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NCE Live News Updates Thursday 30 January: Crossrail confirms monitoring contract cancellation

Crossrail has been forced to draft in a new firm to carry out crucial asset monitoring; MWH to tackle Africa’s energy needs.

11.45am: MWH to help tackle Africa’s energy needs

MWH is to provide technical assistance in 26 states of West and Central Africa under the European Union’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All)programme. SE4All is a global initiative launched by the United Nations and supported by the European Union, which aims to contribute to an increased universal access to modern energy services, as well as double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

A consortium led by MWH will be responsible for the delivery of the technical assistance services at country and regional level to help the countries reach the SE4All objectives and to significantly increase investment in the energy sector. The contract work will include activities such as an initial assessment of access to electricity and national initiatives in sustainable energy and energy efficiency in each of the countries. It will also support their governments with energy sector policies, and encourage partnerships between the public and private sector. The consortium will also provide technical support in programming and project preparations in the field of rural electrification, renewable energies, energy efficiency and energy savings.


11.30am: Government to review social housing plans

An independent and wide-ranging review into how more social homes can be built has been launched by the chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.


11.15am: Instrumentation and monitoring for Crossrail will now be undertaken by Soldata after Itmsoil’s contract on the new London rail scheme was cancelled by the infrastructure developer.

“The C701 contract with itmsoil was terminated as a result of their failure to meet their contractual obligations with Crossrail Limited,” a Crossrail spokesperson told NCE sister title Ground Engineering. “Crossrail has appointed Soldata to undertake certain instrumentation and monitoring services and to oversee the asset monitoring network.”

Crossrail has said that Soldata has been appointed under the C704 contract, which is believed to not directly replace C701 as Crossrail has confirmed that it will perform certain other services through its in-house resources.

11am: Plans to unlock £125M of private investment in infrastructure across Argyll and Bute have been approved by the Scottish Government.

Argyll and Bute Council’s £18.9M Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) scheme is expected to lever in £125M in private investment and also generate hundreds of construction jobs over the life of the project.

Under TIF, councils fund infrastructure by borrowing against future business rate income generated by the resulting regeneration and development.

The five year plan includes extending Oban North Pier, upgrading road links to established industrial areas, renewable energy projects and creating new business space at Oban airport.

The Scottish Futures Trust, set up by the Scottish Government to deliver value for money across public sector infrastructure, has spearheaded the development of the TIF model for use in Scotland.


10am: Improved assessment and remediation is the aim of a new drainage guidance document that was due to be published today by construction industry standards body Ciria

Ciria’s new Transport infrastructure drainage: condition appraisal and remedial treatment document looks at how the condition of a drainage system can enhance the performance of major geotechnical assets.

The guidance sets out current best practice and provides advice on investigation, inspection and monitoring of drainage in order for drainage assets to prevent impact on other assets. The document also looks at the interaction of third party assets and how transport drainage assets sit within the wider catchment. Read full story here.


9.30am: The latest provisional monthly energy statistics produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change show a big rise in energy generated from renewable sources.

Highlights for the three month period September to November 2013, compared to the same period a year earlier include the fact that:

  • Primary energy consumption in the UK fell by 3%, but was up 1.4% on a temperature adjusted basis
  • Indigenous energy production rose by 1.8%.
  • Coal provided 40.4% of electricity generated by major power producers, with gas’s share at 26% and nuclear at 21.1%.
  • Wind generation by major power producers was up 29.3%, with offshore wind up 35.5% and onshore wind up 23.9%.
  • Bioenergy generation was up 18.6% mainly due to the partial conversion to biomass of Drax.
  • Low carbon share of electricity generation by major power producers up four percentage points to 33.8%.


9am: Two proposed closures of the West Coast Main Line at Watford have been withdrawn after a detailed review of the work meant they were no longer necessary.

Network Rail had originally planned a 16-day closure in August 2014 and a nine-day closure in February 2015. It was to carry out significant upgrade work as part of an £81M investment to improve reliability and punctuality on one of the busiest sections of railway in Europe.

Feedback from passengers and discussions with industry partners led to a thorough review of the project. This resulted in a decision to reschedule the planned work so that it canbe carried out over three weekends in August and two weekends in February, reducing disruption to passengers

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