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Parsons Brinckerhoff, the professional services division of Balfour Beatty, in association with Fluor Corporation, will provide project management consulting services for the design and construction of a new rail line between the Red Sea and Persian Gulf in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Landbridge project is a 950-kilometre (590-mile) double-track railway connecting Jeddah on the Red Sea—the busiest port in Saudi Arabia and a major gateway for cargo from Europe and North America—with the city of Riyadh. The new railway will connect with the existing 450-kilometre (280-mile) line between Riyadh and King Abdul Aziz Port at Dammam—another major commercial port in Saudi Arabia—on the Gulf coast. The project also includes a new 115-kilometre (71-mile) extension between Dammam and Jubail. The Saudi Landbridge project is being developed as a state-funded project by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

Parsons Brinckerhoff performed the original planning for the project in 1997 as part of the overall planning for railway programs in Saudia Arabia. The firm will be providing project management services for the Saudi Landbridge in association with Fluor Corporation, which was awarded the management consultancy contract by the Saudi Public Investment Fund. The contract period is approximately eight years.

Parsons Brinckerhoff will provide support for development of complex elements of the new railway, such as the tunnels and bridges that will be needed to cross the varied terrain. The project will include several civil and track contracts, at least one design-build civil and track works contract in the vicinity of Jeddah, and a significant amount of tunnelling and earthworks.

The new railway will serve primarily as a freight route that will significantly improve the efficiency of cargo transport. The port-to-port connection time will be reduced to approximately 10 hours from the three days currently needed to move cargo by ship between the ports. The schedule and cost savings from construction and operation of the new line will provide a substantial boost to the regional freight economy. The railway will also be used for passenger transport in future, potentially serving millions of passengers each year.

Dubai developer awards $272 million hotel contract to Turkey’s TAV

Turkys Daily Sep 09, 2013
Private UAE developer DAMAC Properties has awarded the Dubai branch of Turkey’s TAV Construction a one-billion-dirham ($272.3 million) contract to build a luxury hotel complex near the world’s tallest building, the company said.

The deal with TAV Tepe Afken Investment Construction and Operations, described as the largest single contract to be awarded by DAMAC, is expected to run for 33 months, it said in a statement on Saturday.

Each of the four towers which make up ‘DAMAC Towers by Paramount’ will rise over 250 metres and will feature 540 hotel rooms and over 1,400 service apartments. The development is in the Burj area of Dubai, close to the Burj Khalifa.

Developers in Dubai are reviving stalled projects and announcing new ones as the emirate’s property market recovers gradually after prices tumbled by 50 percent in 2008.

DAMAC has announced a series of projects over the last few months including a new golf course along with American real-estate mogul Donald Trump.

Sources told Reuters in April that the developer had submitted requests to leading international banks for a possible listing of its shares.

August sees six-year high for construction PMI

03/09/2013 18:03:41
Latest figures from Markit/CIPS has revealed that the British construction industry saw the fastest growth in activity for six years in August.
The purchasing managers index (PMI) settled at 59.1 during last month, marking the highest its been since September 2007. Not only is this a notable rise on the 57.0 seen in July, but it is far above the 50 threshold needed to claim growth. This has now been the case for four consecutive months.
Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, said: “The latest construction PMI figures are yet another indication that the UK economy has performed impressively over the summer months.
“A steep upturn in civil engineering activity suggested that public sector demand has joined residential building as a key driver of construction output growth during August.”
Continued success in regards to housing developments is one of the reasons for the growth in the industry, although some experts are growing concerned that the increased government stimulus could perhaps contribute to a housing bubble.
According to chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply David Noble, builders have noticed a step change in recent months and are showing their “true potential” to support the UK economy.
“This new direction brings new challenges, not least the prospect of additional work and insufficient capacity to meet demand. How the sector navigates these tensions and manages the supply chain could come to define its performance over the coming months,” he added.
According to the report, residential construction activity was still outperforming other sub-sectors, with a rise in output which was at its fastest since June 2010. However, there were also improvements in civil engineering activity – at its strongest since September 2007 – and commercial construction.
Construction companies suggested that increased business was achieved by an upturn in client spending. August also saw the fastest increase in incoming new work since March 2012.