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Civil Engineering in the papers today - Tuesday 4 November 2008

Scottish and Southern Energy has sold a 50% stake in the Greater Gabbard offshore windfarm to a subsidary of the German utility RWE for £308M. . . .

SSE acquired a 50% stake in the project, which will be the world's largest offshore windfarm, when it bought Airtricity this year - The Guardian

Tens of thousands of Indonesian villagers battling for compensation after a mud volcano swamped their homes have received a boost with a panel of international scientists concluding that exploratory drilling for gas was responsible. Leading geologists assessing the eruption of toxic mud, which has continued for more than two years, overwhelmingly concluded it was caused by the drilling of a gas well by energy company Lapindo Brantas - The Guardian

A tree fungus could provide green fuel that can be pumped directly into vehicle tanks, US scientists say. The organism, found in the Patagonian rainforest, naturally produces a mixture of chemicals that is remarkably similiar to diesel - The Guardian

The government has set up a watchdog to ensure the bill for decommissioning the new-build nuclear power plants does not end up with the tax payers. The Nuclear Liabillities Financing Assurance Board (NLFAB) will scrutinise how companies planning to build the new power plants will pay to shut them at the end of their useful lives and clean up their radioactive waste - The Guardian

The world's developed countries should pay for the upkeep of the rainforests in the same way that householders pay their utility bills, the Prince of Wales said in a speech on climate change. The Prince said that it should be a business deal between the developed world and the rainforest nations - financial support in return for eco-services such as carbon storage, the supply of fresh water and the protection of biodiversity - The Times

Storms caused a power failure in Monaco and the Frech Riveria, halting trains, trapping people in lifts and leaving 1.5 million homes without electricity for hours, The blackout extended from near Marseilles to the Italian border - The Times

Investment fund 3i Infrastructure says it has bought £86.7m of utility and telecoms bonds at a steep discount as sharp falls in global stock markets forced hedge funds into sales. 3i Infrastructure, which is 43pc owned by private equity group 3i, said it had exploited an "anomaly in the market" and added it was keen to take part in any purchase of Gatwick, after BAA was told it must sell two of its three London airports – The Daily Telegraph

The head of 3i Infrastructure said yesterday the UK-listed investment fund was eager to join a possible consortium bid for London Gatwick airport. Michael Queen said the size of Gatwick, which is expected to fetch about £2bn for BAA, its heavily indebted owner, meant that it was likely to attract bids from consortia – The Financial Times

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