CZECH REPUBLIC: The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending E30M ($35M) to the Czech Republic for upgrading roads in the Olomouc region, Central Moravia. The project will improve access to the trans-European network roads, helping the Olomouc region to profit better from its location as a transit area between Poland and Slovakia. Cash will finance road upgrades under the region's investment programme for 2005 to 2008. Parts of the projects will be co-financed by the EU Structural Funds.
Hochtief Construction has won the three year contract to build a 6.4km section of Prague's ring motorway in the southern part of the city. Ring Road 514 is the biggest contract ever awarded by the Road & Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic and is worth E313M ($350M). Work includes a 3.7km long tunnel and over 2km of bridges to cross the flood plain of the Vltava River. Hochtief is working with two Czech partners. Construction is financed by the Czech government, the European Investment Bank and EU funds. The new motorway section is due to open for traffic in late 2009.
FRANCE: Bouygues Construction announced in January that it is set to recruit over 7,000 people around the world in 2006. Within France and Europe Bouygues will recruit 3,000 people compared to 2,500 last year. Executives and engineers will account for 37% (half with previous work experience), while clerical, technical and supervisory staff represent 20% and site workers 43%.
GERMANY: Strabag has won the E125M ($140M) contract to build what is claimed to be the world's largest lignite-based power station in Neurath on the River Rhine. The E2.2bn ($2.46bn) RWE Power project will generate 2,200MW of power.
Strabag-Betriebsabteilung Industriebau's contract comprises earthworks, structural and finishing works and is due to be finished by the end of 2008.
The power plant is expected to be connected to the grid in late 2009.
ROMANIA: Romania is set to receive fast-track support of over E49M ($58M) to help repair key railways and roads damaged by floods in July and August 2005.
The damaged links are part of one the country's most important transport corridors and the TransEuropean Transport Network. The EC decided to offer aid through the ISPA (Pre-accession instrument for structural policies) programme, which helps candidate countries prepare to become members of the European Union.
UK: More good news for Hochtief, which scooped the E184M ($206M) contract to build a 100MW hydroelectric power station at Loch Ness in Scotland at the end of last year. The firm will act as general contractor for the Scottish & Southern Energy Generation project, which comprises construction of a 900m long dam, a powerhouse cavern and 16km of tunnelling. Project handover is due in 2009.
USA: A joint venture that includes Skanska has secured the $1.1bn contract to build the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York. A total of 13 rail and subway lines, including PATH trains and New York City Transit trains will converge at the hub. Work, for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, includes construction of rail tunnels, underground train platforms and mezzanines and about 1km of pedestrian tunnels linking with the PATH train stations and connections with other train and subway lines.
The project is financed partly by the Federal Transit Administration, with funds earmarked for the reconstruction of Lower Manhattan, and partly by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Skanska and Fluor are majority shareholders of the joint-venture Phoenix Constructors. The other members are Granite Construction and Bovis Lend Lease. Fluor Enterprises is managing partner of the joint venture. Work is due to start in early 2006 and finished by 2009.
CANADA: One of Bilfinger Berger's north American businesses has been appointed to a major new bridge link near Vancouver, Canada. Final project value is estimated to be about C$800M ($926M).As well as the 1km bridge across the Fraser River, the scheme includes 3km of elevated highway and 9km of connecting roads. Bilfinger Berger will operate the crossing for 32 years in return for a fixed fee from the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority (TransLink).