The multi-billion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal is set to open on 26 June 2016.The project includes expansion of the 50-mile long waterway to manage increased levels of traffic and bigger cargo ships. Work involves construction of two new sets of locks, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean sides, excavation for new entrance channels to the new locks, widening and deepening the existing channels, as well as raising the water level of Gatun Lake.The project, which began in 2007, was initially scheduled to be completed in October 2014. It has however been delayed owing to construction, labour, and legal issues, as well as discovery of fissures in one of the widened locks.Work on the expansion is currently 97% complete.Panama Canal Authority CEO Jorge Quijano said: "The dream of expansion will become a reality when we inaugurate the biggest infrastructure project in the history of the Canal and the country of Panama."
Construction work is set to start next month on a £800m new community development in Aberdeen after the UK government pledged £86m in funding for the project.The project, which received in principle planning approval from Aberdeen City Council in October 2014, will be built by Stewart Milne Group over 15 years. Work will involve the construction of new housing, schools, healthcare and parks at the Countesswells site. Mobilisation and compound facilities will commence this month, with infrastructure works expected to begin in April. The first homes are expected to be available later in 2016. The project is anticipated to create 1,000 construction jobs.Stewart Milne group managing director homes John Slater said: “Countesswells is an important project that will deliver a vibrant new community for Aberdeen that will include three new schools, medical facilities, leisure, retail, commercial & business accommodation and a wide range of homes, from first time buyer apartments and young family homes to townhouses and executive villas, all contributing to Aberdeen’s attractiveness as a place in which to live and work.”
Network Rail has unveiled an investment programme worth more than £800m to develop London Waterloo station over the next three years.The project will include the reconstruction of the former Waterloo International Terminal that will enable platforms 20-24 to be brought back into use with modern facilities, new track and signalling, as well as a construction of a spacious concourse near the platforms.Plans also include longer platforms at ten stations, upgrades to depots and maintenance facilities, a new fleet of Siemens-built Class 707 trains, and installation of new technology in trains.The project is anticipated to increase peak time capacity by 30% by 2019. Majority of the upgrades are being financed by the Department for Transport as part of Network Rail’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan.Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “We are investing £40 billion in our nation’s railway infrastructure - the biggest upgrade since the Victorian times.“From 2017, passengers will benefit from a bigger and better London Waterloo station and 150 new train carriages providing more space for passengers arriving at London Waterloo over the three-hour morning peak - this is in addition to the 108 extra carriages that have already been added since 2013.”
Balfour Beatty has received a £170m two-year extension to its Track Partnership contract for London Underground.Balfour Beatty Rail secured the original Track Partnership contract in 2010 to provide essential track renewal work across the London Underground network. The extension will take the contract to March 2018.The company will continue to offer design, labour, plant, and materials, alongside surveying, supervision and management of the works.The scope of the contract will include the installation of points and crossings, as well as ballasted track renewal. The company will also be responsible for associated drainage, signalling, traction power and conductor rail works.Balfour Beatty Group Leo Quinn CEO said: “With world-class expertise in track, electrification and power supply systems, Balfour Beatty Rail is a significant player in the UK rail infrastructure market.“We have utilised these market-leading skills and expertise working with London Underground over the last 13 years. This extension is a clear sign of London Underground’s confidence in the capability of Balfour Beatty within the Track Partnership.”
Emirates Aluminium Rolling (Emiroll) is set to invest about AED440m ($119.7m) for the construction of an aluminium rolling plant in the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, UAE.Emiroll is a joint venture between Dubal Holding with a 35% stake, Dubai Investments with a 30% holding, and Singapore-based industrial group MARS with the remaining 35% stake. The plant, spread out on 900,000 sq ft of land, will be used to manufacture 65,000 tonnes of aluminium coils annually, comprising 45,000 tonnes of cold-rolled and 20,000 tonnes of hot-rolled aluminium for applications in downstream industries.Construction of the plant will commence soon, with the facility expected to be operational by the third quarter of 2017.Dubal Holding CEO Abdulnasser Bin Kalban said: “Dubal Holding has kept its focus firmly on a diverse growth strategy, and this joint venture with Dubai Investments and MARS for Emiroll aims at creating new demand for aluminium in the rapidly-growing downstream industries across the region. “Dubal Holding’s stake in Emiroll is a significant milestone in its growth plans, as it seeks to strengthen its presence in aluminium sector globally.”
Larsen & Toubro’s (L&T) construction division has secured several contracts worth INR32.05bn ($480m) across its various businesses.Of these, INR20.18bn ($302.2m) worth of contracts have been awarded to the company's buildings and factories business.These include a contract from a Mumbai-based developer for a turnkey high-rise residential project. The scope of the contract will include civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and finishing works for six towers, each rising 55 to 60 floors.The business has also secured additional orders from several existing customers for the development of commercial and residential spaces.The power transmission and distribution business has won contracts worth INR7.1bn ($106.3m).In the company's domestic Indian market, the business has secured a turnkey contract from Powergrid Southern Interconnector Transmission System to build a 400kV double circuit transmission line linking Cuddapah to Madhugiri, as well as another contract from Power Grid Corporation of India for the construction of a 765kV double circuit transmission line at Cuddapah.In the international market, Larsen & Toubro (Oman) has secured a turnkey contract from Oman Electricity Transmission Company to build 400kV reactor transformers and associated works at Sur and Izki substations.
Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) has commenced construction work on a new substation project in Monmouth County, New Jersey.The project, part of JCP&L's multi-year $250m transmission system reliability enhancement program, is estimated to cost $124m. Nearly $97m will be spent for the project in 2016.Work will include the construction of a new 16-mile, 230kV transmission line along existing right-of-way with steel pole construction to connect JCP&L substations in Howell and Neptune. The project will also involve the reconstruction of an existing 230kV transmission line connecting substations in Colts Neck and Neptune using steel poles, as well as installation of new equipment in the substations such as circuit breakers and remote-control communications equipment. The new transmission line is due to be operational by June 2017.JCP&L president Jim Fakult said: "This transmission project will make our system in Monmouth County more resilient and help meet the growing demand for electricity in the region. "Along with the greater redundancies provided by the new transmission line, the high-tech substation devices we plan to install will give us the ability to operate the system remotely, automatically resetting the equipment instead of having to send a line crew to investigate the cause of the problem."
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has granted a $123.3m loan to Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) of Manila to build a new water tunnel in Manila, Philippines.The proposed tunnel will stretch over 6km in length, with an internal span of about 4m. It will be an intake structure at the Ipo reservoir, and a new transition basin at Bigte, with connecting infrastructure. The project will implement structural measures to minimise impact of earthquakes and other hazards, and environmental degradation. ADB Southeast Asia Department senior urban development specialist Paul van Klaveren said: "The Angat transmission system provides more than 95% of Manila's water but its existing tunnels are up to 75 years old and in poor condition, leaving the metropolitan area highly vulnerable to serious supply disruptions.“This assistance will allow the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System to build a fourth tunnel, clearing the way for it to upgrade and modernize its other existing tunnels and aqueducts to maximize and strengthen supplies.”
GS Engineering & Construction has secured a contract worth about SGD1.99bn ($1.4bn) from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore for the construction of East Coast Integrated Depot and its reception tunnels.East Coast Integrated Depot will integrate three train depots and one bus depot in a 36-hectare site. The depot will have a capacity to accommodate about 220 trains and 550 buses, and will be used by the LTA for stacking the train depots for the East-West Line (EWL), DTL and TEL. In addition, LTA has awarded contracts worth nearly SGD1.31bn ($962.7m) for the construction of Siglap and Bayshore stations along Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) and Xilin station along Downtown Line 3 Extension (DTL3e).A John Holland–Zhen Hua (Singapore) Engineering joint venture has won a SGD176m ($129.3m) contract for the construction of the Siglap station. A Woh Hup (Private)–Shanghai Tunnel Engineering (Singapore) joint venture has received a SGD296m ($217.5m) contract for construction of Bayshore station and its associated tunnels. Both Bayshore and Siglap stations will serve as civil defence shelters along TEL’s East Coast stretch.Samsung C&T has secured a SGD834m ($612.8m) contract for the construction of Xilin station and its associated tunnels, and reception tunnels to the depot.Construction work on the projects is scheduled to begin by the second quarter of 2016. Works on Siglap and Bayshore stations are expected to be completed in 2023, with Xilin station and East Coast Integrated Depot expected to be completed in 2024.
Arabtec Construction has won a contract worth AED1.7bn ($462m) from the UAE federal government to build villas for UAE nationals in Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Fujairah.The scope of the contract will include the construction of 1,100 villas on a 215-hectare plot, including 300 five-room villas, 700 four-room villas, and 100 villas for widows or small families.The project will have a total built-up area of 430,000 sq m. Construction work is expected to commence immediately and will be completed in about two-and-a-half years.Arabtec Holding acting CEO Saeed Mohamed Al Mehairbi said: “We are proud that the Ministry of Presidential Affairs has chosen Arabtec to execute this project of national importance.”
Network Rail has announced plans for a £340m project to upgrade railway in Liverpool City Region over the next three years.The project will include new and longer platforms at Liverpool Lime Street station, a new station at Maghull North, renovation of the Newton-le-Willows station, track renewal on the Merseyrail underground loop, laying of additional track between Huyton and Roby, and upgrading the Halton Curve to support new services between Liverpool and Chester.It will also include the construction of a new bus interchange, extended car park facilities, a new booking hall on the south side of the station, as well as new lifts, subway and stairs.The majority - £229m - of the funding for the project will be provided by Network Rail, while the remaining will be funded by the Liverpool City Region.The upgrades form part of Network Rail's nationwide Railway Upgrade Plan in response to rise in demand for rail services.Network Rail route managing director Martin Frobisher said: “Our aim over the next three years is to give the people of Liverpool the high-quality rail services they deserve.“With demand for rail travel expected to rise by 100 per cent over the coming years, these improvements are vital for the future growth and prosperity of this great city region.”
Brookfield Multiplex has been selected as the main contractor for Dubai-based real estate developer Omniyat’s One at Palm Jumeirah project in Dubai.The AED2bn project ($544.5m) project will include the construction of a 107,795 sq m building, comprising 23 floors.The building, located at the first plot on the trunk of Palm Jumeirah, will include 90 luxury apartments designed by Tokyo-based interior designer Super Potato. The apartments will incorporate high quality materials, finishes, joinery, kitchens, walk-in closets and bathrooms.The project will be divided vertically into three cores, with each core offering access to a maximum of two apartments per floor.The base of One at Palm Jumeirah will feature three swimming pools, a private yacht club, spas, gym, library, private cinema as well as landscaped areas designed by Vladimir Djurovic.The LEED Silver project is expected to be completed within two years.
Vinci has completed the extensions of the Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports in Cambodia.The projects, which entailed an investment of over $100m, will double the annual passenger handling capacity of the airports from 5m to 10m.Vinci said that the investments are designed to enable the airports to accommodate substantial air traffic growth. Over the past 20 years, the number of passengers has increased ten-fold, driven by the country’s dynamic economy and tourism sector.The projects were carried out within the framework of the concession held by Vinci Airports, in collaboration with Muhibbah.Vinci Construction Grands Projets started the expansion projects in 2013 and made use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology in the projects for better safety performance and construction schedule compliance.
CPB Contractors has been appointed as the preferred contractor to design and build the second stage of the Gold Coast Light Rail project in Queensland, Australia.Estimated to cost $420m, the project will involve a 7.3km extension that will connect the existing light rail system at Gold Coast University Hospital station to heavy rail at the Helensvale station.Majority ($270m) of the funding for the project will be provided by the Queensland Government, with $95m to be provided by the Australian government and $55m from the City of Gold Coast Council. Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe said: “The Palaszczuk Government is satisfied CPB Contractors is experienced, well-qualified and has the expertise to manage the design and construction of the second stage of the Gold Coast Light Rail system and deliver it in time for the 2018 Games.“Now we’ve announced the preferred contractors, early works on the light rail extension will able to start next month.“Once it is built, Stage Two will have the potential to carry 3,000 passengers per hour which will be critical to support the transport plan for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.”
The mayor of London has given the green light to the London Overground extension to the Barking Riverside project.Following the approval, Transport for London (TfL) will now apply to the government for a Transport and Works Act Order to start construction on the £263m project.Work will involve a 4.5km extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking line, delivering London Overground services to a new station at the Barking Riverside community.The project will be developed by Barking Riverside, which is a newly reformed joint venture between the GLA and London & Quadrant.The developers will provide £172m of the project costs, while the rest will be provided by TfL. Construction work is expected to start in late 2017, with train services starting in 2021.TfL managing director of planning Richard de Cani said: “Overwhelming support has been demonstrated throughout the consultation process for this extension of London Overground network to Barking Riverside.“We will now be moving this to the next step so that we can get construction underway. This vital new railway will breathe life into this area, enabling up to 11,000 vital new homes, along with healthcare and leisure services, to be delivered.”
Toshiba has announced plans to build a new semiconductor fabrication facility in Japan’s Mie prefecture.The new Fab 2 building will be built on land adjacent to the Yokkaichi Operations memory production complex in Mie prefecture. It will be used for expanded production of the company’s proprietary 3D flash memory product brand Bics Flash.Production requires needs a new clean room with dedicated equipment for the 3D process. The new facility will initially offer this space following its completion in the first half of fiscal 2016.The construction and equipment investment for the project is estimated to cost about JPY360bn ($3.2bn). The investment will take place from fiscal 2016 to fiscal 2018. Final decisions on the construction timeline and facility investment will be made in fiscal 2016, with production due to start in 2018.
A Bouygues-led consortium has won a design-build contract from the Dover Strait Ports Company (Société des Ports du Détroit) for the Port of Calais extension project in France.Apart from Bouygues Travaux Publics, the consortium includes Colas Nord-Picardie, Spie Batignolles and Jan De Nul.The contract is valued at about €675m, with Bouygues Construction having a share of about €300m. The project will involve the construction of a new 3km seawall, a new 100-hectare harbour basin to the north of the existing facilities, three new ferry berths and a roll-on/roll-off berth inside the harbour basin.Work will also include 4m cubic metres of marine dredging for the new quays, development of new cross-Channel traffic reception capacities such as 44 hectares of parking facilities and roads and around twenty operational and reception buildings. Bouygues Travaux Publics CEO Philippe Amequin said: "We are very pleased to have the opportunity to play a part in the economic development of Nord - Pas de Calais - Picardie region with this project, which will provide it with a port infrastructure corresponding to its ambitions, both in terms of functionality and of quality of service."Our teams have been at work since the contract was signed, and they are already at the site carrying out the engineering studies that will result in the construction of a state-of-the-art port."
A consortium of Hock Seng Lee (HSL) has secured a contract worth MYR750m ($185.1m) for a wastewater treatment plant and the sewer network project in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.HSL said in a filing with the stock exchange that it owns 75% of the Kumpulan Nishimatsu Hock Seng Lee consortium.The contract has been awarded by the state government of Sarawak through Jabatan Perkhidmatan Pembetungan Sarawak for the Kuching city central wastewater management system.The scope of the contract will include the construction and commissioning of the plant, the main, secondary and tertiary lines, property connections, and the provision of the process plant and equipment.The consortium will also be responsible for related building works, as well as mechanical and electrical works. The project is anticipated to be completed and commissioned in six years.“The contract is expected to contribute positively to the earnings and net assets of HSL Group as the project progresses during the contract period. However, the transaction will not have any effect on the share capital and substantial shareholdings of HSL,” HSL said in a statement.
Fife College has secured the option to buy land for the construction of a new college campus on the Shepherd Offshore site on Dunlin Drive, Dunfermline, Scotland.The project, which forms part of a broader plan announced to improve College estates across Fife, is estimated to cost about £90m ($130.1m).Principal Hugh Logan said: “Our students’ needs are paramount when making decisions about our new campus. The new state-of-the-art college will be built around the requirements of our students, from location and accessibility to the layout, design and resources required.”Scottish government’s NPD Programme will provide £70m of the project funding, while the remaining amount will be procured from Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and college resources.SFC has already given the go-ahead to an outline business case for the use of the site for the college build. A full business case for the college project is expected to be considered later in 2016. “Transport links will also be an important factor and we will work with Fife Council and partners to ensure the new campus benefits from excellent transport links,” Logan added.
Técnicas Reunidas has secured a contract worth $800m from Pemex Transformación Industrial to deliver the second phase of the ultra low sulphur diesel project at the General Refinery Lazaro Cardenas in Minatitlan, Mexico.This phase will include the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of two new refining units - a diesel hydrodesulphurisation unit (30,000bpd) and sulphur recovery plant (150tpd). Expected to be completed within a 36-month period, this phase will also include upgrades to an existing hydrodesulphurisation unit, the corresponding auxiliary services, as well as the integration of the facilities outside battery limits for these plants. Técnicas Reunidas won a contract for the $50m first phase in September 2014. This phase involved the execution of an extended basic design, a detailed estimation of the investment cost and the purchase of long-term delivery equipment. The project is part of the development plans being carried out by Pemex Transformación Industrial within the Fuel Quality Project at their refineries across the country, and entails investment of $5.5bn. The works are expected to create 12,000 direct jobs and 31,000 indirect jobs.