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NCE Live News Updates 17 June 2013: Carillion scoops £130M Oman deal; £1bn HS2 savings found

Contractor to construct 13 buildings at exhibition centre; Meanwhile, savings of £1bn have been identified High Speed 2, according to its annual update on the Infrastructure Cost Review.

4.45pm: Several engineers were recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours when they were announced over the weekend.

BAE Systems chairman and ICE fellow Richard Olver received a knighthood for services to business.

Professor Jeremy Watson, ICE fellow and director of global research at Arup, was awarded a CBE for services to engineering.

CBEs also went to Imperial College London professor James Skea, and Geoffrey Lister, chairman of the Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force.

OBEs were awarded to Volterra Consulting senior partner Bridget Rosewell FICE, and Thames Water operations director Robert Collington.

Norman Watts, MICE, was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to infrastructure development in the Turks and Caicos Islands.


4.30pm: Thames Water has been fined £41,000 for pollution.

The utiliities firm pleaded guilty to two charges of pollution of the river Ash in Surrey in August 2010. It was fined £17,500 plus costs of £23,500

Environment Agency officer Luke Tobbitt: “Although Thames Water has had previous convictions, this is the first time it has been successfully prosecuted in relation to a water treatement works and blue green algae.

“It was a complex and resource-intensive case and we are satisfied to have recovered a significant proportion of the costs incurred while conducting the investigation.”


1pm: Civils firms have urged the government to spend more money repairing and maintaining infrastructure after figures showed a significant fall in the activity.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed the value of infrastructure repair and maintenance work was 21.6% lower in April than March (see 11.15am). It was also 3.9% lower than in April 2012.

Alasdair Reisner, director of external affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, said there was often a spike in work in March as councils used up their budgets for the financial year.

But he added: “If the government has infrastructure at the heart of its growth strategy, we would hope to see a significant rise in activity in the sector.

“We have called for an uplift in repairs and maintenance work because you can get such work done quickly.”


12.30pm: The Treasury says that £1bn of potential savings have been made from the cost of High Speed 2, according to its annual update on the Infrastructure Cost Review.

The Review was launched in 2011 in a bid to save 15% on the cost of civils work by 2015.

In the second annual review of the three-year programme, the Treasury said there had been “further progress” towards its targets.

Lord Deighton, commercial secretary to the Treasury, said: “It is more important than ever that we find ways to reduce costs and get the most from each pound of taxpayer or consumer money.”


12pm: Atkins has secured engineering and consultancy roles in San Francisco and Arkansas.

The company will serve on two on-call panels in the San Francisco Bay Area for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

It will also provide on-call services for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.

Atkins practice manager Chris Campbell said:“Arkansas is making extensive highway improvements through 2018 and beyond, and we are gratified to be able to take part in the state’s transportation progress.”


11.15am: Further analysis of Friday’s official construction output figures shows that infrastructure repair and maintenance work has fallen by more than a fifth.

The value of work in this sector was £553M in April – down 21.6% from March – according to the Office for National Statistics

New infrastructure work was down 7.8% to £917M in April, as the civils sector took a huge further blow.

Construction output across the industry fell 6.5%.


11am: Developer Cuadrilla has appointed consultant Arup to conduct independent environmental impact assessments (EIA) for its planning applications to explore Lancashire shale.

The work will include environment risk assessment, consultation with stakeholders and the public and planning application support.

“These EIAs are being carried out as part of a robust process of developing informed consent for the on-going exploration of the very significant natural gas resources in Lancashire’s Bowland shale,” said Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan.


10.45am: Sellafield Ltd has been fined £700,000 for sending radioactive waste to landfill.

The company was also ordered to pay £72,635 in costs by Carlisle Crown Court.

Several bags of waste that should have been sent to a specialist facility were instead sent to a landfill site in Workington, Cumbria, the court hears.

Environment Agency nuclear regulation manager Ian Parker said: “The failings by Sellafield Ltd that led to the incident were serious.”


10.30am: Italian firm Impregilo has acquired stakes in the high speed Milan-Genoa rail line project and the Copenhagen “Cityringen” underground project.

The firm has bought a 10% share in the Cociv consortium’s Milan-Genoa stake for €25M (£21M) and a 40% share of consortium CMT’s Cityringen stake for £12M.


10am: Carillion has won a £130M project to construct 13 buildings at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Wolverhampton-headquartered contractor’s Omani arm, Carillion Alawi, will build exhibition halls, an energy centre and a car park.

It was awarded the 18-month contract by the Oman Tourism & Development Company and will start on site next month.

The Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre Project has an estimated construction value of £1bn.  


9.30am: Consultant Black & Veatch has completed upgrades on Thames Water’s Basingstoke and Bracknell treatment works.

The upgrades, part of a £5bn programme of works continuing to 2015, will improve the plant’s ability to recycle sludge and thus reduce its environmental impact.

“These essential works will ensure high performance of the plant,” said Thames Water head of capital delivery Steve Spencer.

“They also comply with new European regulations and reduce our impact on the environment by substantially reducing lorry movements to and from the sites.”


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