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September 14, 2016

Map: Key projects on the new Silk Road

China’s “One Belt, One Road” project aims to make central Asia more connected to the world, yet even before the initiative was formally announced China had helped to redraw the energy map of the region. It had built an oil pipeline from Kazakhstan, a gas pipeline that allowed Turkmenistan to

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BAM Construction Secures £6m Contract for New Factory

BAM Construction has secured a £6 million contract to construct a new factory in Bradford-On-Avon. The facility is being built for AB Dynamics, a supplier of testing systems to the motor industry for development, research and production quality control. SRA Architects, based in Bath, designed the scheme which comprises the

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Uniper Shares Rise After Stock Market Debut

Shares in Uniper have risen in the first morning of trading after the newly formed company was floated on the Frankfurt stock exchange. The company’s debut on the stock market marks the completion of the spin-off of Eon’s conventional power generation and energy trading operations into a separate company. Shareholders

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Construction Output Unchanged in July 2016

The latest official figures show that construction output was unchanged in July 2016 compared to the previous month; however there was a strong rise in new orders in the second quarter. The latest bulletin from the Office of National Statistics puts construction output growth at 0% for July 2016 compared

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FMB New President to Focus on Apprenticeships

New President of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), Gary Lewis, says that he will be focussing on boosting the quality and quantity of apprenticeships through construction SMEs. At the National AGM and Conference in Newport, Wales, on September 10, Gary Lewis was elected National President of the FMB, which

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Castle Building Services Nearly Doubles Annual Turnover

Scottish M&E specialist Castle Building Services Organisation has almost doubled its annual turnover to £38 million and booked £11 million of new contracts over the past two months. The building services design and installation specialist based in East Kilbride has been appointed by main contractor Morrison Construction to provide mechanical

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GMB Criticises Corbyn’s ‘Wishful Thinking’ Energy Policy

Union for energy workers, GMB, says that Jeremy Corbyn’s energy and environmental policy will not generate the power needed to heat homes, keep the lights on and the economy functioning. The Union was commenting on Corbyn’s energy and environment manifesto which was launched on September 7, outlining his target of

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024

September 14, 2016

Map: Key projects on the new Silk Road

China’s “One Belt, One Road” project aims to make central Asia more connected to the world, yet even before the initiative was formally announced China had helped to redraw the energy map of the region. It had built an oil pipeline from Kazakhstan, a gas pipeline that allowed Turkmenistan to break its dependence on dealings with Russia and another pipeline that has increased the flow of Russian oil to China. Chinese companies have funded and built roads, bridges and tunnels across the region. A ribbon of fresh projects, such as the Khorgos “dry port” on the Kazakh-Chinese border and a railway link connecting Kazakhstan with Iran, is helping increase trade across central Asia. China is not the only investor in central Asian connectivity. Multilateral financial institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank have long been investing in the region’s infrastructure. The Kazakh government has its own $9bn stimulus plan, directing money from its sovereign wealth fund to infrastructure investment. Other countries, including Turkey, the US, and the EU have also made improving Eurasian connectivity a part of their foreign policy. Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway A China-led consortium last year won a $375m contract to build a 770km high-speed railway line between Moscow and Kazan. Total investment in the project — set to cut journey time between the cities from 12 hours to 3.5 hours — is some $16.7bn. Khorgos-Aktau railway In May last year, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced a plan to build — with China — a railway from Khorgos on the Chinese border to the Caspian Sea port of Aktau. The scheme dovetails with a $2.7bn Kazakh project to modernise its locomotives and freight and passenger cars and repair 450 miles of rail. Central Asia-China gas pipeline The 3,666km Central Asia-China gas pipeline predated the new Silk Road but forms the backbone of infrastructure connections between Turkmenistan and China. Chinese-built, it runs from the Turkmenistan/Uzbekistan border to Jingbian in China and cost $7.3bn. Central Asia-China gas pipeline, line D China signed agreements with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to build a fourth line of the central Asia-China gas pipeline in September 2013. Line D is expected to raise Turkmenistan’s gas export capacity to China from 55bn cu m per year to 85bn cu m. China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway Kyrgyzstan’s prime minister Temir Sariev has said that the construction of the delayed Kyrgyz leg of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway would start in 2016. In September 2015, Uzbekistan said it had finished 104km of the 129km Uzbek stretch of the railway. Khorgos Gateway Khorgos Gateway, a dry port on the China-Kazakh border that is seen as a key cargo hub on the new Silk Road, began operations in August 2015. China’s Jiangsu province has agreed to invest more than $600m over five years to build logistics and industrial zones around Khorgos. Trans-Asian railways Whether transporting frozen poultry or electronic equipment, subsidies from China are making new overland train routes across central Asia an increasingly attractive proposition for logistics businesses. Cheaper than by air, and faster than by sea, increased overland rail networks could help the region capture valuable business and capitalise on increased trade from China to Europe through overland routes across Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. Rail connection to Tehran The first freight train from China arrived in Tehran in February 2016 in the wake of China’s One Belt One Road project which has seen ongoing investment in overland rail across central Asia. This, plus Iran’s landmark nuclear agreement with the west in 2015, has paved the way for deals with France and Germany for a much-needed modernisation of the country’s railway network and provided a boost to Chinese-Iranian trade. China-Pakistan highway Concerns over what China’s new Silk Road project will mean for India are concentrated around Chinese plans to invest $46bn in a new “economic corridor” between China and Pakistan. The initiative will pass through the disputed region of Kashmir and Indian policy analysts remain divided on whether the project is a strategic threat or an economic opportunity for their country. Source link

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Display screen equipment (DSE) risk management – London, 12 July 2016

Book Course HSL is to run a 1 day course on Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Risk Management – LONDON. ETC Venues - Marble Arch Garfield House 86 Edgware Road London W2 2EA 12 July 2016 PLEASE NOTE THE COURSE WILL BE HELD IN LONDON HSL is to run a 1 day course on DSE management (including office risk assessment and risk management of mobile device) in London. Introduction Display screen technology, such as computers, laptops, smartphones and tablet PCs are common in all aspects of our lives.  Our exposure to these devices continues to increase, with reported levels of up to 9 hours per day spent consuming media on a display screen device.   While the musculoskeletal (MSD) risks from such device are relatively low, the increased exposure does mean that the effects of preventable risks such as poor or fixed postures can accumulate and lead to problems.  HSE statistics (2014/15) indicate that 44% of cases of work related illness involves MSDs, which result in 40% of working days lost.  Data from the general practitioners scheme (THOR-GP) suggests that “keyboard work”  are significant contributors to both lower back and upper limb disorders. This course, delivered by experienced HSL ergonomists, will provide you with an understanding of DSE risks and approach to risk management and with the documentation to provide your employer with risk assessments.   The course covers the key elements for office DSE risk assessment and management and provides the information and techniques required to enable anyone to become a DSE assessor.  We also discuss risk management for less common DSE issues such as hot-desking and dual screens, and mobile technology such as tablet pcs, smartphones and laptops.  Guidance on how to set up a computer workstation in the office is mirrored for home activity or when you are on the move with DSE. The course will cover: Why DSE?  Legal, moral, financial reasons How do we get injured What’s the best posture Achieving good posture at the workstation Alternative pointing device Practical assessment Break requirements from DSE Mobile DSE risks and risk management Who should attend? The course will be most beneficial for health and safety providers, with limited knowledge / experience of DSE risk management who wish to become a DSE assessor. However, it will also be relevant to those who wish to update or consolidate their knowledge and experience as a DSE assessor. Venue ETC Venues - Marble Arch Garfield House 86 Edgware Road London W2 2EA Cost The cost of this course is £525 per person (includes course notes, lunch and refreshments). Book Course Please note the invoice option is not available within 4 weeks of the course date, or for overseas customers. For further dates and additional information email: training@hsl.gsi.gov.uk or contact the Training & Conferences Unit at HSL directly on +44 (0)1298 218806. Back to Health & Safety Training Courses Back to the top Source link

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BAM Construction Secures £6m Contract for New Factory

BAM Construction has secured a £6 million contract to construct a new factory in Bradford-On-Avon. The facility is being built for AB Dynamics, a supplier of testing systems to the motor industry for development, research and production quality control. SRA Architects, based in Bath, designed the scheme which comprises the design and construction of a new engineering and workshop facility along with a two storey office. On a greenfield site, BAM will erect a steel framed new factory and associated offices including a bespoke fit out for the specialist nature of the firm’s automotive operations. Included in the external works are hard and soft landscaping, car parking, service yard, secure fencing and gates with a tree and shrub planting scheme. The new building will be oriented to minimise the solar heat gain and the roof will have studded north facing skylights. This will maximise the amount of natural light on the manufacturing ground floor and in the first floor offices. Tony Best founded AB Dynamics in 1982 and the company supplied the first steering robot for quantitative vehicle testing on the track in 1998 and has now supplied more than 600 driving robot systems throughout the world. The company was also an early pioneer of the use of an inertial GPS motion pack to control the path of a vehicle in 2001 and six years later was one of the first manufacturers to sell a system for testing driverless vehicles. Neil Dorrington, BAM Construction Director, commented: “This is a fascinating scheme that requires our technical experience and a close working partnership with our client. It also shows our versatility in our markets, sitting well alongside our other technically challenging buildings like the Living Systems Institute for Exeter University.” BAM is currently engaging in several weeks of enabling works while contracts are being finalised. The new building is scheduled to hand over in autumn 2017.

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Uniper Shares Rise After Stock Market Debut

Shares in Uniper have risen in the first morning of trading after the newly formed company was floated on the Frankfurt stock exchange. The company’s debut on the stock market marks the completion of the spin-off of Eon’s conventional power generation and energy trading operations into a separate company. Shareholders of Eon were allocated 53.35% of shares in Uniper when the split was officially registered in Germany on Friday. They received one Uniper share for every 10 shares they owned in Eon. Effectively, the two companies have been operationally independent since Uniper came into being at the start of 2016. Uniper is not listed in the main indices on the Frankfurt stock exchange, unlike its parent company Eon which is listed on the blue chip index DAX. It is likely that this will have provided some downward pressure on Uniper’s share price, as indices trackers offloaded their newly created stocks. Nonetheless, having been floated in an opening auction at a price of 10.015 Euros, the shares gained ground over the first half of the day. Speaking ahead of the floatation, Johannes Teyssen, Eon Chief Executive, commented: “Eon and Uniper now have every opportunity to be successful with their clear focus on their respective segments of the energy industry. They can now develop without compromises and serve the needs of their respective customers. “This strategy is the right way forward for Eon, for Uniper and for the customers, shareholders and employees of both companies. The new and the classical energy worlds are so fundamentally different that they each require a totally different entrepreneurial approach.” Shares in Eon fell by 13% in the first half an hour of trading, meaning that the company’s value decreased by around 2 billion Euros to around 13.85 billion Euros, before falling further to 7.05 Euros per share.

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Construction Output Unchanged in July 2016

The latest official figures show that construction output was unchanged in July 2016 compared to the previous month; however there was a strong rise in new orders in the second quarter. The latest bulletin from the Office of National Statistics puts construction output growth at 0% for July 2016 compared with June last year. All new work rose by 0.5%, while all repair and maintenance fell by 1.1%. In comparison with July 2015, construction output fell by 1.5% and all new work, and repair and maintenance fell by 0.6% and 3.2% respectively. The underlying pattern as suggested by the three-month on three-month movement in output in the construction industry decreased by 1.2%. Construction industry new orders in the second quarter (April to June) of 2016 were estimates to have risen by 8.6% compared with the first quarter (January to March) of 2016 and increased by 7.5% compared with the second quarter of last year. New housing rose by 25%, while infrastructure fell by 17.4%. Chief Executive of construction consultant McBains Cooper, Michael Thikettle, said that the construction industry will see these figures as a welcome fillip as they are the first ones to be gathered after the Brexit result. Thirkettle continued: “Although some projects were put on hold before the referendum, now the result is known the industry can plan with a degree of increased certainty and the majority of investors are telling us that they are not planning on cancelling any major projects. “The low value of sterling is also providing an opportunity for more foreign investment in the UK, which could provide a knock-on boost to the wider residential and commercial markets so we are hopeful that construction output will pick up over the next few months.” He added that the biggest concern for the construction industry in terms of Brexit is its reliance on itinerant labour from EU countries given the UK’s acute skills shortages.

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FMB New President to Focus on Apprenticeships

New President of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), Gary Lewis, says that he will be focussing on boosting the quality and quantity of apprenticeships through construction SMEs. At the National AGM and Conference in Newport, Wales, on September 10, Gary Lewis was elected National President of the FMB, which is the largest construction trade association in the UK. National President of the FMB, Gary Lewis, said that he has always been passionate about passing on his knowledge to the next generation and ensuring that they have sufficient skilled workers in the construction sector. Lewis continued: “My own firm is one of the many thousands of SMEs that provides broad-skilled apprenticeships. Indeed, two-thirds of all construction apprentices are trained by SME firms like mine. “FMB members are already playing a pivotal role in improving the quality of apprenticeships through the development of two new Trailblazer standards in bricklaying and plastering. However, root and branch changes to apprenticeship policy are on the horizon with the implementation of the new Government Apprenticeship Levy and the corresponding reforms to the CITB levy.” Lewis also said that these fundamental changes could make or break the quality and quantity of apprenticeship training and it is therefore crucial that the FMB ensures that the new system works for smaller firms, or else they could risk exacerbating the construction skills crisis. He said that as the FMB is celebrating its 75th year, he feels privileged to play a role in leading an organisation that stands for quality and professionalism in the building trade, adding that the FMB has made great strides forward over the last few years. At the National AGM and Conference, Arthur McArdle was elected as the new National Vice President of the FMB and Dave Bentley, the former FMB National President, will now serve as the Immediate Past President.

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Castle Building Services Nearly Doubles Annual Turnover

Scottish M&E specialist Castle Building Services Organisation has almost doubled its annual turnover to £38 million and booked £11 million of new contracts over the past two months. The building services design and installation specialist based in East Kilbride has been appointed by main contractor Morrison Construction to provide mechanical and electrical services on four major build schemes across both the community facilities and education sectors. In North Ayrshire, Castle has been chosen to work on the new Largs Community Campus, a scheme being delivered under the Hub South West framework. JM Architects designed the campus in conjunction with building services consultant Ramboll. The campus has the latest renewable energy technologies to achieve a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating and Castle will use building information modelling to achieve a project completion date in early 2018. In the primary education sector, Castle has been appointed to two new build primary schools to replace the existing facilities in Dailly and Tarbolton. Castle will also install M&E services on the Quay Zone, a leisure centre which is currently being built at Girvan Harbour. Derek Reid, Director at Castle, said that the company has developed a well earned a reputation as a reliable and responsible local contractor that can be trusted to deliver schemes across many sectors, with much of our work coming from repeat business. Reid continued: “These latest wins allow us to further demonstrate the depth of in house resource and capability on major projects, as well as our commitment to the areas in which we work and the strength of our links with the local supply chain. “Each location we are required to work in presents us with challenges, whether it is the waterfront position of The Quay Zone or, for instance, the lack of a gas supply close to Tarbolton Primary. However, thanks to our innovative approach to both the design and installation of building services, we are adept at addressing and overcoming these challenges.”

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GMB Criticises Corbyn’s ‘Wishful Thinking’ Energy Policy

Union for energy workers, GMB, says that Jeremy Corbyn’s energy and environmental policy will not generate the power needed to heat homes, keep the lights on and the economy functioning. The Union was commenting on Corbyn’s energy and environment manifesto which was launched on September 7, outlining his target of generating 65% of energy in the UK from renewable sources by 2030. GMB National Secretary for Energy, Justin Bowden, said that GMB is looking forward to examining the details of how this policy will actually meet the energy needs of the UK. Bowden continued:  “Everyone gets how – over time – renewable energy sources have an important role to play in a sensibly conceived mixed energy policy. “However wishful thinking doesn’t generate the power we need to heat homes, keep the lights on and the economy functioning; this means that until there are technological breakthroughs in carbon capture or solar storage then gas and nuclear power are the only reliable, low-carbon shows in town for all those days when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.” He said that limiting the UK’s options on achieving energy self-sufficiency by banning fracking is short-sighted and naïve as gas is four times cheaper than electricity, the main reason why more than 80% of homes use gas for heating, and access to gas is a crucial element of every fuel poverty strategy. Bowden added: “While we are waiting with our fingers crossed for the technology to arrive, or quadrupling the size of the electricity infrastructure and asking everyone with a gas boiler to rip it out and replace it with an electric one, we should not be having to depend on Russia, Qatar, Kuwait or some combination of these regimes to supply us with gas to heat our homes and supply the gas for our crucial chemicals industry.”

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