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NCE Live News Updates 10 June 2013: Balfour Beatty to shut three UK offices; Severn Barrage plan flawed, say MPs

Contractor Balfour Beatty is to close bases in Dartford, Doncaster and Rochdale.

5pm: The London 2012 Velodrome has been recognised in the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) Awards 2013.

The Olympic cycling venue was awarded the Outstanding Structure Award, which will be presented in Kolkata in September.

It was described by the association as a world-class venue that “intelligently answers questions of function, beauty, sustainability, buildability and value”.

Association member Mauro Overend of the UK was awarded the IABSE Prize, which honours a member for an outstanding achievement early in their career, for pushing the boundaries in the structural use of glass in façade design.

 

1pm: The government has moved to boost the recovery of oil and gas from the UK continental shelf.

Energy secretary Edward Davey has commissioned a review into the opportunities for improving the activity.

He said: “Our offshore infrastructure is getting older, and we are seeing a decline in the rate of exploration and in the amount of oil and gas that is being recovered.“

The review, which will be led by idustry stalwart Sir Ian Wood, will publish interim conclusions this autumn followed by a final report in early 2014.

 

11.15am: A dam has burst in Magdeburg, Germany, following massive flooding across central Europe, newswires have reported

Germany, Hungary and Poland have all been flooded by heavy rainfall in recent days. At least 18 people have been killed.

 

11am: Birmingham airport believes it could expand to become a major part of the solution to the UK’s aviation capacity crisis.

The West Midlands airport wants to grow by up to 70M passengers per year to join a network of hub airports across the country.

Its vision is due to be presented today to the Davies Commission, which is looking into potential solutions to meet growing demand for air travel.

Conservative MP for Wyre Forest Mark Garnier said: “A global travel hub at Birmingham airport will bring long-haul air-travel to within one hour of the airport for 45M people by 2032 when the High Speed 2 network is fully operational.”

 

10.30am: A consultant joint venture (JV) of Atkins and Parsons Brinckerhoff has secured work on the project to electrify the Great Western Main Line.

The JV was appointed by Network Rail as lead design organisation and systems integrator for the scheme.

The project will involve electrifying about 1,000km of railway between London and Cardiff, as well as installing some 20,000 overhead line support structures.

Atkins and Parsons Brinckerhoff will design the equipment to electrify the route and provide engineering advice throughout the construction phase.

 

10.15am: Developer Hafren Power has failed to prove that its Severn Barrage scheme is economically and environmentally acceptable, according to MPs.

The Energy and Climate Change Select Committee said in a report that the proposed 18km fixed tidal barrage between England and Wales had not overcome concerns.

Chairman Tim Yeo said: “We cannot recommend the Hafren Power scheme as currently presented to us.”

Hafren Power chief executive Tony Pryor branded the report as “unhelpful and frustrating”. He added: “We know we have a lot more work to do and we will do it.”

 

10am: Contractor Balfour Beatty is to close three of its offices in the UK.

The bases in Dartford, Rochdale and Doncaster will all close “due to a combination of insufficient construction activity and a disproportionately high cost base”, the firm said in a statement.

The closures could result in a small number of job losses and the relocation of individuals, it added.

The contractor also named Nick Pollard as chief executive for its UK construction business.

Meanwhile, thee contractor announced it has been awarded a £110M contract to build the 43-storey Providence Tower residential scheme for developer Landor. 

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