September 18, 2020 – Jackets and suction caissons for Scotland’s biggest offshore wind farm are to be made in China.
North Sea contractor Subsea 7 has the contract for engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of the foundations and inter array cables for the £3bn Seagreen offshore wind farm project. It has contracted out the jackets and suction caissons to a fabrication yard in Zhuhai, China that is owned by COOEC-Fluor, a Sino-American joint venture.
The Seagreen development will be a 1,075MW offshore wind farm, comprising 114 wind turbines located off the east coast of Scotland.
It is being developed by SSE Renewables 27km off the coast of Angus. Once commissioned, it will be the largest in Scotland, providing around a million homes with energy.
Work begins this months on installing the onshore export cable along the 19km cable route between Carnoustie and Tealing.
Work to establish a construction compound next to the Carnoustie links golf course got under way last week by principal contractor Nexans ahead of the main cable installation works beginning.
First power at Seagreen is expected by the end of 2021 with the offshore wind farm expected to be completed and enter commercial operation in 2022/23.
September 18, 2020 – Northeast construction contractor Tolent has seen turnover fluctuate in recent years but now reckons that it is in its strongest commercial position in years.
Turnover bounced back to £175m in 2019, latest accounts show, and the 2020 order book is worth more than £190m.
Tolent’s 2019 turnover was up 30% on 2018’s £133m; but it had been £178m in 2017, £173m in 2016 and £133m in 2015.
However, profits were hit by the closure of southern England operations.
The contractor currently has 45 live sites across the country, including an £11m civils project for propane storage in Teesside, the £26m Hadrian’s Tower in Newcastle, a £23m build-to-rent development in Leeds and the £84m Milburngate site in Durham.
It is also seeing steady growth in the residential market, particularly with social housing.
Including work completed this year and secured work into 2023, Tolent is set to deliver around 3,000 new homes covering both the private and public sector across the northeast and Yorkshire.
It’s landmark £120m South Seaham Garden Village development will also start work next year, with 1,500 new homes and facilities.
The order book includes £15m worth of work to reclad hospitals and student accommodation buildings.
However, last year Tolent decided to close its operations in the south of England. Chief executive Andy McLeod explained: “The region had been under review for some time as a result of disappointing performances over a number of years and whilst the decision to close the business has significantly impacted our financial performance in 2019, this will ultimately benefit the wider business as it now allows us to build upon our already outstanding reputation within the northeast and Yorkshire and continue to explore new opportunities and new locations to grow.”
September 18, 2020 -Great Marlborough Estates has acquired Empire House, a vacant office building overlooking Chiswick High Road for redevelopment into housing.
Lendlease put the development site up for sale two years ago after encountering substantial local opposition to its plans.
Empire House tower was built in 1961 as offices on the site of the former Chiswick Empire theatre in west London. Government legislation now makes it possible to convert offices to residential space under permitted development rights.
Great Marlborough Estates plans to 66 apartments in the office tower itself. At Essex Place, which sits behind Chiswick High Road, 46 apartments and four townhouses will be built, with a further 21 apartments developed at the corner of Essex Place and Acton Lane.
According to the developer, the deal is one of the largest residential transactions to take place since Covid-19 struck and represents ‘a major vote of confidence in London’s housing market’.
Great Marlborough Estates was founded by Grant Lipton (son of Stanhope’s Stuart Lipton) and Dean Clifford. It is behind more than £1.5bn of residential development across London.
Grant Lipton said: “Whilst Covid-19 has undoubtedly created some uncertainty, we remain committed to the long-term outlook for London and the capital’s property market thanks to strong underlying fundamentals. London will remain a preeminent global hub for business, culture and leisure, all of which will feed into demand for housing in the city.
“Acquiring this site in Chiswick marks a significant milestone for Great Marlborough Estates, further expanding our portfolio across London. Alongside providing high quality, well designed new homes, the redevelopment of Empire House will further enhance Chiswick High Road and open up new opportunities for the local area providing a great place for those who live, work and visit Chiswick.”
Pete Ladhams, managing director at Assael Architecture, said: “The redevelopment of this site presents a rare opportunity to reimagine and reinvigorate this part of Chiswick in a way that adds to the existing heritage and green space. We have enjoyed working with Great Marlborough Estates to repurpose the existing building to create a unique residential neighbourhood and a destination fronting on to Chiswick High Road. Our design has sought to remain contemporary, but sympathetic to the heritage and character situated on the bustling High Road and tranquillity of Turnham Green.”
September 18, 2020 – Mi-space has appointed Wiltshire-based groundworks firm Conlon to work on the Oakfield housing development in Swindon.
Oakfield is being developed on a not-for-profit basis by Nationwide Building Society on a derelict brownfield site in its hometown of Swindon where it says no other housebuilder was prepared to build. It received planning permission for 239 new homes for sale or rent in July 2019.
Mi-space, part of the Midas Group, was confirmed in February 2020 as main contractor for the £50m project. It stared on site in April, with construction expected to take around three and a half years
Now in the construction phase, Mi-space has subcontracted the groundworks works to Conlon, including the construction of roads and sewers and to prepare the site for piling.
Based in Cricklade, Conlon operates within a 50 mile radius of its head office across Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Worcestershire and Hampshire. Mi-space project director Rob Bennett said his company preferred to use local subcontractors.
“Conlon do much of their training in-house, which is unusual for a groundworks company, and the plant and technology they use is industry-leading,” Rob Bennett said. “About 60% of their workforce are local, and within their contract with us, they have agreed to specific employment and skills targets, which means they will employ local people, provide apprenticeships, and commit to continue to provide training for their local workforce.”
The first staff from Conlon began arriving on site at Oakfield at the end of June, and by August, 29 staff from Conlon were working at Oakfield, with 25 of them living within 20 miles of the site, and all living within 40 miles.
Dermot Conlon, director and owner of Conlon, said: “It is a priority for us to employ a locally-based workforce to support the regional economy wherever possible but even more so for our workforce to be long-established and well-trained, so we can ensure the quality of our work is consistent for all clients, and we can trust in and rely on our staff to deliver at a high level.
“We are a family business and our growth is less about being profit-driven and more aimed at being satisfaction-driven; rather than trying to expand too quickly, we aim to deliver steady, sustainable growth and ensure we have the right workforce in place to ensure quality management. You need a good workforce to deliver a good job, and to maintain client satisfaction.”
Dermot Conlon concluded: “Oakfield is a key project for us and our first project working for Mi-space, and we are delighted to be on site already and working in parallel with the aims and objectives of Mi-space and Nationwide to deliver a pivotal development which provides benefits for local people and the local economy during the construction process.”
September 18, 2020 – ProAmpac, a US-based flexible packaging manufacturer, has started construction on collaboration and innovation centre in New York, US.
Located in the Town of Ogden, Monroe County, the new 25,000ft² space will be an addition to its existing manufacturing facility. The new innovation centre will entail an investment of about $8m.
The existing plant facilities low to medium volume production of flexible packaging, including Child Resistant Reclosable Easy Open (CRREO) pouches. It serves the agricultural chemical, personal care, medical and pharmaceutical markets.
The packaging firm said that the new collaboration and innovation centre will become an international hub for packaging design and development when completed.
ProAmpac CEO Greg Tucker said: “Innovation is the key factor in making flexible packaging the fastest-growing segment of the expanding global packaging industry, which is forecast to exceed $1 trillion by the end of next year.”
Once operational in early 2021, the facility will be a centre for development, prototyping, and rapid evaluation of new packaging, as well as training and collaboration space for customer interactions.
The new facility will serve as a one-stop shopping centre for both sustainable materials and creative flexible-packaging structures. The collaboration and innovation centre will create 40 new jobs.
It will be equipped with horizontal and vertical filling equipment, which facilities in-production, high-speed filling validation
ProAmpac said that other new equipment will simulate the stresses of transportation, as well as water, vapour, and oxygen transmission by a new package.
The new facility will also become the permanent home for LEAD ProAmpac Academy, offering customers and staff twice-a-year training in extrusion, lamination, printing, sustainability, and other flexible-packaging technologies.
September 18, 2020 – Tata Projects, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Tata Group, has won a bid for the construction of the new Parliament building in the capital city of New Delhi.
Tata Projects had won the contract as it bid the lowest amount at INR8.62bn ($117m), which was lower than Larsen & Toubro’s (L&T) bid of INR8.65bn ($117.5m).
The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has announced that the new Parliament building will be built near the current building, which is over 90 years old, at plot number 118 of the Parliament House Estate.
The design of the new Parliament building is said to be shaped like a triangle and is expected to include the national emblem of India, which could be placed atop of the new building.
Upon completion, the new building is expected to have halls with larger seating capacity for the Lok Sabha (lower house) and the Rajya Sabha (upper house), offices for members of Parliament along with a courtyard, dining facilities and a lounge for lawmakers.
The Lok Sabha is likely to have more numbers after the constituencies are reorganised and the present building has no space for the extra Parliamentarians. The new building is expected to accommodate nearly 1,400 Members of Parliament.
The CPWD said: “The plinth of the new building shall match that of the existing one, which is approximately 1.8 metres above the ground level.
“The total plinth area of the proposed building is approximately 65,000m², including the basement area of approximately 16,921m². The building will be ground plus two-storeyed with one basement.”
Construction is likely to begin after the ongoing Parliament’s winter session and expected to be completed within 21 months. The existing building will be used during the entire construction period.
The new building’s construction is part of the Central Vista redevelopment project, which envisages the new triangular Parliament building and a common secretariat for all the 51 ministries in 10 buildings. The project is expected to save nearly INR10bn ($135.m) annually.