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News In Brief

Femern opens bid process; Costain’s orders on the rise; Luton-Dunstable busway set for opening

Fehmarnbelt bid process begins

Senior executives from the nine international consortiums prequalified to tender for the €5.5bn (£4.7bn) Fehmarnbelt crossing met with project officials from Femern in Copenhagen last week. The meeting marked the official start of the bidding process, which will complete in 2015. It is assumed that, by that time, the Danish parliament will have passed a Construction Act for the Fehmarnbelt project and that the German state of Schleswig-Holstein will have given all necessary approvals.

Costain boosts order book

Contractor Costain has revealed a fall in turnover but an increase in forward orders in results for the six months to 30 June. Revenue for the period was £462.9M, down on £477.9M for the same six months last year. But forward orders were up to £2.9bn from £2.4bn last year. The boost in forward orders came from an excess of £900M of new contracts and extensions secured in the first half of 2013. The firm said that over 90% of its order book comprises repeat orders, which is in line with its strategy of focusing on a small number of big, repeat-ordering clients.

Carillion reports ‘robust’ results

Contractor Carillion has also reported a fall in turnover in its interim results for the six months to 30 June. Revenue stood at £1.96bn, down on £2.16bn for the same period last year. It also boasted an increased forward order book, at up to £18.4bn compared to £18.1bn at the same point last year, but this figure includes “probable” as well as confirmed orders. Confirmed orders include a £400M contract on the first phase of development at Battersea Power Station as well as £400M of support services contracts in the oil sector. Chairman Philip Rogerson said the firm delivered a “robust” first-half performance.

Rail workers ‘least proud’ profession

Those working in the rail industry are least proud of any professionals, according to a survey by recruitment firm Randstad. In a survey of 2,000 British workers, 58% said they were proud of their profession. But just 32% of those working in the rail industry said they were proud of the work they did. The survey also found that railway professionals worked the longest, with an average working week of 39 hours and three minutes.

Luton busway services set to start

Bus services on the £91M Luton Dunstable Busway are set to begin on Wednesday 25 September, Luton Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils announced this week.

Morgan Sindall wins road contract

Morgan Sindall has been awarded a project to design and construct a 1.1km dual-carriageway link road near Crewe in the North West for Cheshire East Council. The firm’s £19M contract will dual the road between the existing roundabout on the northern spur off the A500 Hough-Shavington bypass up to the A5020 Weston Gate roundabout. When complete in November 2015, the £27M project will create an alternative bypass for Crewe.

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