Contractors selected to battle for London sewer works

30/10/2013 18:03:43

Eight contractors are set to put their case forward to provide services for work on the Thames Tideway Tunnel, which will help to improve sewage systems in the UK capital.

The announcement was made by Thames Water yesterday (October 29th) and reveals that contractors will be fighting it out for one or more of the three packages of work that are on offer, with each separated into geographical locations, including the east, west and central areas of the city.

It is hoped the project will help improve the capital’s current Victorian systems, which could come under problems from overflowing, and safeguard against increasing pollution. The new systems will be ready for the rigours of the next 100 years, the Thames Tideway Tunnel group has said.

Construction work on the major scheme could begin in 2016 if the Development Consent Application is granted approval by the Planning Inspectorate. The project will involve 24 construction sites across London.

The three packages will be worth in the region of £2.3 billion, and the bidding groups for each are as follows:

Bam Nuttall, Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall JV
Costain, Vinci, Bachy JV
Dragados, Samsung JV
Ferrovial Agroman, Laing O’Rourke JV

Bam Nuttall, Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall JV
Costain, Vinci, Bachy JV
Ferrovial Agroman, Laing O’Rourke JV
Skanska, Bilfinger, Razel Bec JV

Bam Nuttall, Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall JV
Bechtel, Strabag JV
Bouygues Travaux Publics
Costain, Vinci, Bachy JV
Hochtief, Murphy JV

As well as provided much needed sewage work for London and helping to further clean up the River Thames, the scheme as a whole is expected to create up to 9,000 construction jobs during the process.

Mike Gerrard, managing director of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, said the scheme will make the systems ready for 22nd Century London and will make the river cleaner and healthier.

“The Thames Tideway Tunnel is needed to tackle the millions of tonnes of raw sewage which discharge into the River Thames every year. The river needs cleaning up and it needs to be cleaned up now,” he said.

“It will be the biggest tunnelling project ever undertaken in the UK’s water industry. We have shortlisted the contractors with the right expertise and experience, who will deliver the best value for money for our customers.”

Mr Gerrard said he is “confident” that the firm with the successful tender bid will be more than capable of delivering the project.

The multi-billion scheme will be financed and delivered by an independent Infrastructure Provider (IP), that will have its own licence from Ofwat – the regulator of water and sewage providers in England and Wales.

Financing arrangements for the scheme will also be overseen by a collaboration of Thames Water, the UK government and Ofwat, with these still yet to be finalised.

It has also been suggested that the new IP will be procured sometime in 2014, and early suggestions say it could take between six and nine months to find an appropriate party.


Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, today announces the award of UK two coastal defence contracts totalling £73 million for Blackpool Council and Wyre Council.

The £20 million Anchorsholme Scheme for Blackpool Council and the £53 million Rossall Scheme for Wyre Council will replace over 2.9km of the original 1930’s seawalls as part of the promenade renewal and beach management projects.


We will utilise Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology on both schemes at design development stage and throughout construction to create a virtual environment to mitigate risks and manage interfaces prior to starting works on site. Upon handover of the schemes, we will train teams from both Councils to use BIM for asset management purposes including ongoing operations, maintenance planning and monitoring.


Our relationships with Blackpool Council and Wyre Council span over 13 years during which time we have enjoyed a fully collaborative approach enabling us to deliver consistently high quality sea defences that exceed our customers’ requirements.


Andrew McNaughton, Balfour Beatty Chief Executive Officer said;


“We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with both Blackpool Council and Wyre Council. “Drawing on our extensive experience of delivering coastal defence schemes, we will utilise innovative construction methods such as BIM to deliver first class civil engineering schemes that will protect over 12,000 properties and local infrastructure from the risk of coastal flooding.”


Works on both contracts will commence on site this winter with completion for Anchorsholme in summer 2015 and completion for Rossall in the summer of 2017.


Both schemes will be predominantly funded by the Environment Agency.  They form part of the wider Fylde Peninsula Coastal Programme which aims to protect properties from flooding and regenerate parkland areas for local community use.


Abu Dhabi new terminal to open in 2017

REIDIN – DAILI DUBAI – Oct 22, 2013

A new 10.8 billion dirham ($2.9 billion) terminal at Abu Dhabi’s international airport will be operational in July 2017, aiming to double passenger capacity, Tony Douglas, chief executive of Abu Dhabi Airports, told reporters on Monday.

The 700,000 sq m terminal is designed to boost the capacity of the airport to 30 million passengers annually and will be used by Etihad Airways, the emirate’s flag carrier, and its partners. Currently, the airport handles around 15 million passengers per year.

The mid-field terminal, so called because of its location between the airport’s two runways, is one of the key infrastructure projects under construction in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

A consortium of Turkey’s TAV Insaat, Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Co and Dubai’s Arabtec is building the terminal.


Is the construction industry ready for the “next big wave?”

24/10/2013 18:03:54

Following on from a previous article about  construction figures showing strength across the country, it has been recently announced that nearly three quarters of UK construction companies are positive about industry prospects over the next five years.

The construction sector has already signalled that around 5000 construction jobs will be created – and that’s just the start of it. In 2015, £30 billion will be invested in electricity distribution and the rolling out of round two offshore, meaning many more jobs and opportunities will be created.

The next step for UK companies has to be investing in company growth. This needs to happen now as the industry resurgence is already underway and the only way this can be achieved is by recruiting talent.

Although this is great news for everyone involved in the construction industry and with numerous articles announcing that we’re set for a boom, the real question we should be asking is: ‘Is the construction industry ready for the next big wave?’. If not how are we going to help it?

Just looking at the amount of engineering and technology colleges being built and improved across the UK, it’s clear that the industry and government are looking towards generation ‘Y’ to help move the industry forward. However, this won’t help short term, so there will be a battle over the next two to three years to attract and retain top talent.


Coventry bridge to be delivered by Costain and Atkins

23/10/2013 18:03:42
The latest part of the regeneration of Coventry will see Costain and consulting engineer Atkins join forces to construct a £12.7million bridge.

Atkins will design the scheme alongside Costain and the local council, with work expected to commence at the beginning of 2014. If everything goes according to plan, the project could be completed by the summer of 2015.

The development of the bridge will be a major part of the work at Friargate – the new 300,000 m sq mixed use development for Coventry – and the train station, while the council are expected to move to a newly constructed office building to be featured on the site.

The scheme as a whole hopes to deliver an excellent business quarter for Coventry and will see the Friargate area connected to the city centre.

Plans include the construction of 14 Grade A office buildings, two hotels and residential property. Furthermore, it will make streets more vibrant by bringing new shops, restaurants and bars to the cathedral city, in addition to public spaces and an expansion of Greyfriars Green.

Funding for the bridge deck project has been provided by the Regional Growth Fund, available from the UK government.

Project director for Atkins Mark Larder said the scheme will be “a great opportunity” for both Atkins and the city of Coventry, in order to mould the future infrastructure of the area.

“We are looking forward tackling the design challenges, such as incorporating new structures in existing ones and amending the highway infrastructure to help ensure that this new business district is a place where people really want to both work and live,” he said.

“Once completed, the council expects the bridge deck and new boulevard will combine to set a new standard for the UK in pedestrian routes between a train station and city centre.”


El precio del metro cuadrado acumula un descenso del 38,1% desde 2007, según Tinsa

Guadalajara y Toledo son las provincias donde el precio del metro cuadrado registra las mayores caídas acumuladas, con retrocesos superiores al 50% desde valores máximos, seguidas por Zaragoza (-49,9%) y Barcelona (-49,8%). En tasa interanual, en el tercer trimestre del año el descenso fue del 9,3%.  Madrid – Europa Press | 22/10/2013

El precio por metro cuadrado de la vivienda bajó un 9,3% en el tercer trimestre del año en relación al mismo periodo de 2012 y ya acumula un recorte del 38,1% desde el último trimestre de 2007, cuando se alcanzaron valores máximos, según un informe de Tasaciones Inmobiliarias (Tinsa).

El descenso interanual del precio del metro cuadrado registrado en el tercer trimestre es inferior a los logrados en el segundo y el primer trimestre de este año (-10,5% y -12,1%, respectivamente).

Por comunidades autónomas, el recorte interanual más acusado del valor de la vivienda lo registró La Rioja (-17,8%), seguida de Madrid (-14,3%) y Castilla-La Mancha (-12,5%).

En Galicia, Aragón, Cantabria, Castilla y León, Murcia, Catalunya, Comunitat Valenciana y Andalucía se experimentaron descensos de entre el 10% y el 12%, mientras que Asturias y Extremadura redujeron un 9,9% y un 8,4%, respectivamente, el precio del metro cuadrado.

Los menores descensos corresponden a Navarra (-1,4%) y Canarias (-4,3%) y sólo Baleares registró un aumento interanual en este trimestre (+0,4%).

En relación al último trimestre de 2007, cuando se alcanzaron valores máximos, los mayores descensos, superiores al 45%, los presentan Castilla-La Mancha (-48,6%), Catalunya (-48,2%), Aragón (-47,4%) y La Rioja (-47,2%). Por su parte, Asturias (-27,2%), Balears (-29,1%), Galicia (-29,6%) y Extremadura (-29,7%) han recortado los precios, desde valores máximos, algo menos de un 30%.

Por provincias, La Rioja (-17,8%), Guadalajara (-17,5%), Valencia (-14,5%) y Madrid (-14,3%) son las que más han recortado el precio del metro cuadrado en valores interanuales en el tercer trimestre. Más moderados han sido los descensos de Navarra (-1,4%), Zamora (-2,3%) y Teruel (-3%).

En cuanto a las caídas acumuladas desde valores máximos, Guadalajara y Toledo registran retrocesos superiores al 50%, seguidos de cerca por Zaragoza (-49,9%) y Barcelona (-49,8%).


Northern Ireland construction sector emerges from recession

22/10/2013 18:03:47

The construction industry throughout the UK has been picking up in recent months and Northern Ireland has experienced the latest boost.

According to new research from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a rise in workloads has been seen in the region for the first time in five years. This suggests that the construction industry in the area has now exited recession.

However, despite these signs of improvement, RICS also revealed that Northern Ireland is still lagging some way behind the rest of the UK when it comes to economic recovery.

Jim Sammon, RICS spokesperson, said the workload balance returning to a positive state after a long downturn is encouraging for the local industry.

The economic crisis has had a significant impact on the Northern Ireland construction sector, with an estimated 26,000 construction jobs lost since 2008. Improving workloads should reverse this trend and see more positions created in the coming months.

Northern Ireland is now looking to maintain this recovery, and Mr Sammon suggested ways in which this can be achieved.

“We would urge the NI Executive to encourage and nurture a recovery by increasing infrastructure spending through moving more money from current to capital spending,” he said.

“Infrastructure is a driver of growth and competitiveness. Its upkeep, development and maintenance is also essential to a well-functioning society.”

A rise in workloads was seen in most areas of the industry, apart from private industry, which experienced a fall during quarter three of 2013.

Like the rest of the UK, the housing market in Northern Ireland has been boosted by government schemes such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy.

The news of recovery has come shortly after the head of the Northern Ireland Centre for Economic Policy Neil Gibson said industry in the region is starting to wake up from “hibernation”.

Now, the Northern Ireland industry should look towards making ground on the rest of the UK and creating more construction jobs for people in the area.


Economists predict sustained construction growth

21/10/2013 18:03:48

The construction industry is set to witness growth over the coming four years, according to the latest statistics from the Construction Products Association (CPA).

It has been predicted that the industry, currently worth in the region of £111 billion, will see a 19 per cent increase to £132 billion by 2017. While obviously being a boost to the sector and for jobs in construction, there will also be benefits for the wider economy, providing an additional £20 billion towards UK GDP.

Noble Francis, economics director of CPA, said private housing work has helped to support growth and the industry’s emergence from the worst recession in 35 years. He added that infrastructure is also helping, with a “gradual return to positive territory”.

“The private housing sector is being driven by recovery in the wider economy and the impacts of policies including Help to Buy, which have driven both house prices and house building. This is expected to lead to private house starts increasing 19.0 per cent in 2013 and 15.0 per cent in 2014, albeit from historic low levels of house building,” he added.

However, Mr Francis also warned that an end to these policies could leave the housing market in trouble, as it might not have got to a point where it is fully self-sustaining. This will have a knock-on effect to construction levels.

When it comes to infrastructure, the expert economist said the sector is recovering from a difficult period in 2012 and that government focus and capital investment in repairs and renewals will help in the coming years. The development of Crossrail, Europe’s largest construction project, could also peak in the next year and a half.

Mr Francis said that two other sectors will also be vital for growth in the coming years and need to improve to support this.

“First, work in the largest sector of commercial (offices and retail) remains one-third lower than its high in 2007. Second, public sector construction, which accounts for one-third of total industry output, continues to constrain overall growth,” he noted.


NH y Caja Duero sufren el embargo de su promoción de lujo en Rep. Dominicana – Agustín MarcoTwitter de Agustín MarcoEnviar correo a Agustín Marco 22/10/2013 (06:00)


Ni el lujo se vende cuando se trata de ladrillo, pese a que el entorno sea un lugar tan atractivo como las mejores playas del Caribe, con campos de golf, puerto marítimo y todo tipo de prestaciones de alto standing en las exclusivas urbanizaciones del este de la República Dominicana. Este país acaba de embargar a NH Hoteles y Caja Duero una promoción de viviendas sólo apta para millonarios con la que la empresa española y la caja castellana pretendían exportar el modelo de opulencia de Sotogrande.

Según han confirmado fuentes oficiales, el Banco de Reservas de la República Dominicana (Banreservas) se ha quedado con 41 unidades inmobiliarias del proyecto Cap Cana como resultado de la ejecución de las garantías por impago de la promotora, la sociedad Capredo Investment. La entidad financiera, la mayor del país, ha canjeado la deuda pendiente de pago, que ascendía a 24,8 millones de dólares, por las viviendas que fueron construidas por NH Hoteles y Caja Duero junto con un socio local.

La cadena hotelera y la caja de ahorros son dueñas de un 25% respectivamente de Capredo Investment, compañía domiciliada en Suiza con la que en el año 2006 lanzaron el proyecto para construir un hotel de máxima categoría con 90 habitaciones y alrededor de 335 viviendas de lujo en tres fases. La promoción fue llamada Sotogrande at Cap Cana para atraer tanto a los pudientes clientes españoles que ya tenían propiedades en la exclusiva bahía de San Roque (Cádiz) como a los extranjeros que habían saboreado el encanto de la marina gaditana.

NH Hoteles quería replicar el éxito de Sotogrande, la urbanización de alto nivel adquisitivo donde las familias con más poder económico del país pasan sus vacaciones estivales. Con ese fin, el 15 de octubre del 2008 inició la construcción de la primera fase de apartamentos, constituidos por 122 unidades con 21.650 metros cuadrados, en una parcela de casi 40.000 metros. Esta primera fase fue terminada a finales de noviembre del  2010, ya con la crisis financiera mundial en pleno apogeo.

La promotora consiguió vender 78 viviendas, de las que finalmente sólo había entregado 71, ya que siete estaban en procesos de entrega o de renegociación con los compradores. Las restantes 44 se quedaron terminadas, vacías, sin nadie que pagase por ellas. Tras varias negociaciones con el Banreservas, la entidad financiera dominicana ha optado por ejecutar la garantía (41 casas) y quedarse con los apartamentos a cambio de anular la deuda. Es lo que se conoce como dación en pago.

Obviamente, NH Hoteles, en una grave situación financiera por impago de su deuda, y Caja Duero, que tuvo que ser rescatada por el Estado, paralizaron la construcción de la segunda y la tercera promoción, amén del hotel. Los promotores esgrimen el impacto de la crisis mundial en los potenciales clientes como justificación del fracaso del proyecto, del que el grupo hotelero participado por Bankia y por Amancio Ortega aún sacaba pecho en 2010.

En aquel momento, Gabrielle Burgio, el presidente de NH, aseguraba que “es un producto que como todos está sufriendo la crisis, pero parece que esta zona está menos afectada. Tiene clientes de todo el mundo, como fue y sigue siendo Sotogrande”, de la que la cadena española es el máximo accionista. El italiano fue despedido de la compañía hotelera en 2011 con una indemnización de 6,5 millones.

Un proyecto mareante

La inversión inicial se estimó en 100 millones de dólares, pero rápidamente se elevó hasta los 230 porque los promotores decidieron ampliar el número de viviendas a más de 500 y el hotel a más de 300 habitaciones. “Cap Cana, uno de los lugares más atractivos y con una belleza natural única del Caribe, tendrá un exclusivo club de playa (ya en funcionamiento) y 6 campos de golf de 18 hoyos, de los que 3 están siendo diseñados por Jack Nicklaus, el mejor golfista de todos los tiempos”, explicaba NH para atraer a los inversores, a los que les garantizaba la construcción de una marina con capacidad para500 yates y un gran canal “rodeado de tiendas de lujo, restaurantes de alta cocina y plazas hoteleras del más alto nivel”.

El socio local era la familia Hazoury, que consiguió que el magnate estadounidense Donald Trump se convirtiera en financiador del proyecto. Pero el inversor dominicano empezó a tener problemas serios ya en 2007, con múltiples acusaciones de impagos y fraudes. Posteriormente no pudo hacer frente a los 100 millones que le habían prestado Deutsche Bank y Morgan Stanley ni a una demanda interpuesta por el millonario americano por incumplimiento de contrato.

Todo un proyecto de ostentación que, como otros muchos en España, ha acabado en manos de la banca.


EdF construirá la primera central nuclear de Reino Unido en veinte años.

EXPANSION.COM – 21.10.2013LONDRES / PARÍS Europa Press0

El grupo galo controla el consorcio encargado de levantar las instalaciones, junto a Arena y las chinas CGN y CNNC. Un grupo de empresas liderado por Electricite de France (EdF) y en el que también participan Areva y las chinas CGN y CNNC han llegado a un acuerdo con el Gobierno de Reino Unido sobre las condiciones comerciales para la construcción de una central nuclear en la localidad británica de Hinkley Point, la primera en el país desde 1995, que supondrá una inversión de 16.000 millones de libras (unos 19.000 millones de euros). Según los términos del acuerdo, EdF contará con una participación de entre el 45% y el 50% en el consorcio, mientras que la empresa pública nuclear Areva ostentará una participación del 10%. Por su parte, las compañías China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) y China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) controlarán entre un 30% y un 40%. Asimismo, la compañía francesa indicó que se están manteniendo conversaciones con otras empresas que podrían adquirir hasta un 15% de la sociedad encargada de construir la planta nuclear. El contrato de explotación, con una duración de 35 años, contempla un precio de 92,5 libras por megavatio, que se vería reducido a 89,5 libras por megavatio en caso de completarse la construcción de un segundo reactor en Sizewell. El primer ministro británico, David Cameron, destacó que la inversión permitirá crear alrededor de 25.000 puestos de trabajo y subrayó que el proyecto “marca el comienzo de una nueva generación para la energía nuclear en Reino Unido, que tendrá un papel importante en la cobertura de las necesidades energéticas del país y la garantía del suministro”.