FedEx subsidiary FedEx Ground has started construction on a $228M distribution centre in Northampton County in Pennsylvania.The company has acquired a 253-acre site in Allen Township, Northampton County and is now building a 74,000sq m distribution centre and related structures as part of a new Mid-Atlantic hub.Pennsylvania’s governor Tom Wolf said: “This project is a huge win for Pennsylvania. The FedEx Ground terminal will become the company’s largest warehouse and logistics hub among the 34 it operates nationwide.“The fact that FedEx chose Pennsylvania over two other states to expand, is a testament not only to the commonwealth’s business-friendly atmosphere, but also our strong local workforce.”The project will create 282 full-time jobs over the next three years and 398 permanent part-time jobs.Furthermore, the firm is anticipated to retain 1,652 existing employees across the state. The development is scheduled to open in 2018.
The European and Indian construction machinery markets have shown growth this year, while other regions have seen a slow-down, according to Germany’s engineering association the VDMA.Latest research from the Construction Equipment and Building Material Machinery arm of the VDMA suggests that the machinery sector has grown in regions including France, Germany and India. The Middle East and North America, on the other hand, have registered drops in machinery sales, in addition to the weak markets of Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia. After five years of recession, China still hasn’t recovered from a loss of an accumulated 80% of its volume, says the report.The research also anticipates a drop in the global construction machinery sales due to regional developments, even though German manufacturers are set to register a slight turnover increase of 3%.Johann Sailer, VDMA chairman, said: “This is primarily due to the strong European market.”However, growth might not be equal for all manufacturers, added Sailer: “Depending on where a company’s focuses lie individual results could still be on the negative side.”Building material machinery updateThe report from the VDMA also examines the building material plant and machinery business.The sector is subject to less instability than the construction machinery sector. Nevertheless, manufacturers depend on long-term stable growth markets and these are deficient at the moment — due to the Russian market breakdown. Only Central Europe, India and North America are rated as satisfactory.Overcapacities also present a challenge for manufacturers. When it comes to this, the sector automatically thinks about China, says the association.“We don’t expect suppliers from China to flood the market with their equipment but the trend is clear – when domestic markets are weak companies shift to export markets,” said Sailer.In addition, political and economic uncertainties are present in many sectors. “We don’t want to just keep talking about crises and many current issues do not even have a direct impact on the construction sector. But obviously, news of this kind always affect the investment climate among our customers,” said Sailer.Overall, the VDMA concluded that “the construction equipment and building material machinery industry is indeed a growth sector”.
Ten Liebherr tower cranes are being used in Russia to construct what will be the Europe’s tallest building.The Lakhta tower, part of the Lahkta Center in St. Petersburg, will be 462m high when completed.The 87-storey building was designed by British architects RMJM and will be home to the head office of energy company Gazprom. The tower will include sports facilities, a children’s technical park, a planetarium, a panoramic restaurant, a viewing terrace and additional office space. Moreover, the project will include the construction of a multi-purpose building featuring a cinema and theatre, among other amenities. Contractor Reinaissance Construction is erecting the Lakhta tower using four Liebherr luffing jib cranes, while the multi-purpose facility is being built with three luffing jib and three high-top cranes — all owned by rental company Sutek.The tower is expected to be complete in 2018.
UK-based Graham Construction has been selected as the principal contractor by Hub South West to deliver three projects for Phase 1 of the Dumfries Learning Town programme in Scotland.Under the contract, Graham will deliver St Joseph’s College, North West Campus and centre of excellence The Bridge.The company has already finished the enabling works on the £23M redevelopment of St Joseph’s College — the first project in the £60M Phase 1 of the two-phase programme. Work in St Joseph’s College involves the restoration of the original Grade B listed historic stone building, which was constructed in the early 19th century.The work also involves the demolition and construction of a new wing, a new 3G sports facility and the reinstatement of grass pitches.Graham Construction regional director Gary Holmes said: “Dumfries Learning Town is an exciting project and we are looking forward to working with the partners to deliver a new approach to education for the area, starting with the redevelopment of historic St Joseph’s College.“We have a wide experience of delivering first-class educational facilities across Scotland, from refurbishing existing premises to designing and creating bespoke buildings. The Dumfries programme is one of the largest we have undertaken to date and is a challenge we relish.”Construction work on the main college building is expected to start in August 2016.
Williams Partners has secured an approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Dalton Expansion project in northwest Georgia, USA.The project has been designed to deliver natural gas to an existing electric generating facility operated by Oglethorpe Power, Atlanta Gas Light, and the city of Cartersville.The development will include the construction of 185km of new steel pipe, ranging from 16-30 inches in diameter, from the existing Transco pipeline in Coweta County to new delivery points in Paulding and Murray Counties.The pipeline is being designed to transport about 448,000Dth of natural gas daily.Furthermore, the company is proposing to construct a new compressor facility in Carroll County, along with three new metering facilities and other related pipe and valve modifications to existing facilities.Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams Partners’ Atlantic-Gulf operating area, said: “The Dalton Expansion Project is one of several Transco projects creating much-needed access to northern natural gas supplies to meet growing demand in the South, particularly in the power-generation sector.”Work on the expansion project is scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2016 with completion aimed for 2017.The project is part of the company’s 2016 growth capital funding plan, which includes $1.3bn for Transco expansions and other interstate pipeline projects.
Toshiba has won a JPY9bn ($89M) order from Thailand’s Gunkul Engineering to build a solar power plant in Kimitsu, Chiba prefecture, Japan.The facility, located on a 47-hectare site, will have a power generation capacity of about 33.5MW. As per the terms of the contract, Toshiba will be responsible for the plant’s overall engineering — including basic design and the supply of major equipment — and construction.The plant will generate about 45M kWh of electricity annually, enough to meet the needs of 10,000 households. The power plant — expected to reduce 20,000t of carbon dioxide emissions annually — is scheduled to commence operation in March 2019.
Holliday Fenoglio Fowler (HFF) has secured $156M in financing for the construction of a residential project in Jersey City, New Jersey.HFF has secured the construction loan on behalf of Ironstate Development and Panepinto Properties. The project, known as 90 Columbus, will include 539 housing units and is located at the corner of Marin Boulevard and Steuben Street in Jersey City’s Grove Street District.The 50-storey, Class A apartment tower will feature studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury residences averaging 73sq m each.The development will also include a swimming pool, grilling areas, indoor and outdoor children’s play areas, dog run, sport court, table tennis room, library and Wi-Fi lounges.The project is scheduled to be complete in 18 months.90 Columbus is part of a multi-phase development, which also includes the 400-unit building called 50 Columbus; the 50-storey, luxury residential tower 70 Columbus; the soon-to-be-completed, 152-room Marriott Residence Inn at 80 Columbus; and on-site shared parking.
Balfour Beatty has secured an approval from the Brighton & Hove City Council to start work on the University of Sussex East Slope student accommodation project.The £150M project will include the development of 2,100 new bedrooms, along with a new building for the Students’ Union and social facilities. The new buildings will replace the existing East Slope student accommodation, which dates from the 1970s and currently houses 600 students.The development represents the first phase of a £500M investment programme to upgrade and improve the university’s campus.University of Sussex registrar John Duffy said: “Balfour Beatty demonstrated a strong understanding of our desire to develop high-quality accommodation while maintaining the character of the natural landscape of Sussex within the setting of the South Downs National Park.“They were able to address our critical requirements as well as having extensive experience in delivering large-scale projects of this nature.”Work on the project — to be delivered in phases — is anticipated to commence in January 2017.Phase one of the development is expected to be complete by October 2018 and the overall work is scheduled for completion in 2020.
Kobelco Construction Machinery Europe (KCME) has introduced its new SK45SRX-6 mini excavator in Europe.The 4.5t mini excavator has been jointly launched with the latest version of the SK55SRX-6.Both machines feature the Yanmar engine, which reduces fuel consumption by 23% when used in S-mode, for normal work. Further fuel savings can be achieved through the integrated hydraulic circuitry of the three on-board hydraulic pumps, which reduces the overall engine/hydraulic workload.A decelerator button can also now be found on the operation lever as well as the dashboard. Additionally, the excavators’ on-site noise is reduced with the dust cooling system together with a front-facing air inlet and an under-slung exhausting system. Bluetooth and ports for USB can also be found in the machines.In the SK45SRX-6, the operator’s chair now reclines and features mechanical suspension, and both models feature improved operator visibility from the cab.Kobelco’s KCME product marketing manager Marcel van der Winden said: “The introduction of SK45SRX-6 fulfils KCME’s ideal of providing specialist earth moving machines within all popular classes. “As with all Kobelco Short Radius excavators, SK45SRX-6 delivers exceptional working performance while maintaining reduced operating costs. Minor updates to the SK55SRX-6 underline just how effective and efficient this machine has and always will be.”
Construction firm Skanska has been awarded a $178M contract to build a new women and children’s healthcare facility in Newark, Delaware.The eight-storey, 36,000 sq m building — awarded by Christiana Care Health System — will include a replacement to the neonatal intensive-care unit, and the expansion of the outpatient units, lab, pharmacy, and dietary clinical and logistical support services.Skanska was previously awarded a contract to expand the facility’s four-level parking garage for patients and visitors.Construction on the project is in progress and its completion is scheduled for January 2020.
London mayor Sadiq Khan has given green light to the housing development planned for the Old Oak regeneration site in west London, UK.The £175M Oaklands development will include the construction of 605 homes, of which 50% — up from the 40% originally stated — will be affordable housing units.The project will also include a nursery, health centre, commercial space, and a new link road into Old Oak. The mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The development marks a significant step in realising the huge potential of this part of the capital.“I am pleased that we have been able to increase the proportion of genuinely affordable homes as part of our ongoing efforts to fix the capital’s housing crisis.“The scale and ambition for this development shows London is very much open for business. Despite the uncertainty caused by the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, it remains clear that developers and investors see long-term potential in our great city.”Old Oak and Park Royal — set to become the key transport interchange for Crossrail and HS2 — is expected to deliver 25,500 new homes and create 65,000 jobs over the next 30 to 40 years.
UK-based construction firm Morgan Sindall has secured a £67M contract from BAE Systems to extend its Devonshire Dock Hall submarine building complex.The project will include the incorporation of new manufacturing and installation capabilities at the Barrow-in-Furness site .The expansion is part of an investment programme that includes the construction of a number of new facilities and the refurbishment of existing buildings. This includes the Central Yard Facility, which will measure in 45m in height. Construction is now in progress, with the first pieces of its steel structure now in place. A new 28,000 sq m off-site logistics facility is also scheduled to open in late 2016.Allan Day, director of the site redevelopment programme at BAE Systems Submarines, said: "We are in the third year of an eight-year redevelopment programme which is starting to see some dramatic changes across our site as we enhance our facilities and capabilities for the future."The Devonshire Dock Hall is an iconic building — home to the construction of some of the world's most advanced and capable submarines. This contract will enhance the facility to ensure our workforce can deliver future submarine programmes to the Royal Navy.”
Larsen & Toubro’s (L&T) power business, via its joint venture company L&T-MHPS Boilers Private Limited (LMB), has won an INR38.6bn ($576M) order for a thermal power project in Uttar Pradesh, India.The scope of the contract, awarded by Neyveli Uttar Pradesh Power Limited (NUPPL), includes the design, engineering, manufacture, supply, erection and commissioning of the 3x660MW Ghatampur thermal power plant.L&T Power CEO and managing director Shailendra Roy said: “This is a prestigious order from NUPPL for supercritical steam generators, with state-of-the-art equipment meeting new emission norms. LMB will meet the project schedule with best endeavours and resources conforming to international quality standards.”Currently, LMB — a joint venture between L&T India and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) — is delivering nine units of steam generator packages for large-capacity steam generators totalling 5,940MW in the country. Furthermore, six supercritical units have already commenced operations.The joint venture is also executing nine export orders for the supply of pulverisers and pressure parts for MHPS’ projects in Japan and Indonesia.
Vinci Construction Grands Projets in a joint venture with EMCC and Jan de Nul has secured a $147M contract to extend the port of Kingston in Jamaica.Under the contract, awarded by shipping group CMA CGM, the JV will be responsible for the refurbishment, reinforcement and upgrade of 1,200m of quays to seismic standards.Furthermore, dredging work in the access channel will be carried out. The project is expected to increase the alongside depth of the quays to enable them to handle container ships of larger capacity. According to Vinci, the port of Kingston — located near the Panama Canal at the crossroads between the North/South and East/West sea lanes — will become one of the three main container terminals in the Caribbean.Work on the project will be completed in 25 months.
Australia-based company Fastbrick Robotics has developed a giant truck-mounted robot that can construct an entire house in two days. Hadrian X can lay up 1,000 bricks an hour using a 28ft arm. The robot uses 3D scans to work out where to lay down the bricks, which are fed to the machine’s conveyor, then passed along the arm into a laser-guided claw. The claw grabs and lays them down using construction glue instead of cement.The smart machine cuts bricks to size and leaves spaces between them for wiring and plumbing.Fastbrick Robotics’ founder Mark Pivac told Perth Now: "People have been laying bricks for about 6,000 years and ever since the industrial revolution, they have tried to automate the bricklaying process."We're at a technological nexus where a few different technologies have got to the level where it's now possible to do it, and that's what we've done."It is estimated that the robot can build between 100-300 houses a year — without needing tea breaks, holidays or weekends off.Hadrian X took ten years to be developed and $4.5M in research and development. According to Fastbrick Robotics, it will take about a year before the machine will be launched onto the market.
Center Parcs has secured planning permission for the construction of a new €233M village in Ireland.The project — to be called Center Parks Longford Forest — will include 470 lodges accommodating 2,500 guests, 30 apartments, more than 100 indoor and outdoor family activities, and restaurants and shops.It will also include an Aqua Sana Spa and a Subtropical Swimming Paradise.Center Parcs’ CEO Martin Dalby said: “Since we announced our intention to bring the Center Parcs experience to Ireland last year, we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received, both at local and national level.“We have experienced unrivalled success for almost 30 years in the UK, providing high-quality family short breaks and I’m extremely excited by the prospect of taking our fantastic brand to Ireland.”The village — to be located near Ballymahon in County Longford — is expected to create 750 jobs during construction and 1,000 permanent jobs once completed. The project is scheduled for completion in 2019.
TransCanada, Sierra Oil & Gas and Grupo TMM have unveiled plans to develop a new refined products storage and transportation infrastructure system in Central Mexico.The $800M project will include the construction of a marine terminal near Tuxpan, Veracruz for offloading and distribution of refined products, a 265km refined products pipeline, and an inland storage and distribution hub.With a draft of 42ft, the marine terminal will feature four docking positions. The terminal will be pipeline-connected to key distribution centres in the region and will offer racks for truck loading and barge access to service the demand of other ports in the Gulf Coast.The pipeline, with an approximate daily capacity of 100,000 barrels of refined products, will run parallel to TransCanada's recently awarded Tuxpan-Tula natural gas pipeline project.
The North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee has approved the second phase of the £1.3bn Lincolnshire Lakes housing project.The project’s second phase will include the construction of 2,500 new homes, a village centre, and a lake.It will also involve the detrunking of the M181 motorway and the creation of a new terminating junction – the Southern Roundabout — as well as improvements to local transport and highways infrastructure, including Burringham Road.North Lincolnshire Council’s deputy leader Cllr Rob Waltham said: “This will pave the way for the region’s largest housing regeneration scheme for years to come. It’s a significant milestone; now the necessary approvals have been granted, we can get on with delivering this huge scheme that will totally transform the area.”Our vision is now a reality. People will soon start to see things take shape. Lincolnshire Lakes is without doubt our biggest regeneration scheme in the history of North Lincolnshire — it is difficult to imagine the sheer scale of it — but to put it into context, it is the size of around 50 football pitches. We have never before seen anything of this magnitude.”The overall project will include the development of five new villages on the outskirts of Scunthorpe, along with new schools, a new football stadium, leisure and recreation venues, pubs and restaurants, village centres, and new homes.
Brookfield Multiplex has completed construction on the $295M Melbourne One residential tower.The 47-storey tower, located at 618 Lonsdale Street, features 477 housing units available in one-, two- and three-bedroom options, along with penthouses. Melbourne One also includes a grand foyer with concierge, a gymnasium and an indoor heated swimming pool. The project created 1,000 jobs during its construction period and used 1,700cb m of concrete.Brookfield Multiplex’s regional managing director Victoria Graham Cottam said: "We are proud to deliver another residential building for Central Equity and to hand it over on time reinforcing our relationship with Central Equity."Brookfield Multiplex is also building Central Equity’s Southbank Central — a 48-storey apartment tower featuring 485 units.
Samsung C&T in a joint venture with Build King has secured a $340M contract to enhance ground beneath the seabed for Hong Kong International Airport third runway.The project represents the first stage of the Three Runway System (3RS) — aiming at expanding the airport into a three-runway operation.Under the contract, awarded by Airport Authority Hong Kong, the joint venture will improve soft ground located about 7m below the sea, using a deep cement mixing method before land reclamation takes place.Hans Whang, head of Samsung C&T civil infrastructure business unit, said: “We are honoured to be part of the 3RS project, which we understand is meaningful for Hong Kong‘s further development.“Even though challenging, we are certain that by working closely together with our trusted partners and maintaining a strong emphasis on safety and quality, this project will have outstanding results.”Construction work on the project will start in August 2016 and will last for 20 months.