The Hungarian government will have to fulfil two conditions before the European Commission (EC) can give the go-ahead to the Paks nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion project, according to reports in the Hungarian media.The project involves the construction of two new units with capacity of 1,200MW as part of the expansion of the existing Paks plant — which comprises four 500MWe units.The first condition, according to the online business daily Portfolio, is for all issues related to the supervision of the power plant to be ‘clearly separated’ from existing policymaking in the energy sector and the overall system of supervision for powers stations in Hungary. The second condition states that the electricity produced should be sold on a power exchange along market principles, instead of being directly sold to the country’s national grid. This follows the launch of an infringement procedure against Hungary by the EC in November 2015, concerning the project and the award of the construction contract to Russia, and doubts about the country’s financing plans in January 2016.The €12.5bn project will be financed by a €10bn loan from Russia — to be repaid over 21 years. Construction work is expected to commence in 2018 and 2019, with commissioning expected in 2025 and 2026.* This is a version of an article originally published in Nuclear Engineering International
A consortium comprising German company Nukem Technologies and four Bulgarian companies has been awarded a €72M ($80M) contract to build a radioactive waste repository for Kozloduy nuclear power plant in Bulgaria.The repository — to be located in the 3km “surveillance zone” of the Kpzloduy plant — will have a capacity of 138,000cb m. The first stage of the project will include the development of licensing documents for the facility’s commissioning in accordance with national nuclear legislation.The facility, expected to be operational in 2021, will be filled with radioactive waste over the next 60 years.According to the Bulgaria’s energy minister Nikolay Nikolov, the project will help the process of decommissioning the shutdown units of the nuclear power plant — units 1-4 were closed as a condition of the country’s entry in the European Union. Units 5 and 6 continued in operation and are now being upgraded. * This is a version of an article originally published in Nuclear Engineering International.
The OHL Group, through OHL USA and Judlau, has won two contracts worth $136M in Texas and New Jersey.OHL USA has bagged a $79M contract from the Texas Department of Transportation to build IH 35 from Stassney Lane to William Cannon Drive in Austin, Texas.The company will be responsible for reconstructing bridge structures along the roadway, new U-turns at Stassney Lane and William Cannon Drive, as well as the frontage road bridges over Williamson Creek.In addition, the project will include the widening of the mainlanes to include shoulders, the extension of entrance and exit lanes, the reconfiguration of ramps, the enhancement of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and the addition of new safety and high mast lighting. The total scope of the work for OHL covers 5km.Meanwhile, Judlau has won a $57M contract from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to restore the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge.The project will include the replacement of the deck, superstructure and substructures and on-grade approaches of the Palisades Interstate Parkway Helix, and construction of a temporary detour structure to maintain traffic.Judlau will also install detour bridge structures, temporary barriers and traffic impact attenuators on median barriers, as well as temporary storage facilities to replace those affected by the alignment of the temporary detour.
Kraus-Anderson Construction Company has secured a contract to remodel and expand the high school and middle school for the Hudson School District in Hudson, Wisconsin.The scope of the contract will include the construction of a two-storey classroom and gymnasium at the middle school.Work will also involve additions and upgrades to the high school, including seating, lighting and sound upgrades, as well as a new athletic stadium.The project has been designed by Bray Architects and will entail an investment of $93.9M. Kraus-Anderson’s project manager Gary Zifko said: “The expansion will greatly enhance Hudson schools and become an even bigger asset for the community.”Construction work on the middle school is expected to commence in the end of 2016, and will be completed in June 2017. Work on the high school is slated to begin in April 2017, and be finished by mid-2019.“As we proceed to work on the Hudson schools — while students, teachers and staff are at work — it will continue to be our highest priority to put safety and security first, with as little disruption as possible,” Zifko added.Hudson Middle School serves nearly 1,300 students, while Hudson High School caters about 1,800 students.
Willmott Residential has secured planning consent from Barnet Council to develop 188 homes in Mill Hill, London.The development — named Prime Place, Millbrook Park — will feature 159 homes for private sale and 29 homes for affordable rent.Designed by Broadway Malyan, the 2.7-acre project will include a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments and penthouses, together with a small number of three- and four-bedroom houses.The development will also feature an underground parking facility and a low carbon district heating system. The housing units are set to be located within a short walk from Mill Hill East underground station and less than 14km from central London.Prime Place’s managing director Brian Brady said: "Millbrook Park is an ideal fit for Prime Place’s strategy of providing outstanding homes in popular locations and close to excellent transport links. We are delighted to achieve approval from Barnet Council and anticipate starting work on site very soon.”
Construction services firm EllisDon has secured a $70.9M contract from Seneca College and Infrastructure Ontario to design, build and finance Seneca College’s King Campus expansion.
Transport for London (TfL) is seeking a contractor to construct the Barking Riverside extension in London, UK.The 4.5km extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking line will deliver London Overground services to a new station at the heart of the Barking Riverside community. Developer Barking Riverside, a joint venture between the GLA and London & Quadrant, is proving £172M in financing for the £263M project, with the remainder being provided by TfL.TfL's London Overground director Mike Stubbs said: "This vital new railway will open up the Barking Riverside area, supporting up to 10,800 new homes, along with new jobs and improved facilities for the local community."The London Overground network has helped regenerate other parts of London by providing a frequent, reliable and high standard rail services, and this rail extension will help Barking riverside to grow and develop."Construction on the project will commence in late 2017 with train services commencing in 2021.
ABB has completed the upgrade and refurbishment of the three high voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations on the power transmission link that delivers hydropower from Québec, Canada to New England, US.The upgrade of the world’s first multi-terminal link was completed for utilities Hydro-Québec and National Grid. The 1,500km link originally entered service in the early 1990s, and has provided the highly populated areas of Montreal and Boston with hydropower. With a total capacity of 2,000MW, the link can provide enough hydro-electricity for 3.8M people, based on average US household consumption.A critical part of the project has been ensuring minimal power interference and enabling commercial operation to be restored swiftly. As part of this latest upgrade, ABB has replaced the link’s hardware and software with its state-of-the-art MACH control and protection system. This ensures a continued, reliable and highly controllable power supply and enables advanced smart-grid studies for further grid optimisation in a timely manner, the company said.Patrick Fragman, managing director of ABB’s Grid systems business, said: “We pioneered HVDC technology and continue to lead the way through innovation, as with the latest control system being installed for this project. “The upgrade of the world’s first multi-terminal link reinforces ABB’s commitment to supporting customers through the lifecycle, and reiterates our focus on the service business, as part of our Next Level Strategy.”
Hong Kong-based property developer Far East Consortium International (FEC) has received a contract from Manchester Place and The Co-op for a housing development near Victoria Station in Manchester, UK. The project will include the construction of over 600 homes across four sites at Angel Meadow Park as part of the NOMA neighbourhood.NOMA — being delivered by a partnership between The Co-Operative Group and Hermes Investment Management — is a 20-acre neighbourhood in Manchester city centre, which will include new homes, offices, hotels, and retail and leisure space. The housing units, spanning across a total area of about 9,600sq m, will be for sale and rent, and will feature a landmark tower.FEC’s managing director Chris Hoong said: "This is one of the most exciting residential opportunities not just in Manchester but in the UK. We are very honoured and excited to be working with NOMA and the City Council. “We have assembled a team with the skills to deliver a new neighbourhood of international calibre and we would like this to be the start of a long relationship with the city.”Manchester Place CEO Paul Beardmore said: "This is an important site that will help to unlock the potential of the Irk Valley and Collyhurst. We are delighted to have reached this stage and the scale of the investment conveys a strong message of confidence to the market."
Construction work on the Glasgow Queen Street tunnel in Scotland has been completed.The £60M project included the renewal of 1,800m of concrete slab track and installation of over 4,000m of new rails.It also involved the extension and alteration of station platforms and track layouts within Queen Street.The tunnel and station have also been prepared for the electrification of the main Glasgow-Edinburgh line, which is anticipated in 2017.Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “I am pleased to see the work on the Queen Street tunnel completed ahead of schedule and on-budget. This has been an unprecedented project, both in engineering terms and in the scale of the operation required to keep people moving and services diverted via the underground platforms during the works. “This is a key milestone in our programme of investment for Scotland’s railways and literally paves the way for the introduction of a new generation of electric trains.”ScotRail Alliance’s managing director Phil Verster said: “The successful, early delivery of this project will allow us to introduce faster, longer and greener trains on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line — delivering thousands of extra seats, shorter journey times and improved accessibility for customers.”In the coming three years, works will continue within Glasgow’s Queen Street with the extension of the station out towards George Square and the creation of new concourse and passenger facilities.
Emaar Properties has unveiled new residential towers in the Opera District in Downtown Dubai.The “Act One | Act Two” residences are housed in 52- and 46-storey towers with views of the Burj Khalifa and Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, and located close to the Dubai Mall. The towers will feature 718 residential units as well as retail units and cafes, a health club, a spa and swimming pools.Emaar Properties’ managing director Ahmad Al Matrooshi said: “Act One | Act Two are truly a defining destination of choice for all culturally inclined as they now have the unique value proposition of living right next door to Dubai Opera.“A premium development that celebrates the vibrant cultural lifestyle of the city, the residences bring a one-of-a-kind lifestyle choice to the city.“The international launch of the project underlines the strong demand from discerning investors who cherish the inspired way of life that Act One | Act Two brings.”The residential towers will be launched internationally on a sales event in London on Wednesday, 10 August, at Harrods, followed by the Dubai launch on Thursday, 11 August, at Emaar Sales Centres.
Andritz Hydro has secured a €140M order from Spanish utility Iberdrola Generación for a new pumped storage hydropower plant in Gouvães, Portugal.Under the contract, the company will design, manufacture, supply and provide installation supervision for the complete electro- and hydro-mechanical equipment, including reversible pump turbines, motor generators and electrical power systems.It will also involve the design, manufacture, supply and complete installation of a penstock with a weight of 12,000t, a diameter of 5,400mm, and length of 2.5km.The hydropower plant — located on the Támega River in northern Portugal, close to the city of Porto — will have four pump turbines, each with a capacity of 220MW. It will consist of three power stations with a total power production of about 1,200MW.
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.