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Civil Engineering in the paper today - Thursday 6 November 2008

The election of Barack Obama has put the wind back into the sails of the renewable energy sector, where investor confidence had been badly punctured by the credit crisis. . .

Clean technology and green energy stocks have soared as City analysts predict a major boost from the incoming president - The Guardian

Britain's biomass industry will miss targets necessary to meet renewable energy goals by 50% unless "blockages in the system" are removed by the government. In a letter to the new energy and climate change secretary, Ed Miliband, representatives from the wood industry say urgent action is required to put biomass back on track - The Guardian

One of Britain's largest public transport operators backed the case for a third runway at Heathrow airport yesterday, while confirming that bus and rail journeys are proving more recession proof than air travel. FirstGroup, owner of the First Great Western and First Capital Connect rail services, said that Heathrow should be expanded as well as extra rail capacity being built, such as a high speed line linking London to the north of England and Scotland - The Guardian

Fundraising for a £500m project to create caverns to store 1% of Britain's gas demand has been suspended. The cost of capital caused by the credit crunch was blamed for the delays to the scheme - The Guardian

Plans to build one of Britain's biggest windfarms were announced yesterday. Costing just under £16m and potentially producing 69MW, it would be operational by the end of 2010 - The Guardian

The severity of the downturn in the building sector was spelt out yesterday with a shock profit warning from construction firm Rok and a gloomy update from housebuilder Redrow. The value of Rok's shares more than halved after it warned of a "significant deterioration" in sales from cancellations of more than £150m of public and private work - The Guardian

Thousands of tonnes of rubbish collected from household recycling bins may have to be stored in warehouses and former military bases to save them from being dumped after a collapse in prices. Collection companies and councils are running out of space to store paper, plastic bottles and steel cans because prices are so low that the materials cannot be shifted - The Times

Consultants have been paid £150 million in taxpayers' money since London won the right to stage the 2012 Olympics three years ago. It emerged in a written parliamentary answer that 88 lucrative Olympic related contracts totalling £43.6 million have been awarded by the Government to advisory companies - The Times

The fires are going out at European blast furnaces as ArcelorMittal cuts steel production by a third in the face of mounting distress among car manufacturers and the building sector. The world's biggest steelmaker said yesterday that it would double the scale of production cuts announced last month in response to rapid destocking by its customers - The Times

A £500 million gas storage project designed to reduce volatility in UK energy prices has become the latest victim of the credit crunch. Fundraising for the scheme, to create one billion cu m of gas storage in underground salt caverns beneath Portland, Dorset, has been suspended after the Portland Gas directors said they were unable to agree acceptable conditions with lenders - The Times

The first new steam locomotive to run on Britain's railways since 1960 has completed its initial trial . Dozens of enthusiasts and curious locals lined the platforms of the stations at York and Scarborough to see the Peppercorn class A1 Pacific steam locomotive on Tuesday evening - The Daily Telegraph

European regulators have raided a clutch of cement companies in an investigation to find out if they formed a cartel to increase prices illegally. Germany's Heidelberg Cement and Dyckerhoff, Lafarge of France and Mexico based Cemex, which has European offices, were among cement makers to receive visits from European Commission inspectors - The Daily Telegraph

Three former employees of Alfred McAlpine have been charged with fraud following an investigation into the construction company's accounts stretching back to 2004. The individuals worked for Welsh Slate, the slate quarrying arm of McAlpine - The Daily Telegraph

In the last few days of the campaign, Republicans attacked Barack Obama in coal-fired power stations would go "bankrupt" under his plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions. Although in vain, the tactic was a well-aimed blow - Financial Times

Lenders to Taylor Wimpey are considering basic terms for restructuring the struggling construction company's finances that would give it breathing space to trade through the credit crisis until 2012. The terms are still to be negotiated but are the building blocks of a plan that would extend the maturity of the company's debts - which include a mix of bank debt, privately placed notes and publicly traded Eurobonds - to 2012, with the exception of a Eurobond die in 2019, according to people familiar with the situation - Financial Times

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