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NCE Live News Updates 3 June 2013: latest from World Tunnel Congress in Geneva

Troops erect emergency flood defences in Prague after torrential rain.

5pm: Energy secretary Edward Davey has hailed a clause added to the Energy Bill as a “world first” ahead of a landmark day for the proposed legislation.

The Bill, which aims to unlock private sector investment in low-carbon energy, will receive its third reading in the House of Commons tomorrow.

A clause has been added to enable a 2030 decarbonisation target to be set for the power industry in 2016.

Energy secretary Edward Davey said of the clause: “No political party had this issue in their manifesto. This will be a world first.”


4pm: An authority in Scotland is seeking contractors for a £20M port extension project.

Cromarty Firth Port Authority published notice of its intention to reclaim 35,000m2 of sea bed at the Invergordon Services Base.

The port is being expanded to meet the needs of the growing offshore energy industry.

Contractors have until 1 July to register their interest. More information is available here.


3pm: Plans for a new railway station in the West Midlands have received a boost.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said he was minded to provide up to £5M for the £11M project at Kenilworth.

The station would be on the line between Coventry and Leamington Spa, and include two 100m platforms.

McLoughlin said: “This is another example of the government’s determination to transform the railways as we continue to push forward with the biggest programme of rail investment ever.”


2pm: Consultant Black & Veatch has appointed a managing director for its Indian business.

G. “Satya” Sathiamoorthy will join the consultant to take on the role. Sathiamoorthy is also the vice-president of the International Project Management Association’s Greater Mumbai Chapter.

“Satya brings a thorough understanding of the country’s critical issues, which will help ensure the services Black & Veatch offers, and the way they are delivered, are aligned with the needs of Indian clients,” said Black & Veatch chief executive Len Rodman.

“In the next five years, India is forecast to spend $1tn (£650bn) on infrastructure. Great strides have been made in the past decade but there remains much work to do in the areas of energy, water and communications.”


Satya: He will help expand the firm’s water, energy and telecommunications businesses


12.30pm: The government has announced savings of £1.7bn from squeezing large projects, including construction jobs, in the year to April 2013.

The coalition’s Efficiency and Reform Group published details of £10bn of savings in the 2012/13 financial year.

This included £324m administrative savings by modernising health and social care; £145m by reducing the cost of creating Crossrail; and £86m on schools building.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: “There can be no going back to the old, wasteful ways of doing things which we saw in the past.”


12pm: Demolition has begun on Gatwick airport’s Pier 1 as a £1.2bn redevelopment of the Sussex airport continues.

The pier, which opened in 1962, will be replaced by a building hosting a new baggage system and gate rooms.

The £180M pier replacement project is being carried out by Vinci and the new building is scheduled for opening in summer 2015.

Stewart Wingate, chief executive at London Gatwick, said: “Pier 1 has been in service since 1962, so the commencement of demolition works is a significant milestone in Gatwick’s on-going transformation.”


11.30am: The consultancy arm of Network Rail is to work with rail industry body RSSB to secure overseas business.

Anson Jack, deputy chief executive of RSSB, said: “All our members – including Network Rail – invest time and money into… solutions designed specifically to benefit the British national rail system and support business performance improvements in each company.

“These solutions also have the potential to support development overseas, and Network Rail Consulting is an ideal partner to help promote these around the world.”

Nigel Ash, managing director of Network Rail Consulting, said: “Being able to draw on the body of work and expertise in RSSB is a great addition to our portfolio, which is yielding a lot of interest across the globe.”


11am: Structural health specialist Strainstall has been awarded a monitoring contract for the new Forth Replacement Crossing.

The firm will provide real-time monitoring during the construction phase and throughout the service life of the bridge.

Main contractor Forth Crossing Bridge Constructers formally took over from Marine Foundations on the huge bridge scheme in April.

Strainstall managing director Richard Burmeister said: “This new bridge over the Firth of Forth is a significant infrastructure investment for Scotland and we are pleased to be able to play our part.”


10.30am: Tunnel boring machine manufacturers are moving to emerging markets in search of a “less litigious atmosphere”, an expert said today.

Speaking to the World Tunnel Congress in Geneva, Robbins Company former chief executive Dick Robbins stressed the need to share risk.

“Risk has to be balanced and understood by all parties,” he said.

NCE deputy editor Mark Hansford is in Geneva for the congress this week, for live updates follow him on twitter @markhansford.


10am: Troops have erecting emergency flood defences in Prague amid heavy rainfall, according to reports.

The BBC said 1,000 military staff had been mobilised to erect barriers and fill sandbags in the Czech capital.

Fears are growing that the city’s historic centre could be damaged if the Vltava River bursts its banks after torrential rain.

At least four people have died after heavy rain caused chaos across Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic.


9.30am: Energy firm IGas claims to have found a huge shale gas bounty below its licenses in North West England.

The estimated reserves of up to 4.8tn.m2 are beneath an area of 776km2 owned by the firm.

“The announcement of the gas in plae volumes of up to [4.8tn.m2] in our North West acreage follows the completion of a very thorough study by the IGas Technical team,” said IGas chief executive Andrew Austin.

“[The find] supports our view that these licences have a very significant Shale Gas resource with the potential to transfrom the company and materially benefit the communities in which we operate.”

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