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This year's Australian Engineering Excellence Award has been claimed by Melbourne's Federation Square 'air rights' development, built over the city's main railway lines. The 3.8ha site includes a major extension to the National Gallery of Australia, shops, offices, and housing.

Consulting engineers were UK firm Hyder and Australian outfit AHW. Client was Federation Square Management.

UK consultant Babtie Group has opened its first office in the Middle East after winning a $1.7M contract to design a 22storey residential and commercial block in Abu Dhabi.

A 12-strong team will provide structural and architectural design, project management, and lighting, ventilation and air conditioning input. Construction of the complex is due to start in August.

Consultant Foster Wheeler South Africa has been awarded a $45M engineer, procure and construction management contract for a new waste to energy facility at Secunda, South Africa. The plant, which will burn coal mining wastes to produce electricity, will be the first of its kind in the region, the company claims. Client is Sasol Synfuels.

Slovakia has received a $68M loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for modernisation and extension of its motorways. Work involves construction of 8km of the east-west D1 motorway between Svinia and Presov and construction of 10km of expressway between Rudno and Zarnovica. EIB is lending $20M to Serbia and Montenegro for modernisation of the countries' power generation and distribution infrastructure.

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