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NCE Live News Updates Wednesday 27 November 2013: Balfour closes £317M offshore wind deal

The contractor will build, maintain and operate a high-voltage transmission system.

11am: Membership body Water UK and onshore oil and gas industry body UKOOG have signed a memorandum of understanding to ensure their members work together to minimise the impact of shale gas development on water resources.

Water UK said it had reviewed recent reports into shale gas extraction, and believed that while there are potential risks to water and wastewater services, these can be mitigated given proper enforcement of the regulatory framework.

Risks to be identified and resolved include:

  • The impacts of onshore oil and gas development on the quality and quantity of local water resources;
  • Onshore oil and gas company development plans, including scenarios for expansion of exploration and development within a local area and what this means for short and long-term demand for water at specific locations;
  • The expected volumes and chemical and biological composition of waste water as well as preferred disposal routes.


10.30am: Boris Johnson has defended his plans for improving cyclist safety on the capital’s roads.11a

The London mayor said in a written answer that he took cycle safety “extremely seriously”.

“Improving the infrastructure for cyclists on London’s roads is a top priority,” he added.

“I am committed to a major upgrade of existing Cycle Superhighway routes. There will be a number of further improvements using a combination of better junctions, segregation, semi-segregation and other measures to reduce potential conflict with traffic.

“These will be delivered alongside supporting measures such as awareness campaigns, cycle training and driver training.”


10am: The Hindhead Tunnel on the A3 was closed last night due to a technical fault.

The tunnel, which carries a major route between London and the South Coast, was closed at 5.30pm following discovery of the fault.

The Highways Agency said it was working with its contractors to reopen the tunnel as soon as possible.

It is understood the tunnel reopened this morning.


9am: Balfour Beatty has reached financial close on a £317M offshore wind energy deal.

It will build a high-voltage transmission system to link Greater Gabbard Wind Farm off the coast of Suffolk with the onshore grid.

Balfour Beatty Investments is in a consortium with Equitix and AMP Capital, and will invest one-third of the required equity.

The contractor will jointly own the assets and be responsible for their operation and maintenance under a long-term licence granted by Ofgem.

Balfour Beatty chief executive Andrew McNaughton said the deal marked “a significant step in the development of our investment business in non-PPP infrastructure markets, as well as our wider strategy of developing our delivery capability in the offshore renewables industry”.

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