Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRT Corp) has awarded four work package contracts worth MYR4.2bn (about $1bn) for the construction of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) Line in Malaysia. The contracts include two viaduct and two systems work packages.MRT Corp has awarded the MYR1.62bn ($401.6M) Systems Work Package SY203 to HAP Consortium for the engineering, procurement, construction, testing and commissioning of electric trains and depot equipment for the SSP Line. A consortium of Bombardier (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Global Rail Sdn Bhd has won the second systems work package, Package SY201, valued at MYR458.02M ($113.5M) and covering the engineering, procurement, construction, testing and commissioning of the signalling and train control system for the SSP Line. IJM Construction has secured Work Package V203 worth MYR1.47bn ($364.4M) for the construction of the 4.6km viaduct guideway and other associated works from Jinjang to Jalan Ipoh North Portal.Malaysian Resources Corporation has won Work Package V210 valued at MYR648M ($160.6M) for the construction and completion of the 2.6km viaduct guideway and other associated works from Persiaran APEC, Cyberjaya to Putrajaya Sentral.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has agreed to provide $250M for infrastructure projects in Egypt.EBRD has signed two memorandums of understanding (MoU) with Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation (MOIC) aimed at improving services in the transport and water sectors.Under the first MoU, EBRD will support the refurbishment of the Heliopolis tram link between the Ramsis and Almaza areas in Cairo. The entire cost of the project is estimated to be $500M.The second MoU is the bank’s first formal engagement in developing a water irrigation system — part of a programme developed by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI) of Egypt for the modernisation of the irrigation system to increase efficiency and quality of services.
A consortium led by Ferrovial Agroman has been awarded a contract by Iberdrola to construct the Daivoes dam and hydroelectric plant on the Támega River in northern Portugal.Estimated to cost more than €90M, the project will include the construction of a concrete arch-gravity dam 77.5m high and 264m long, together with a power plant housing two turbines with a total installed capacity of 118MW.Under the contract, Ferrovial will also construct a 388m tunnel to divert the river, and a weir 71m long and 10.5m high, located 2.2km downstream of the dam.Work on the project is set to be complete in around 56 months.Daivoes is the first of four main contracts to be awarded by Iberdrola as part of the Támega river hydroelectric project and is the second to be delivered by Ferrovial Agroman for the utility in Portugal.
UK-based Springfield Properties has received planning approval from Perth and Kinross Council for a 3,000-home community .The £1bn project, named Bertha Park and located in Perth, covers an area of 333ha. Bertha’s first phase, likely to commence in 2017, will be assessed by a committee next month and will include 1,100 new private, affordable and retirement homes. Springfield managing director Innes Smith said: “We are delighted with today’s decision. This is a big step forward in a 30-year project and the result of five years of planning and design in partnerships with Perth and Kinross Council. “We have set our sights on delivering an exceptional place for people to love and work and we are excited to be bringing Springfield’s award winning homes to Perth. We are on track to start building in 2017, initially creating around 450 new jobs and supporting many more.”The development is expected to create more than 2,000 new jobs in the region.
Bryn Mawr Hospital has broken ground on the $200M patient pavilion in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.The project will include an 18,500 sq m patient pavilion, two new medical/surgical telemetry units, a new intensive care unit, 12 new operating rooms, and renovated maternity and delivery rooms. The building will be erected in the centre of the campus, taking the place of the Clothier Building and Medical Office Building South. Bryn Mawr Hospital president Andrea Gilbert said: “The campus master plan and modernisation project builds upon Bryn Mawr Hospital's long-standing history of providing exceptional, leading-edge health care in our community.“This investment is evidence of Main Line Health and Bryn Mawr Hospital's continuing promise to deliver personalized, advanced care in a comfortable, contemporary setting.“A treasured community teaching hospital for more than a century, the next iteration of Bryn Mawr Hospital envisions a physical space that matches the patient-centered, quality-driven care that remains core to our mission.”
UK-China joint venture FairBriar International has commenced work on the first phase of its £700M Middlewood Locks development near Manchester city centre.The new mixed-use development will include about 2,000 new homes and over 70,000 sq m of commercial development space, involving offices, a hotel, shops, restaurants, a convenience store and a gym. The first phase of the project, expected to be complete in 2018, will include the construction of 571 homes and associated commercial space, convenience shops, restaurants and a new public realm in the form of canal side footpaths and cycle ways that will be connected to the city centre. Designed by WCEC Group, the project is located around three large basins of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal in Salford and is expected to create over 7,000 jobs in the local region.Scarborough development director Lee Savage said: "We are thrilled to be starting on site at last. It marks the culmination of many months of intensive preparation and allows the local communities to see for themselves some real progress."The whole team will be concentrating on delivering a development of which Salford and Greater Manchester can be truly proud.”
The UK government has given the go ahead for the upgrade of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.Estimated to cost up to £1.5bn, the 21-mile project will include a new bypass of Huntingdon between Swavesey and Brampton, the widening of sections of the A1 and A14 roads, and improvements to a number of junctions.The development will also involve improvements in Huntingdon Town Centre to include a new local access road.Highways England director for complex infrastructure Chris Taylor said: “The scheme will provide much needed additional capacity to improve journey times and safety.“We are keen to keep the momentum going and will get preparations for construction underway as soon as possible after the end of the six week statutory challenge period.”Construction work is set to commence in late 2016 with the new bypass and widened A14 opening to traffic in 2020.
Real estate developer British Land has revealed details of a £300M project to expand Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, UK.The 30,000 sq m proposed Leisure Hall will include a wide range of dining and entertainment options, with new restaurants, a new café court, a gym, and other leisure spaces.The new hall and existing centre are set to create a new multi-levelled, landscaped mall with internal and external spaces for promotional and community uses. It has also been designed to accommodate large outdoor events including live music.British Land’s head of retail and leisure Charles Maudsley said: “We are continuing to drive Meadowhall’s evolution to ensure it remains an outstanding place for modern consumer lifestyles. “This significant step change in the scheme’s leisure provision will contribute to Sheffield’s continuation as a driving force behind the Northern Powerhouse. This is a very exciting time and we look forward to working with Sheffield City Council to help ensure Sheffield’s future success.”British Land, the co-owner of Meadowhall, is starting a public consultation on the expansion proposals. If the proposals are approved, construction work will commence in 2018. The hall is expected to open to visitors in late 2020 or early 2021, creating more than 1,000 jobs in the region.
Construction experts remain optimistic in the strength of the industry, according to a new report, despite the first quarter of 2016 being marked by a decline in confidence levels.Timetric’s Construction Confidence Report concluded that the industry’s current confidence levels have declined from 61.5 points in Q4 2015 to 61.2 points in Q1 2016, following a downward trend that started in 2014.Even though this is the fifth successive quarter of decline, the score remains above the 50-point mark which indicates a positive outlook regarding growth prospects — and the industry is optimistic regarding growth expectations for the next six months.Danny Richards, leading economist at Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC), recognises the positive findings, but states that the decline has had an impact in construction companies. “Although still optimistic over the potential for growth, the decline in the Current Confidence Index suggests that the level of optimism is weakening, and that it is becoming more challenging to win contracts,” he said.<iframe src="https://timetric.com/c/MBEPE5U/chart/" style="width:500px;height:350px;border:0;" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>
Otis China has announced the construction of a new 270m-high elevator test tower as part of a new global R&D facility in Shanghai.Anticipated to be the world’s tallest above-ground test tower, it has been designed to be flexible and easily adaptable to the testing of new components and systems as they evolve.The project will support the development of new technologies for use in elevators for different market segments in order to deliver high efficiency, small footprints, industry-leading safety, comfort and convenience for passengers, says Otis.Otis’ president Philippe Delpech said: “Building our new test tower and R&D Center in Shanghai underscores our continuous commitment to satisfy customers in China and around the world.“As the industry leader that introduced safe elevator technology, this is a strong example of how we are investing to accelerate innovation and technology development for our next generation elevators and service.”The new facilities, part of a network of research facilities and test towers set to spread across four continents, are expected to be operational by the end of 2018.Otis has supplied lifts for iconic high buildings around the world, including the 828m Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building; the 599m Ping’An Financial Center in Shenzhen, one of the highest buildings in China when completed this year; the 555m Lotte World Tower in Seoul, the tallest in South Korea; the 553m CN Tower in Toronto, the highest in North America; and the 324m Eiffel Tower, Paris’ iconic symbol.
Wind farm infrastructure and communications delivery specialist Vysiion has secured a contract to support the installation of a 108km fibre link for the £1.3bn Rampion wind farm development.UK-based construction services firm Carillion is serving as the main contractor for the onshore connection, a project that will include the installation of cable over a distance of about 26km from landfall near Shoreham-on-Sea to Bolney, West Sussex.Under the contract, Vysiion will support Carillion’s delivery and will supply splice and test the 108km cable link from the onshore substation at Bolney to the beachhead.The wind farm is expected to provide enough energy to power about 300,000 homes annually, with a target capacity of 400MW. Vysiion infrastructure sales manager Michael Grimshaw said: “The Rampion wind farm project contract is another example of how the team at Vysiion is able to support the infrastructure requirements of the UK’s wind power industry.“Throughout the UK and on a number of on-going wind farm developments Vysiion’s fibre, communications and infrastructure expertise is proving to be both an additive and assured element of the construction.”
UK-based oil and gas services company Wood Group has won two new contracts, worth more than $140M, to provide technical services and expertise to an oil firm in Iraq.Under the three-year contracts, Wood Group PSN (WGPSN) — one of the group’s three businesses — will offer brownfield front-end engineering design, detailed engineering, project management, procurement services, system completion and commissioning support for operations and start-up on a significant onshore asset in southern Iraq.Both contracts, set to create over 100 new jobs in the region, will be executed from southern Iraq and Dubai, where WGPSN opened an office in 2015. WGPSN's eastern region managing director David Buchan said: “These two significant contract wins demonstrate Wood Group’s commitment to working closely with key clients to extend our operations in Iraq, where we see a growth market that complements our broad service capabilities, international knowledge and strong expertise. “Establishing an office in Dubai and a base in Iraq reflects our intention to build lasting customer relationships and focus on the development of our Iraqi workforce and supply chain partnerships.”
Flatiron Construction and AECOM have been provisionally selected by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDoT) to design and construct the $215M C-470 Tolled Express Lanes Segment 1 project in the Denver metro area.The CDoT named the companies as the ‘Apparent Selected Proposer’ for the 12-mile project, which will involve the addition of two tolled express lanes on westbound C-470 from I-25 to Colorado Boulevard, along with the reconstruction of part of the existing pavement.It will include the addition of auxiliary lanes at selected locations, the replacement of bridges over the South Platte River and the widening of existing bridges throughout the project area.The development will also involve safety and operational improvements along C-470 between I-25 and Quebec by adding direct-connect ramps and grade separations for the multi-use trail.Flatiron will lead the fully integrated design and construction team, AECOM will provide construction and design services for the project expected to commence construction work in mid-2016. The lanes are set to be complete in early 2019.
US-based Jacobs Engineering Group has won a contract to deliver engineering services for the expansion of Mitsubishi’s polyester film plant in Greenville County, South Carolina. Mitsubishi Polyester Film, a subsidiary of Japan-based Mitsubishi Plastics, offers a range of polyester films for the industrial, packaging, imaging and electrical markets.Pursuant to the contract, Jacobs will provide engineering services for the $100m project, which includes the installation of a polyester film production line that is expected to combine high level technology with production efficiency.Jacobs’ senior vice president specialty chemicals Andrew Berryman said: “We are excited Mitsubishi chose Jacobs to invest in its existing facility. Our team is committed to delivering a safe, innovative project to support Mitsubishi’s customers and markets around the world.”The project is set to be complete by late 2017.
US-based Arrow Capital and the University of Ilorin have finalised arrangements for the construction of a $2.3bn solar power plant at the university in Nigeria.
Airport construction projects remain at a high with a total global investment of $638.7bn, according to a new report. The Global Airport Construction Projects report, from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC), concludes that even though a financial crisis has been ravaging the global economy since 2008-09, air passenger traffic has been growing at an average pace of 5% annually.Airport construction activity has been growing fast in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East & Africa regions, which have now surpassed other global regions with total planned investment in airport mega-projects of $224.1bn and $172bn respectively.In the Asia-Pacific region, China has been leading the airport construction activity with investment of $47.8bn, followed by Vietnam with projects worth $28.7bn. Due to the increase in flights to China, where Beijing Capital International Airport is the world’s second busiest airport, the $11.3bn Beijing Daxing International Airport is expected to be complete in 2025. Conversely, India’s value of airport projects is low when compared with countries in the same region.The demand in Middle East and Africa is high, with Dubai home to the world’s busiest international airport and Saudi Arabia requiring more capacity to cater the millions of visitors each year. Al Maktoum International Airport is a new airport project that will be part of Dubai World Central, providing a planned capacity of 220M passengers to the UAE.The highest-value project is the $36.2bn Istanbul New Airport development in Turkey, and the highest value pipeline project part of the planned $29.1bn Heathrow Expansion belongs to the UK, although the government has not yet given green light to the project, according to projects tracked by the CIC.Neil Martin, manager at Timetric’s CIC, said: “Global airport projects’ activity follows economic growth in the markets of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East & Africa. Both regions are registering new projects and the expansion of existing airports to service their growing economies and populations. Similarly, the developed markets of North America and Europe largely show expansion or renovation of existing airports such as London’s Heathrow and O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. “Although South and Central America is lagging behind for value of projects, there is huge potential for the upgrade of its airports infrastructure, with the new US$14 billion Mexico City project potentially providing a model for the region.”* The Global Airport Construction Projects report from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center provides market analysis, information and insights on over 550 large-scale live airport construction projects globally. In addition, the report also details airport construction investment in each of the five major global regions, as tracked by Timetric’s Construction analyst team. The projects are at various stages of development, from the ones that have been announced to those in execution. Read more on the report here.
NextDecade has submitted an application to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for authorisation to site, construct and operate the Rio Grande liquefied natural gas (LGN) facility and the Rio Bravo Pipeline system.Rio Grande LNG is a proposed 27Mtpa LNG export facility near Brownsville, Texas and the Rio Bravo Pipeline is a 137-mile pipeline system that will provide the facility with its feed gas. NextDecade said that this action represents the most significant milestone to date in the development of Rio Grande LNG, placing the project in an excellent position to sign offtake agreements and declare Final Investment Decision (FID) in 2017.The project is expected to create between 4,000–6,000 construction jobs, and over 200 permanent jobs, representing a potential investment of up to $20bn.NextDecade’s CEO Kathleen Eisbrenner said: “After a productive pre-filing with the FERC and extensive consultation and cooperation with the reviewing agencies and local communities, we are proud to have achieved this major accomplishment.“Despite recent low oil and gas prices, we have found robust appetite for US LNG on a long-term basis all around the world. This interest reaffirms the price competitiveness of US LNG for customers looking to diversify their gas supply on a global level.”The FERC approval is expected to be received by the end of the first quarter of 2017 and the company expects to begin exporting LNG from Rio Grande LNG by the end of 2020.
Pennsylvania's SugarHouse Casino has completed the $164M casino expansion project.Designed by Cope Linder Architects, the project increased SugarHouse’s facility from 10,000 sq m to 24,000 sq m, excluding the new seven-storey parking garage of about 56,000 sq m. The new parking garage offers 1,500 new spaces for guests, with direct elevator access to the casino floor.The project also includes additional restaurants and a 2,800 sq m event centre.The expansion project created 500 new full-time jobs, raising the number of current employees to 1,700.
The state government of Victoria has approved a new master plan to transform the former Melbourne Convention Centre site on Spencer Street, Australia.Plans to transform the under-used site include a $200M three-tower development and feature three apartment buildings ranging from 27–34 levels, with 1,060 apartments, retail space, and spaces for 451 cars and 160 bicycles.While portions of the former Melbourne Convention Centre are being demolished to make way for the development, the 13-level Crown Plaza Hotel, which overlooks the Yarra River, will remain as it is.Minister for Planning Richard Wynne said: “This is a good development in a prime location near Southern Cross Station, trams and public space along the Yarra River which will provide more housing at the gateway between the CBD and Docklands.“This master plan shows how we can deliver more housing in under-used parts of the city while increasing the amount of parks and open space for the public.”
Fortum Värme has opened its new biomass-fired combined heat and power plant (CHP) in Värtan, Stockholm.The company, owned by Fortum and the city of Stockholm, will use forest residues and wood waste to produce district heat for nearly 200,000 households, requiring about 12,000 cb m of wood chips per day.The €500M project, launched in 2013, will eliminate 126,000t of emissions annually in the Stockholm area.Fortum’s president and CEO Pekka Lundmark said: “High emissions and low efficiency of heating, cooling and electricity production are typical problems in growing urban areas.“Together with the city of Stockholm, we are taking steps towards a circular economy by utilising biomass, waste and recovered heat from data centres in energy production.“Biomass is a renewable, largely local and carbon-neutral energy source. Its use increases the share of domestic energy resources particularly in Northern Europe, and it is an important building block of a sustainable energy system and bio economy.”