Page 26 - Contractors World - UK & Ireland Edition Vol 2 No 7

BDP to des i gn the masterp l an , l andscap i ng and
architecture for the 32,000 square metre Artall Tiancheng
Business Centre in Nanjing. The project will maximise the
public spaces in the centre, linking existing buildings with
covered walkways and create a 26 floor tower that will
provide offices above an art gallery. The project value is
RMB 350 million (£35.2 milion).
BDP has also been shortlisted to participate in a paid
competition to provide urban design for the 17 square
kilometre Qingdao Westcoast Central Business District in
Shandong.
Subterra
,
an internationally recognised developer of
utility pipeline rehabilitation systems, has just announced a
€180,000 contract for the sale of 20,000 litres of Fast-Line
PlusTM to Slovakia. Fast-Line PlusTM is an innovative resin
allowing the in-situ lining of potable water pipelines. In
the last year, Subterra has sold more than 150,000 litres of
Fast-Line PlusTM to overseas markets. As a result, Subterra
is now planning to expand its UK production, including
recruiting several more staff and considering new facilities.
ICE Comment on Government ‘Green Deal’
Commenting on Danny Alexander’s announcement that
the Green Deal is an early candidate for UK Infrastructure
Guarantees scheme and that there are over 30 expressions
of interest so far, ICE Director General, Nick Baveystock,
said, “When this scheme was announced, we and others
across industry voiced concerns around whether the
criteria for accessing guarantees were too high to attract
applicants.
The news that there are over 30 expressions of
interest so far is positive and we look forward to further
updates from Government on which of these projects it
will be providing guarantees for. Regular reporting on
progress will demonstrate credibility of the scheme and
reinforce Government’s commitment to it actually leading
to activity on the ground.”
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CECA: Contractors Facing
Increasingly Bleak Outlook
Contractors have warned that increasingly bleak trading
conditions are putting the future of the UK’s infrastructure
sector at risk, as pressure from clients pushes companies
to the edge.
The news comes fo l l owi ng a ma j or sur vey of
infrastructure contractors. Twice a year, the Civil
Engineering Contractors Association asks members what
the major issues are that are adversely impacting their
businesses.
The results from the latest survey showed collapsing
workload remains the industry ’s biggest concern.
Workload shortages were reported as the main concern by
33
per cent of respondents, up from 26 per cent in January
2012.
One survey respondent said: “unless something is
done, and done quickly, the number of SMEs who won’t
survive is frightening.”
As in January, suicide bidding was reported as the
next biggest concern to CECA members, with 17 per
cent of firms reporting that rivals were pricing work at
unsustainably low margins in order to stay in business.
However, this time it was in equal second position, with the
same number of companies reporting poor client practise
as a major concern. This represents a significant jump, up
from 6 per cent in January. Contractors say they are being
hampered by long delays and bureaucratic procurement.
Such approaches merely add to industry costs at a time
when margins are under significant pressure.
Commenting, CECA director of external affairs Alasdair
Reisner said: “It is no surprise that falling workloads
continue to pose the greatest concern reported by
members - CECA has been warning for some time that the
country is undergoing an ‘infrastructure crunch.’ The most
recent CECA Workload Trends Survey showed workloads
heading into negative territory once more after two
previous quarters of growth.
Given this strain on the industry it should be of grave
concern that the number of members reporting being
directly affected by poor client practices in the last six
months has increased considerably. It is essential steps are
taken to stamp out adversarial practices, and to implement
leaner forms of procurement.
Given the difficulties faced by the sector, CECA also
believe the government should act now to boost output
through the implementation of shovel-ready repair,
maintenance and minor works. This will drive economic
growth, delivering rapid improvements to the country’s
vital infrastructure networks. It will also help sustain the
industry to ensure it is fit to meet demand as the economy
gets back on its feet.
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CECA Publishes Routemap for Growth
With Parliament set to return from its summer recess,
the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) has
published a major new series of recommendations to solve
the UK’s infrastructure crisis.
Infrastructure: the Routemap for Growth is a detailed
set of policy proposals, developed in close consultation
with CECA’s members, on how the civil engineering sector
can help restore the health of the UK economy.
The publication will be used by CECA in its meetings
with MPs and other senior political figures during
forthcoming party conferences, and in the run-up
to the Chancellor ’s Autumn Statement. Its headline
recommendations are to:
Develop cross-party consensus on nationally-significant
infrastructure policy and a long-term delivery programme
Rebalance infrastructure investment across the UK
Ensure appropriate finance and funding models are in
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Page 26
Contractors World - UK & Ireland Vol 2 No 7