BDC

Search
BDC Magazine

March 23, 2016

Networks to keep innovation profits

To read the rest of this article… This article is only accessible to Utility Week subscribers. Please sign in or choose a subscription option Not a subscriber? Register for free access to up to 5 articles per month: Click here to register a new website account orClick here to

Read More »

BP signs deal with Eni on Mozambique gas

BP has agreed a 20-year deal with Eni of Italy to buy liquefied natural gas from a big new field off the coast of Mozambique in a step toward the south-east African country’s emergence as a force in global energy production. By guaranteeing a customer for the entire output of

Read More »

Howard Kennedy hires new partner

Law firm Howard Kennedy has strengthened its Real Estate team with the appointment of partner Martha Grekos. Martha joined the firm as a Partner and Head of Planning on 5 September from Irwin Mitchell, where she led its planning and infrastructure team.  She was previously at Eversheds, Herbert Smith and

Read More »

Man sentenced after worker is fatally crushed in a trench

A self-employed contractor has been sentenced after an employee was killed when the trench he was working in collapsed on him. Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard how William Ryan Evans was contracted to construct a drainage field comprising of infiltration pipes laid at the bottom of deep trenches. He employed two workers

Read More »

Figures Highlight an Increase in Female Construction Workers

Good news for industry equality; it has recently been announced that the quantity of women holding positions in the construction sector has recently risen to one of the highest figures since the establishment of records. Heralding a positive step forward in equality and diversity for the construction sector, the news

Read More »

Owen Pugh to Work with Gentoo for First Time

It has been announced that Owen Pugh GDC, a leading northeastern civil engineering practice has been successful in earning a £1.1m project for infrastructure works in line with a leading Newcastle-upon-Tyne housing scheme. The contract, to see Owen Push complete a series of works, such as the installation of roads,

Read More »

Bellway Sells Interest in JV, Investing into Further Land

This March, it has been revealed that Bellway has now sold its interest in its JV organisation alongside the Greater London Authority. The partnership, called Barking Riverside, has seen such interest pass to L&O New Homes, as Bellway now looks to utilise the funds acquired to reassess the strategic focus

Read More »

Continued Growth Highlighted in Housing Market

Once again, the housing market has shown strong, positive growth signs, with the average UK house prices increasing by a further 7.9% in the 12 months building up to this January, signalling a notable increase on the 12 months up to last December, recorded at 6.7%. Additionally, in the index

Read More »

CITB and HBF to Support Housebuilding Sector with Training

Presently it could be argued that a lot of pressure is placed on property developers and local councils to deliver on residential housing schemes, bring about further affordable housing for residents, and do so quickly. Yet, often overlooked when considering the housebuilding arena is the widely reported skill shortages for

Read More »

Pushing CSR in Small-Scale Projects, A Step in the Right Direction for SMEs

Increasingly there are levels of pressure being placed upon industry organisations to operate in a more responsible manner, with great encouragement from government, industry associations and peers alike to display role model conduct on areas of corporate responsibility. Yet, with the very concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) being such

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

March 23, 2016

Networks to keep innovation profits

To read the rest of this article… This article is only accessible to Utility Week subscribers. Please sign in or choose a subscription option Not a subscriber? Register for free access to up to 5 articles per month: Click here to register a new website account orClick here to sign in as an existing user Subscribe now for full access to all our exclusive subscriber content Click here to visit the Utility Week subscriptions site Already a subscriber? Existing website users: Click here to sign-in for full access to all our exclusive subscriber  content New website users: If you are an existing subscriber to Utility Week magazine and have not yet created your website account, you will need to click here to register a new website account. We will attempt to automatically match your account to the existing subscription on our database – if this does not work, please contact us on +44 (0)208 955 7045 or email fhcustomerservices@abacusemedia.com for more assistance. Source link

Read More »

BP signs deal with Eni on Mozambique gas

BP has agreed a 20-year deal with Eni of Italy to buy liquefied natural gas from a big new field off the coast of Mozambique in a step toward the south-east African country’s emergence as a force in global energy production. By guaranteeing a customer for the entire output of the Coral South field in the Indian Ocean, the BP contract clears the way for Eni to make its long-awaited final investment decision on the multibillion-dollar project. It could also add impetus to efforts by Eni to sell a stake in its Mozambique assets, with Exxon widely touted by bankers and analysts as the most likely buyer. Eni has been at the forefront of several big gas discoveries off the Mozambique coast, raising hopes of a natural resources boom for one of the world’s poorest countries. Development has been delayed — and projections for the economic windfall trimmed — since the collapse of oil and gas prices two years ago. However, Tuesday’s deal between BP and Eni will reinforce confidence that investment will soon begin to flow. Eni holds a 50 per cent stake in the Area 4 block involved in the contract. The other half is owned by CNPC of China, Galp Energia of Portugal, Kogas of South Korea and Mozambique’s national oil company, Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos. Claudio Descalzi, Eni chief executive, has previously said the company was on course to give the final go-ahead for development late this year. He is also aiming to reach agreement on the planned sale of a stake in its Mozambique interests by the end of 2016 or early next year. Eni is looking to bring in a partner with financial strength and industrial expertise to help build the infrastructure needed to bring Mozambique gas on stream. Exxon has declined to comment on reports that it is close to a deal with the Italian company. The development plans for Coral South include a floating production facility with capacity for over 3.3m tonnes of LNG per year. The scheme was approved by the Mozambique government last February. “Through this agreement [with BP], the Area 4 partners have achieved another fundamental milestone for the execution of the Coral South development project,” Eni said in a statement on Tuesday. Paul Reed, chief executive of BP’s supply and trading business, said: “BP is pleased to play a key role in enabling Mozambique to be an LNG exporting country. The agreement adds to the diversity of our natural gas portfolio beyond the end of the decade, further enhancing our ability to meet the needs of our customers.” Development of Mozambique’s resources would demonstrate that energy groups are still willing to invest in new production when the opportunity is big enough, despite the sharp slowdown in capital expenditure since the crash in oil and gas prices. However, the deal could also increase industry concerns about the glut in global gas supplies after the opening of big new sources in the US and Australia in recent years, with further large reserves under development in Egypt and elsewhere. Sample the FT’s top stories for a week You select the topic, we deliver the news. Source link

Read More »

Howard Kennedy hires new partner

Law firm Howard Kennedy has strengthened its Real Estate team with the appointment of partner Martha Grekos. Martha joined the firm as a Partner and Head of Planning on 5 September from Irwin Mitchell, where she led its planning and infrastructure team.  She was previously at Eversheds, Herbert Smith and Berwin Leighton Paisner.  Consistently ranked as one of the leading planning lawyers in the UK by Planning magazine, The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, Martha brings to Howard Kennedy expertise in all aspects of planning and environmental law, transport, energy and infrastructure work.  She has a particular focus on the promotion and implementation of large complex regeneration schemes and major infrastructure projects.  Her work includes redevelopment projects that are often politically sensitive, involving large environmental impact assessments, compulsory purchase orders, highway orders, planning agreements and appeal court proceedings.  On joining Howard Kennedy, Martha said: “Howard Kennedy is an entrepreneurial law firm that collaborates with its clients to deliver a commercial outcome.  Its 84-strong Real Estate department is behind some of the most exciting commercial, retail, leisure, residential and mixed use regeneration schemes in London and the South East, and I am thrilled to be leading its expanding planning team.”  Julian Hindmarsh, Partner and Chairman of the Real Estate department at Howard Kennedy adds: “We are delighted with Martha’s decision to lead our Planning team.  She has a first rate track record, acting on major development and infrastructure schemes across the country.  She will be a terrific asset to the firm and our clients.” Source link

Read More »

Man sentenced after worker is fatally crushed in a trench

A self-employed contractor has been sentenced after an employee was killed when the trench he was working in collapsed on him. Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard how William Ryan Evans was contracted to construct a drainage field comprising of infiltration pipes laid at the bottom of deep trenches. He employed two workers and a subcontractor excavator to undertake the work at Longstone Farm, in Pembrokeshire. Hywel Glyndwr Richards, aged 54, entered the trench to remove a clump of soil that had fallen into the trench when it collapsed, burying him. He died at the scene. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 26 June 2012 found that the work was not planned appropriately and the risk assessment was not suitable or sufficient. The workers were not appropriately trained and suitable equipment to a prevent collapse were not provided. At Swansea Crown Court on Monday 11 April, William Ryan Evans, of Blaenwaun Twr, Trelech, Carmarthenshire was found guilty of breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was given a six month custodial sentence. HSE Inspector Phil Nicolle said: “This tragic incident could have been prevented by undertaking a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks, providing the correct equipment or safe working methods to the workers and managing and monitoring the work to ensure it was done safely. “Work in excavations needs to be properly planned, managed and monitored to ensure no one enters an excavation deeper than 1.2m without adequate controls in place to prevent a collapse.” Hywel Richards’ family said: “Dad was an integral part of our family, the glue that kept us all together. Our family was devastated by his sudden death. We have wondered so many times why this has happened to us, we were meant to grow up with Dad as our guide; the man we looked up to and loved so much. “Family gatherings and celebrations, once joyous occasions, are now ruined because dad is not there. Today, and for the rest of our lives, we are mourning the loss of dad, our best friend, our confidant and protector. Quite simply, he has left a space that will never be filled. We hope that lessons will be learned from dad’s death.” For further information on safety in excavations visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/excavations.htm Notes to Editors: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. hse.gov.uk More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/ HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk Journalists should approach HSE press office with any queries on regional press releases. Source link

Read More »

Figures Highlight an Increase in Female Construction Workers

Good news for industry equality; it has recently been announced that the quantity of women holding positions in the construction sector has recently risen to one of the highest figures since the establishment of records. Heralding a positive step forward in equality and diversity for the construction sector, the news is quite well received from an ethical perspective and, whilst firstly highlighting the increase in female construction workers taken on, yet also showcases the level of interest from women in construction careers. Highlighted in statistics provided by the Office for National Statistics, it can be seen that the quantity of female construction operatives has seen a growth of some 9.9% on a yearly basis, reaching levels of 277,000 at the close of 2015 – this figure being at a high not seen over the course of the last twenty years, when the last record was set in 1996. Surprisingly, it has also been seen that the sheer rate at which female construction workers have been hired has actually been at a more rapid pace than male construction workers, with the total number of male workers only rising by 6.6% in the 12 months up to the close. Most specifically, each quarter of 2015 showed a 1.5% increase in the number of female workers in the sector, with the increase in male workers trailing behind at a 1% increase er quarter. Of course, the sector is far from entirely equal, with these figures, yes, highlighting positive change, but the industry does indeed remain more weighted towards male workers. As of present, the overall proportion of women making up the construction sector’s workforce sits at 19.9%, which is a considerable increase on the figure of 11.9% shown when the records were first initialised. And so, while considerable progress is still hoped for from an equality perspective, these figures highlighted over the course of the year to paint a very positive picture, both from the perspective of interest levels and of the take-up of female construction workers as a whole.  

Read More »

Owen Pugh to Work with Gentoo for First Time

It has been announced that Owen Pugh GDC, a leading northeastern civil engineering practice has been successful in earning a £1.1m project for infrastructure works in line with a leading Newcastle-upon-Tyne housing scheme. The contract, to see Owen Push complete a series of works, such as the installation of roads, sewers and complete plot works, exists to support the some 37 affordable new homes in Fenham. It is estimated at present that the project will take approximately a year for Owen Pugh to complete and will also include complementary works to the main project ambitions, such as hardscaping, paving and road surfacing; effectively taking the organisation closer to offer a complete infrastructure package for the scheme. Also heralding the first time with the Owen Pugh has worked with the development company, Gentoo Homes, expectations are assuredly high and only time will tell as to how Owen Pugh impresses on the project. Owen Pugh GDC’s Business Development Manager, Steve Hamilton expressed his delight in being awarded the project, and the ability to deliver the much-needed infrastructure for the area, then adding: “It’s real coup to have been recognised as a preferred supplier. This is a significant piece of work for the GDC team and one which we are well placed to deliver.” As such, optimism is rife, from Owen Pugh, the Gentoo Group and also from the locality, with the prospectus of delivering a project which will benefit the area together. The development at which the project is to be undertaken, called the Calderstone development, is situated some 2.5 miles west of the Newcastle city centre, and includes a combination of two, three and four-bedroom residential properties for those looking to get onto the property ladder, as well as those looking for affordable residential family housing; as such, the properties are starting at prices of just £155,950, a very manageable sum in comparison to present average property prices.

Read More »

Bellway Sells Interest in JV, Investing into Further Land

This March, it has been revealed that Bellway has now sold its interest in its JV organisation alongside the Greater London Authority. The partnership, called Barking Riverside, has seen such interest pass to L&O New Homes, as Bellway now looks to utilise the funds acquired to reassess the strategic focus of the company’s accounts and shareholder returns. In the sale, Bellway received £17m up front, with a further £43.5m expected to come to the company over the course of the following three years. And while this is already a significant amount of funds for the company to now play with, additional savings will also been seen as the organisation no longer sees its costs inflated in the provision of infrastructure and maintenance for the site. Looking at where the company will utilise the funds in a manner deemed best for the continuity of the company, Bellway intends to invest the disposable proceeds into a number of new land opportunities, with the hopes of securing considerable returns which can then create further financial value and returns for shareholders. Providing example to such sites the company will be looking at, Ted Ayres, Chief Executive of Bellway nodded to the company’s site in Horsham, originally contracted this march for 165 residential houses – most notable with this project is the provision of an outline planning permission, highlighting projected returns of greater than 20%. Yet, not completely stepping away from the site, Bellway has also entered into another, optional deal whereupon it will be able to purchase some 2,600 plots for development in the remainder for the Barking Riverside site, which is on top of the 438 plots already owned by the partnership. Of course, the deal comes at a good time for Bellway also, with the company already making great ground in securing enviable revenues and profits for shareholders. In fact, half-year revenues up to this January have showcased a 40% jump in profit, and a 30% rise in revenue achieved. As such, it can only be hoped that the recent development will see these figures rise yet further for the company as it continues to strategically plan for further financial success.

Read More »

Continued Growth Highlighted in Housing Market

Once again, the housing market has shown strong, positive growth signs, with the average UK house prices increasing by a further 7.9% in the 12 months building up to this January, signalling a notable increase on the 12 months up to last December, recorded at 6.7%. Additionally, in the index provided by the Office of National Statistics, it has also been shown that prices actually increased by some 8.6% in England, in Scotland 0.1%, 0.8% in Northern Ireland and a fall of 0.3% in Wales. With the average house price rising to circa £292,000, it is clear that the demand of housing, and also the investment potential within housing is still on the rise as we slowly break out of the recessionary periods. As to the pockets of England in which the growth has been most evident, a yearly increase of approximately 11.7% has been seen in the South East, with growth of approximately 10.8% in London and 9.8% in the East of England. Excluding the hotspots of London and the South East however, the average rise in prices has still been cited as 5.1% in the 12 months up to January, with an actual increase of approximately 0.9% between December and January – a notable increase in what is considered to be a relatively small period of time. Whilst the figures, as aforementioned due signal a very strongly performing housing market as a whole, industry experts have highlighted the density of change seen in certain geographic pockets; in effect ,this meaning that, whilst progress is being seen in the housing market, the degree reported may show slightly skewed figures from what can Is represented in many geographic areas around the UK. Most specifically, the lack of geographic spread in progress can be seen most aptly in the areas of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where, while certainly not performing altogether badly, have not shown a great deal of progress or change as a whole.

Read More »

CITB and HBF to Support Housebuilding Sector with Training

Presently it could be argued that a lot of pressure is placed on property developers and local councils to deliver on residential housing schemes, bring about further affordable housing for residents, and do so quickly. Yet, often overlooked when considering the housebuilding arena is the widely reported skill shortages for the construction industry; a concept which, by inherent nature holds back the construction industry from delivering housing schemes as frequently; something which we may see the CITB making great ground on resolving. In support of filling the skills gap, and facilitating the sector’s ability to deliver more housing, the CITB and Home Builder’s Federation have teamed up to offer a £2.7m initiative to deliver essential training for 45,000 new housebuilding workers by 2019. The first scheme of this sort, the partnership, the newly dubbed Home Building Skills Partnership will look to reign in organisations of all shapes and sizes to ensure that the industry is well equipped with skilled workers. To achieve on its ambitions, the focus will then include individual initiatives to promote collaboration for key skill areas from the top to the bottom of the supply chain, thus placing the industry in a much stronger position to plan for the future. And with considerable targets set out for the housing sector thus far, this support is expected to be quite well received. Aiming to support greater than 3,500 businesses in the building industry, the partnership not only aims to ensure that the aforementioned 45,000 entrants are equipped with the housebuilding skills needed to support the industry, but will also see additional training provided to circa 1,000 experienced workers in the industry, offering them brand new housebuilding training schemes and associated qualification. Providing his thoughts on the scheme and its role, Brandon Lewis, Housing and Planning Minister commented: “The Home Building Skills Partnership is an important initiative and will help deliver the training of skilled workers we need to get the job done and to improve quality across the industry.”

Read More »

Pushing CSR in Small-Scale Projects, A Step in the Right Direction for SMEs

Increasingly there are levels of pressure being placed upon industry organisations to operate in a more responsible manner, with great encouragement from government, industry associations and peers alike to display role model conduct on areas of corporate responsibility. Yet, with the very concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) being such a vast and nigh-on all-encompassing sector, it can be considered quite easy for organisations to get bogged down in the million and one ways to move forward; effectively, where to start? Now, of course most organisations recognise some of the key areas of corporate social responsibility, which traditionally revolve around sustainability, environmental concerns, health and safety, local community works, providing benefits around those works being performed, providing personal development and opportunities for workers, and also supply chain transparencies. But with so much included in the CSR agenda, it can be very difficult for organisations to push the envelope on each of these areas simultaneously, or so it may seem. Increasingly, key players in the construction industry have been perceived to try and meld different aspects of CSR temporarily, creating and undertaking projects where multiple boxes in the corporate responsibility agenda can be ticked all at once – and then being singular in nature, making this far more easy for organisation’s to manage. For example; when undertaking projects in a community, interaction with that community is highlighted as being of considerable importance, yet it’s key to address the form of communication and channels thereof. Through interaction with local educational establishments, such as schools, construction companies have been seen to partner and work across the CSR spectrum most effectively: examples may include talks on environmental best practice, the importance of safety around construction sites and more. What this means effectively is that, while it can be difficult for organisations to arrange complete strategies for CSR, especially in those organisations with smaller operational teams and controls, this does not mean that progress cannot be made in the field. Through thinking small-scale and creating targeted CSR-relevant projects, even the smallest of organisations can make a difference in a controlled, easy to manage environment.

Read More »