pirelli is set to expand its presence in Mexico by investing $200m in a new tyre factory.
Long Beach city, in California, has secured funding for its $513m Civic Center P3 project.The project involves the creation of a new civic centre designed with a high seismic resiliency, an 11-storey, 270,000 sq ft city hall, an 11-storey, 237,000 sq ft port headquarters building, a two-storey 92,000 sq ft main library, a 73,000 sq ft civic plaza, and new underground parking with 469 spaces.It features a central utility plant and a three rooftop solar array system to meet 25% of energy needs of the civic centre, and a 4.9-acre revamped city park. Furthermore, plans are on for a future project featuring up to 580 homes, a retail space and up to 200 hotel rooms.Long Beach’s mayor Robert Garcia said: "We are excited to see this deal move forward and to meet the goals set by the city three years ago when it embarked on the Civic Center P3 procurement."I'd like to congratulate and thank our city council, city staff, our partners, and the Plenary led consortium that helped us to reach this important milestone."The Plenary-led consortium includes co-developer Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate, Johnston Controls, Clark Construction, and Skidmore Owings & Merrill. The city's advisors include p3point, Arup, HOK, BAE Urban Economics, MBI, Sheppard Mullins, KNN and Kutak Rock.
Tenaska has secured $780m in commercial financing for the under-construction Tenaska Westmoreland Generating Station near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.The Tenaska Westmoreland project is owned by Tenaska Pennsylvania Partners, which is comprised of affiliates of Tenaska and Diamond Generating Corporation (DGC), a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation.Black & Veatch is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the 925MW natural gas-fuelled power plant project. The two natural gas turbines to be used will be provided by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems.Tenaska Development Group president Greg Kelly said: "Achieving financial closing for Tenaska Westmoreland illustrates our ability to develop and advance market-driven power projects. We are pleased to reach this milestone and look forward to the next phase of the project."The power plant is expected to become operational in 2018.
The state government of Alberta, Canada, has approved $100m of funding for the upgrade of the Queen Elizabeth II Highway interchange with Gaetz Avenue in Red Deer.The project is aimed to improve traffic flow and safety for travelers, local residents and businesses.According to advice from the former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge, Alberta has undertaken a $34.8bn plan to build and upgrade critical infrastructure, including roads, schools and hospitals.As per the most recent figures, every day 42,000 vehicles travel on the QEII in both directions at the existing interchange.Alberta’s premier Rachel Notley said: "Alberta families and businesses deserve safe, modern and efficient roads, highways and bridges. In the past when oil prices fell, governments slashed funding for infrastructure."Albertans paid the price for these short-sighted cuts in longer commutes and lost opportunity. We will not repeat those mistakes."Our Alberta Jobs Plan moves Alberta forward with significant investments in critical infrastructure that will create jobs and build a more resilient economy."Construction work is scheduled to be completed in 2019, in time for Red Deer to host the Canada Winter Games.