Category: Contractors

UK: Milestone at Sellafield Nuclear Facility

A major milestone has taken place on the UK’s largest current nuclear project with the topping out of the Evaporator D building, at Sellafield, on the northwest coast of England.

A Costain-Sellafield Ltd alliance will later this year complete the basic structure of the building, which is designed to reduce the volume of highly radioactive liquid waste at the Cumbria site.

It is a project which, for obvious reasons, requires the highest possible standards of build quality. Just designing and developing the initial construction safety case for the £397million project took a year; work on the foundations began in May 2009 and the project is not scheduled to be fully complete until summer 2014.

When in service, it will be used to reduce the quantities of Highly Active Liquor, a product of reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. The liquor is reduced in quantity by a factor of 20 by evaporation, to reduce the volume of highly active waste that will be vitrified in glass and stored on site.

The liquor will be evaporated inside a highly complex process plant designed by Costain Energy & Process in the Manchester office. The Evaporator D process plant will add additional capacity to the current evaporators on the site and provide continuity in the reprocessing and decommissioning programme at Sellafield.

An idea of the scale of the project comes from the fact that over 350 Costain personnel – around 150 of them designers – are involved on it. “We’ve been carrying out design work since 2007,” says Construction Director, Rob Phillips. “This is all about providing a solution to the customer. It’s a project where we carry out everything from front-end design, through procurement and construction to commissioning and it’s certainly the largest where we’re providing the total solution.”

Latest issue of Contractors World features greater interactivity

The latest issue of Contractors World is now available with new features. The issue now includes video embedded into the pages plus option to download interactive PDF of the issue to enable viewing of videos and other content off-line.

By further developing the formats, Contractors World Magazines publisher, VVV Ltd, is redefining trade publishing for the digital age.

The latest issue also has a separate ‘At the Shows’ supplement looking at what’s new in products and services at the various shows taking place and a preview of some of the new products to be unveiled at ConExpo 2011 in March.

Hong Kong: Laing O’Rourke JV wins major rail infrastructure

Laing O’Rourke, the international engineering and construction group, has announced that in a three-way joint venture with leading Chinese contractors Hsin Chong and Paul Y, it has secured a £260m rail infrastructure contract as part of the construction of the Express Rail Link for MTR in Hong Kong.

The joint venture has been awarded Contract 810B for the construction of the southern portion of the West Kowloon Terminus, adjacent to Kowloon Station and Austin Station.  Laing O’Rourke led the joint venture bid team with key company personnel now leading the project delivery, estimating and planning.

USA: Updated AEM Compact Excavator Safety Manual now available –English and new Spanish-English version

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has significantly updated its compact excavator safety manual and now offers a new Spanish/English version of the material.

The AEM Compact Excavator Safety Manual was developed under the guidance of the association’s Attachment Manufacturers Council and Compact Loader/Compact Excavator Council. AEM safety manuals illustrate typical worksite and equipment hazards as well as safe practices in equipment preparation, operation, maintenance and transport. They are ideal for group safety sessions on the job or in the classroom as well as individual usage.

QATAR/GERMANY: Qatar Holding to become major shareholder of Hochtief

Qatar Holding LLC (Doha) has become a major shareholder in the German contractors, Hochtief Aktiengesellschaft.

After acquiring all new shares, Qatar Holding will, as soon as the capital increase is registered with the commercial register, hold almost 9.1% of the new capital stock. The Ad-hoc Committee of the Hochtief Supervisory Board has approved the capital increase. Qatar Holding LLC is the strategic and direct investment arm of Qatar Investment Authority

GERMANY: Züblin and VMT establish JV for infrastructure projects

German companies Ed. Züblin AG, Stuttgart, and VMT GmbH – Gesellschaft für Vermessungstechnik – Bruchsal, are to combine their know-how in the area of software-based process steering for tunnelling in a joint-venture.

Headquartered in Stuttgart, the newly established company, ITC Engineering GmbH & Co. KG, will jointly market efficient software systems for Process Data Management (PDM) in the construction sector. Further developments will focus on the web-based expert system for infrastructure projects IRIS (Integrated Risk and Information System).

India/Australia – Multi-billion dollar mine contracts for Hochtief

Mine contracts in India and Australia for combined total of EUR 4.16 billion including production at Indian coal mine for period of 22 years.

Via its Group companies, HOCHTIEF subsidiary Leighton secured new mining contracts worth approximately EUR 4.16 billion (AUD 5.66 billion): Thiess as member of a joint venture will develop the Pakri Barwadhi coal mine in India, operate it for a period of 22 years and produce some 300 million tons of coal there.

Over the 22-year contract duration, the project has a volume of EUR 4.04 billion (AUD 5.5 billion) on total. The Leighton Group’s share of this is almost EUR 3.64 billion (AUD 4.95 billion).

Only recently did Leighton Contracts also win a mining contract: The company will undertake coal mining at the Dawson Mine in Australia for a period of two years. The contract is worth nearly EUR 119 million (AUD 159 million).

For the Pakri Barwadhi Mine, Thiess will first build the required infrastructure, including coal processing plants. The company shall subsequently mine coal, remove overburden and operate processing and rail loading facilities. The client is NTPC, India’s largest electricity generator and a Government of India enterprise. The company plans five more coal mines.