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Civil Engineering in the news today - Monday 26 January

The economics of the world's biggest offshore wind-farm project are 'on a knife-edge', the chief executive of one of the companies behind it has warned, casting doubt on the UK government’s energy strategy...

...Eon UK, the British arm of the German energy group, said the viability of its London Array project, a planned 1,000MW wind farm in the Thames estuary, had been called into question by the falling prices of oil, gas and carbon dioxide emissions permits - Financial Times

Cities throughout the UK will be harder hit than they expect by the recession but most exposed are those outside the south-east with low employment rates and high numbers of residents with no qualifications, say the authors of a new report published today. Even some of the country's most affluent cities are vulnerable to recession, warn the researchers. On a rating of red, amber and green, a number of cities, including London, Edinburgh and Bristol, are ranked amber for exposure to the downturn, despite a very skilled local workforce, because of their high concentrations of banking, finance and insurance jobs - Financial Times

A chilling phrase is about to make its first appearance for a long time in many company accounts: "significant doubt". Those two words are particularly worrying when they are linked to another pair: "going concern". Annual reports from companies with calendar year-ends are due to appear in the coming weeks. Auditors are currently in intense discussion with clients finalising the reports and questions around "going concern" are the biggest issue they face - Financial Times

Ministers have had to bring in an investigator in an attempt to rescue a huge building programme that has ground to a halt because of the credit crunch. John Denham, the Skills Secretary has just appointed Sir Andrew Foster to look into the problems facing a programme of building or renovating sixth-form and further education colleges, The Times has learnt - The Times

Corus is set to cut up to 3,500 jobs, raising fears that manufacturers will unleash a fresh wave of redundancies this week. The steelmaker, owned by Tata, the Indian conglomerate, will announce cuts this week in what is likely to be one of the worst single job culls since the recession took hold, it is understood - The Times

Wholesale electricity prices will be forced up by 20% under the European Union's carbon trading scheme, according to the UK's largest energy analysts. Inenco forecasts that energy costs will rise by a fifth are double the estimate of the government, which says prices may go up by 10% - The Daily Telegraph

A coalition of leading American exporters, including Boeing, Caterpillar and General Electric, is trying to stop a "Buy America" clause being included in President Obama's $825 billion stimulus package. The American Steel First Act would ensure that only US-made steel was used in $64 billion of federally funded infrastructure projects - The Times

Doubts are surfacing over the future of BP's £5.8 billion project to squeeze crude from the oil-rich sands of northern Canada after one of the chiefs of Husky Energy, its joint-venture partner, resigned unexpectedly. Catherine Hughes, vice-president of oil sands for Husky, based in Calgary, left the company last week amid speculation that the project may be delayed after a collapse in the price of oil - The Times

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