Dubai Expo 2020

Dear Jesus de Vicente,

Following a vote earlier today in Paris by the Bureau International des Expositions, it is our great honour and pleasure to announce that the UAE has been selected as the host nation of the World Expo 2020 in Dubai under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

This is a victory for our nation and for all who embraced the bid, from every corner of the UAE and from around the globe. We thank you for your overwhelming support.

We thank you again for supporting the bid.

Kind Regards,
The Dubai Expo 2020 team

Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, announces today that it has reached financial close in the £317 million Greater Gabbard offshore transmission project.

Balfour Beatty Investments is part of a consortium comprising Equitix and AMP Capital, each holding a one third share of the project. Balfour Beatty will invest one third of the required equity of £46 million.

 

This is Balfour Beatty’s first offshore transmission investment as part of Ofgem’s offshore transmission owner (“OFTO”) tender regime. Balfour Beatty will jointly own the OFTO assets and be responsible for their operation and maintenance under a long-term licence granted by Ofgem with a 20-year revenue entitlement.

 

The Greater Gabbard OFTO is the high-voltage transmission system which connects the 504MW Greater Gabbard Wind Farm located off the coast of Suffolk to the onshore transmission grid. Greater Gabbard will generate enough electricity to power around 500,000 homes each year. The OFTO assets include two offshore and one onshore substation and over 150km of sub-sea cable infrastructure.

 

To date, Balfour Beatty has been awarded preferred bidder status on three OFTO projects by Ofgem which together give Balfour Beatty the leading investor position in this market. The £163 million Thanet OFTO and the most recent win in July 2013 of the £346 million Gwynt y Mor OFTO are expected to close in 2014. Furthermore, Balfour Beatty is shortlisted for the West of Duddon Sands OFTO to be awarded in the first half of 2014. Future opportunities under Ofgem’s OFTO regime with a total capital value up to £8 billion are expected through 2020 with two projects in 2014.

 

Balfour Beatty CEO, Andrew McNaughton, said: “Reaching close on Greater Gabbard reinforces Balfour Beatty’s leading position in the growing and potentially very large offshore transmission markets. It is also a significant step in the development of our investment business in non-PPP infrastructure markets, as well as our wider strategy of developing our delivery capability in the offshore renewables industry.”

 

Expo win would act as deadline for projects

REIDIN – Daily Dubai – Nov 26, 2013

Dubai’s construction prospects will be given a major boost should the city be successful with its Expo 2020 bid, according to an industry expert.

The decision on which city will host the event will be made on Wednesday (27th) with Dubai competing against Sao Paolo (Brazil), Izmir (Turkey) and Ekaterinburg (Russia).

“If Dubai is successful in winning the Expo we will have a firm deadline as to when some of these projects will have to be completed,” said Rashid Khawaja, trade and investment adviser for UK Trade & Investment.

“We are very hopeful that these developments will happen regardless, but the Expo would give them a kick-start and a target to aim for. It would give us some momentum.”

Khawaja added that winning the event would create a similar scenario to Qatar, where the country wants to complete its building programme before the World Cup in 2022, and make further improvements before 2030, the year of the ‘National Vision’.

The UKTI is attending the Big 5 exhibition to support British businesses in their effort to work in the Middle East.

The UK government was one of the first to throw its support behind Dubai’s Expo bid, with Prime Minister David Cameron recently reiterating its desire to see the city win the vote.

Source: www.constructionweekonline.com

 

 

Iberdrola se ajusta en Estados Unidos tras perder 1.650 millones .

elconfidencial.com – Agustín Marco Twitter de Agustín Marco 25/11/2013 (06:00)

Iberdrola no sólo sufre problemas en España, donde los constantes cambios regulatorios han dañado su cuenta de resultados. También ha tenido que hacer frente a obstáculos muy costosos en Estados Unidos, un país que ha pasado de ser una esperanza a una inversión complicada. Para arreglar la situación, la eléctrica ha reorganizado sus numerosas filiales en un holding después de intentar sin éxito vender algunos de los activos.

El grupo presidido por Ignacio Sánchez Galán ha obtenido las aprobaciones necesarias para unificar sus diversas actividades en Estados Unidos en un solo conglomerado empresarial que se llamará Iberdrola USA Inc. Esta sociedad se compondrá de tres pilares, que operarán cada uno por separado, con sus respectivas cúpulas directivas y consejos de administración. Los tres negocios serán Iberdrola USA Networks, centrada en los activos regulados;Ibredrola Renewables, encargada de las energías limpias; e Ibedrola Energy Holding, cuya actividad será el gas natural.

Fuentes oficiales de la compañía con sede en Bilbao han explicado que se trata de alinear la estructura organizativa en Estados Unidos a la que el grupo tiene en otros países. Las mismas fuentes aseguran que detrás de esta reorganización no hay ningún objetivo de ahorro de costes o de pago de menores impuestos. Pero fuentes bancarias explican que ninguna compañía dedica tanto tiempo a un asunto como este si no persigue beneficios por la vía de reducir la factura con la Hacienda americana o simplificar los negocios para venderlos.

Porque Iberdrola lleva cerca de dos años trabajando con las autoridades regulatorias de los estados de Nueva York, Maine, New Hampshire y la Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) con el fin de lograr la autorización para consolidar las filiales en Estados Unidos en una única sociedad holding.  En concreto, en integrar Iberdrola Renewables Holdings e Iberdrola USA y en crear una intermedia, Iberdrola USA Networks, que acapara todas las actividades reguladas de electricidad y gas (es decir, NYSEG, RG&E, CMP, Maine Natural Gas y New Hampshire Gas Corporation).

Las autorizaciones, que se esperaban para antes del verano, han llegado un poco más tarde, la semana pasada. Pero Iberdrola ya ha conseguido reagrupar todos sus desperdigadas filiales que emplean a cerca de 5.000 personas en activos repartidos por 24 estados, desde Nueva Inglaterra hasta la Coste Oeste. La compañía asegura que esta reestructuración no afectará a las cúpulas directivas de las sociedades y a los empleados, y no tendrá coste alguno para los clientes.

Todos estos cambios llegan después de que Iberdrola tuviera que hacer una provisión de 1.650 millones de euros para compensar el deterioro de sus actividades en Estados Unidos, un país donde los negocios de gas y electricidad se han visto seriamente golpeados por el desarrollo del shale gas o gas pizarra. “Antes vendíamos el megavatio a 70 u 80 dólares y ahora a 30 o 40”, indicó Sánchez Galán a los analistas, para justificar las pérdidas en su inversión más grande al otro lado del Atlántico. Fue la compra de Energy East por más de 6.400 millones, una operación criticada en su momento por considerar que Iberdrola había pagado un precio excesivo.

Una inversión en venta

Unos números que han llevado al ingeniero de Salamanca a sondear la venta de varios parques eólicos en la mayor economía del mundo. Con ese fincontrató el pasado año a JP Morgan, al que le encargó desprenderse de negocios valorados entre 500 y 1.000 millones de euros. Iberdrola tiene algo más de 5.200 millones de Mw de potencia instalada, gracias en gran parte a la compra de Energy East en 2007 y a inversiones posteriores de otros 25.000 millones, especialmente en el estado de Maine.

Iberdrola aprovechó las grandes subvenciones del Gobierno de Barack Obama para desarrollar numerosos parques eólicos en Estados Unidos. Recibió casi 1.000 millones de euros en ayudas o ITC, con aportaciones del 30% de cada proyecto a fondo perdido. Sin embargo, el desarrollo de gas extraído de la roca o shale gas ha presionado mucho los precios de la energía, por lo que su presencia en algunos estados ha perdido interés para la compañía, cuyas tres nuevas filiales holding estarán ubicadas en New Gloucester (Maine), Portland (Oregón) y Houston (Texas). Además, Iberdrola ha tenido que hacer frente a demandas por parte de un fiscal general de Massachussets por cobrar demasiado a sus clientes 

Lo cierto es que, un año después de que JP Morgan se pusiera a trabajar en las desinversiones, no se tiene noticia de ninguna venta. Desde Iberdrola se argumenta que no han sido necesarias tras completar otras operaciones en Europa, como los traspasos de activos en Francia, Argelia y Polonia. La eléctrica, participada todavía por Bankia y por un fondo soberano de Qatar, se comprometió a soltar lastre por 2.000 millones entre finales de 2012 y 2014 y hasta la fecha ha logrado la mitad de su objetivo.

 

FMB criticises MPs’ decision not to scrap Code for Sustainable Homes

22/11/2013 14:04:08
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has said the government’s decision not to ditch the Code for Sustainable Homes was wrong, as it is now outdated when it comes to current building needs.

Following the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee’s report into the Code for Sustainable Homes and the Housing Standards Review, it was decided that the Code would be maintained. However, the FMB has called the review ‘one-sided’ and said the committee should re-examine the evidence presented.

The Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) had intended to phase out the Code, following a recent Housing Standards Review.

According to chief executive of the FMB, Brian Berry, the building industry has struggled to keep up with the rules, standards and restrictions that overlap between local and national standards. These have added extra costs and complexity to housing projects, especially affecting small firms and developments.

“The Housing Standards Review, which took place over an extended period of time with input from all interested parties, systematically examined the different standards in operation and proposed a clear way forward: a set of tiered national standards and the incorporation of these standards over time, wherever possible, into Building Regulations,” he stated.

Mr Berry suggested this would create a “clear and sensible line of distinction” between the planning system. This would help buildings focus on their immediate environment and understand local authorities and other Building Regulations.

He said the Code is now outdated and new policy on sustainable building has “outstripped” any need for it.

“It must be recognised that current energy efficiency standards required under Part L of the Building Regulations, and the proposed uplift in standards due to be implemented in 2014, are already extremely ambitious and highly challenging for the industry,” he said.

“The idea that local authorities would be looking to set higher standards still is baffling, and frankly divorced from reality.”

News@careerstructure.com

 

Manchester to welcome construction boom

22/11/2013 18:03:46
The Greater Manchester area is expected to see a huge increase in the demand for labour in the coming years, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce has revealed exclusively to Construction News.

Speaking to the publication, the region will see a 200 per cent increase in the need for skills and labour, with £11 billion in new work coming to the market by 2017.

According to the Greater Manchester Construction Pipeline Analysis, as detailed on Construction News’ website, a total of almost £16 billion in investment will be ploughed into the city for new schemes and redevelopments.

Housing is the sector that will receive the most investment (£5.6 billion), with substantial amounts of money also set to be earned from work in the private commercial (£4.6 billion), infrastructure (£2.21 billion) and public non-residential areas too.

While the boost to the area is certainly a positive for the local economy, the report also revealed there could soon be a skills shortages in certain areas, with interior fit-out, steel erectors and building envelope specialists all set to be sought after.

Following this news, CareerStructure will take a look at some of the projects that have been awarded in the north-west city in recent weeks.

At the start of the month, a joint venture between Carillion and Morgan Sindall confirmed they had claimed a £100 million contract for the construction work on the A6 for the Manchester Airport Relief Road scheme.

Work could begin in October next year, if planning approval is confirmed for the 10km stretch. The relief road would bypass heavily-congested areas in Bramhall, Cheadle Hulme, Hazel Grove and Handforth.

Sue Derbyshire, leader of the Stockport Council, said the road will improve the economy and help to reduce congestion on local roads.

It has also been confirmed that the Highways Agency will be conducting a motorway project, for parts of the M60 and M62.

The scheme is intended to reduce congestion and journey times in the area, under the ‘smart motorways’ project. It is the first of its kind in the north-west and will be priced between £190 million and £267 million.

Work could begin as early as 2014, as long as statutory processes are completed. The finished project will include technology to monitor traffic levels and provide information to road users.

Senior project manager at the Highways Agency Jacqui Allen said: “More than 180,000 vehicles use the section of motorway between Junction 8 of the M60 and Junction 20 of the M62 every day, causing heavy congestion and unpredictable journey times.

“Converting the hard shoulder to an extra lane on the section of the M62 between Junctions 18 and 20 will also provide much-needed additional capacity, increasing the number of lanes on each side of the motorway from three to four,” she added.

Elsewhere, Deloitte Real Estate has applied for planning permission to construct a ten-storey office building in Spinningfields.

The scheme aims to accommodate businesses from the technology, media and telecoms sector.

Early plans suggest the lower floors of The Cotton Building, as it will be called, will include communal workspace, co-location facilities, a gym and wellbeing centre, cafe, bar and restaurants.

A series of building and service concierges will also be made available to provide essential support for start-ups, small businesses and established corporates.

Director in the planning team at Deloitte Real Estate John Cooper said:  “[Developer] Allied London’s new building is an exciting concept that brings work and play together and is something that no one has developed in this city.

“Allied London is at an advantage as it has already developed the necessary infrastructure around the building and wider estate to support the new model,” he added.

News@careerstructure.com;

 

Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, has been awarded a £42 million contract to design and build new student accommodation to provide 726 bedrooms for the University of Birmingham.

The contract to deliver the ‘Chamberlain Halls’ halls of residence involves the demolition and re-building of the existing Eden Tower and the build of a new 20-storey tower, together with three linear ‘finger’ buildings situated along Church Road in Edgbaston.

 

By fully deploying its range of capabilities, Balfour Beatty will deliver the project in just 100 weeks.  The company will utilise BIM (Building Information Management) for the planning of the project, providing value-engineering and long term management solutions. Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering will carry out piling with Balfour Beatty Engineering Services, through its Modular Systems+ facility in Wednesbury, providing bespoke pre-fabricated mechanical and electrical units housing ducting, cabling and pipe-work for the building which can be installed quickly on-site further reducing the construction time. Furniture for the bedrooms and communal areas will be provided by Footprint Furniture, a Balfour Beatty company.

 

The building will meet the highest Government approved EPC ‘A’ category for energy efficiency through the use of brick cladding for insulation, a copper rainscreen and glazed curtain walling to reduce heat loss.

 

This contract award builds on Balfour Beatty’s consistently strong performance in the student accommodation sector for which it has recently been awarded schemes at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Bangor and University of Exeter as well as for student accommodation providers Urbanest and Unite.

 

Tony Dixon, Managing Director of Construction at Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK said: “This scheme for the University of Birmingham builds on our significant portfolio of work in the student accommodation sector.

 

“Through the extensive use of BIM and support from our specialist teams across our business, we will deliver a high quality and great value for money scheme which will achieve some of the highest levels of energy efficiency, reducing whole life costs of the facility.”

 

Ian Barker, Director of Estates at the University of Birmingham, said: “The University is committed to providing the highest quality facilities for students, staff and visitors to campus. This project forms an important part of our drive to make the University more environmentally sustainable – building on the 20% reduction in carbon emissions that we have achieved to date. We were impressed by the work which Balfour Beatty has done in this sector and are delighted to have appointed their experts to carry out work on the new Chamberlain Halls of Residence.”

 

Construction is scheduled for completion in the winter of 2015.

 

Dubai developers set to sell land plots near Expo 2020 site worth billions

REIDIN – DAILY DUBI – Nov 21, 2013

Dubai developers are set to release billions of dollars worth of development land around the proposed Expo 2020 site as the countdown to the announcement of the bid decision begins.

Tasweek, an Abu Dhabi-based property investor, is among several developers working up plans for housing schemes close to the 438-hectare site.

The private company, set up in 2009 by former the Emaar and Sorouh executive Masood Al Awar, said it had signed a joint venture with a landowner to develop 800 new town houses close to the Exhibition City site.

Tasweek said it planned to start selling the first phase of 400 homes in the coming months and already had investors lined up to buy many of them.

“Lots of developers are buying land in this area,” Mr Al Awar said. “The Expo site will be a new centre for Dubai as it expands beyond Sheikh Zayed Road. This site is only 30 minutes from Abu Dhabi. The development will provide a boost to both Abu Dhabi and Dubai.”

There is less than a week left before the Bureau International des Expositions makes its final decision on whether Dubai will host Expo 2020.

Mr Al Awar warned that a successful bid could lead to the escalation of property prices. “We are building affordable luxury homes. People should be careful that prices are not jacked up after the bid,” he said. “Just as people need to be cautious when the market is falling, they also need to be cautious when it rises. Otherwise it is not sustainable.”

The news comes as the Dubai master developer Nakheel began selling 500 plots of land to smaller developers to build housing at its Al Furjan project, which is a five-minute drive from the Expo site.

Land plots on the property project between Sheikh Zayed Road and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road range between 4,800 square feet and 13,000 square feet, while prices range from Dh1.1 million to Dh3.3m.

A Nakheel spokesman said the developer was expecting a high level of investment interest.

“This newly-released land is ideal for serious investors looking to develop new homes in one of Dubai’s most convenient, sought-after locations,” he said.

Nakheel said the launch was “as per its business plan and not related to the Expo”.

Property experts say a successful announcement next Wednesday will be a major boon for the property market and expect more developments to be announced in the coming weeks.

Craig Plumb, Jones Lang LaSalle’s head of research at its Dubai office, said Nakheel might have been among the first to sell land plots to developers, but there were many master developers who own major sites close to the Expo site.

“Over the coming months we expect to see many more land sales in the area around the Expo site as well as a wave of new projects,” Mr Plumb said.

Earlier this week, master developer Dubai Properties Group (DPG) reported a “marked increase” in demand from other developers to buy plots of land at its 278-square kilometre Dubailand district. The Arjan, Marjan and Liwan areas of Dubailand are just a few minutes’ drive from the Expo venue.

DPG said it was considering developing a building park for logistics companies on the site to meet growing demand.

Khalid Al Malik, DPG’s chief executive, said Dubailand was an important district, and investor interest would lead to its continued development and growth.

“With the possibility of Dubai hosting the World Expo in 2020, the market trend for growth and investor demand in our key districts across Dubai has been further enhanced,” Mr Al Malik said.

Indeed, Expo expectations are running high in the city. CFA Society Emirates, an association of local investment professionals, yesterday said that 97 per cent of the 215 charterholder members it surveyed said they believed the UAE was either likely or very likely to win the Expo bid

The society said that 76 per cent of respondents expected a positive or significant impact on the real estate sector.

However, it added that 55 per cent of respondents were concerned that a successful bid for Expo 2020 would create another economic bubble.
Source: www.thenational.ae

 

Tasweek casts a wide net for investors

REIDIN – Daily Dubai – Nov 21, 2013

Dubai: Hospitality projects could be an immediate beneficiary of investor interest as Dubai closes in on its Expo 2020 bid.

“The surge in various business sectors — from trade to hospitality to tourism — is having an effect on the capital inflow within Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” said Masood Al Awar, CEO of Tasweek Real Estate Development and Marketing. “We feel the time is opportune to invest strongly in iconic real estate here.

“Tourism arrivals are in the millions within the UAE and proof enough of the growing pre-eminence as a preferred holiday destination, which is fuelling the need for more hotel rooms and projects.”

Tasweek is casting the net for potential deals that could be worth Dh1 billion through four investment opportunities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The potential deals include three hotel projects worth Dh850 million besides a retail development deal worth Dh200 million.

“Our strategy is aimed at driving interest and strengthening the Emirates’ competitive edge as a favourable investment destination — not only in real estate but across an array of sectors,” Al Awar said.

Source: www.gulfnews.com

 

 

Construction spend to hit $329bn by 2030

REIDIN – Daily Dubai – Nov 19, 2013

The UAE is due to spend $329 billion delivering major construction programs by 2030, according to EC Harris’s latest study: “Middle East major construction programs – mitigating the risk”.

These construction programs, defined as programs costing more than $1billion and delivered over a relatively short period of time, are set to peak in the UAE in 2016 with $40.4 billion due to be completed.

With other Middle East countries undertaking their own programs, the report highlights the potential squeeze on labour and material resources which could impact delivery.

Across the Middle East the report found that more than 117 major programs, incorporating major infrastructure, energy, property and transportations projects, are planned for completion by 2030 costing more than $1tr.

Source: www.constructionweekonline.com