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Contractor Amec has signed a memorandum of understanding with Singaporese firm PWD Corporation, a subsidiary of Singapore government investment division Temasek Holdings. The partnership is geared to stepping up Amec's activity in infrastructure and industrial construction in Singapore and South East Asia.

Railtrack's bid for a £29M grant towards upgrading its Willsden to Channel Tunnel lines to W10 gauge has been rubbished by the Rail Freight Group. The work would allow boxes up to 2.9m high to be carried on standard flat wagons, but RFG claims the same volume of traffic could be accommodated by a £2M scheme to raise the height of two bridges on the route.

Indonesia's ministry of communications has appointed Mott MacDonald to develop a rail network masterplan for Sumatra. The project will involve linking three existing rail systems through volcanic mountains, tropical jungle and mangrove swamp. Support is from local railway consultants PT Inti Era Cipta and PT Biro Insinyua Exata.

John Redwood has been appointed shadow Secretary of State for the Environment Transport and the Regions. Bernard Jenkin becomes shadow minister for transport.

Government estimates of £4.92bn for new construction orders in March and April this year show an improvement on the previous quarter, which was 3% below the last forecast. There was growth in housing while infrastructure orders in the latest three months dropped 15% on the preceding quarter.

The Construction Best Practice Programme's redesigned website includes a discussion forum, news and hot topics sections.

The Construction Industry Council has launched a new construction industry health and safety video, 'The Benefit of Foresight'. Tel: (0171) 6378692.

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