December 1, 2023 foasummit0

A survey conducted by Assystem has revealed that over half of infrastructure projects around the world fail to meet time, cost and quality objectives. The survey of over 700 project control professionals working globally on transport, energy and urban development projects, revealed only 47% of projects worldwide achieve time, cost and quality objectives.

Project controls professionals provide guidance and assistance to project managers for the resolution of complex engineering project controls issues, and help with the planning, scheduling, cost analysis and monitoring for major engineering programs or high visibility projects, the firm said.

Skill shortages, limited investment and a lack of uptake in technology, innovation and data production/analysis were cited as major reasons for failure. Only 23% of projects and portfolios believe their teams have all the necessary skills to perform their function successfully.

The survey also revealed that investment levels present a significant challenge to project delivery, with uncertainty around financial backing for major projects causing scheduling delays, which cause project inefficiencies and cost increases in turn.

“While some of the challenges facing the infrastructure sector are systemic, the silver lining is that there are means to improve project success rates available in the short to medium term. Today, technological advancements, particularly assets such as digital twins, powerful data-rich dashboards, and artificial intelligence, have the potential to revolutionise project management and turn the tide on the global infrastructure challenge,” said Kevin Corcoran, Senior Business Unit Director for Transport and Infrastructure, Assystem.

Respondents said digital transformation is a key driver of successful delivery, with confidence doubling when projects are paired with a digital delivery plan, noting that such cutting-edge solutions require initiative and investment to adopt and deploy them effectively.

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December 1, 2023 foasummit0

The development of Poland’s second large nuclear power plant has been approved by the Polish Ministry of Climate and Environment. The project will take shape in the Patnów-Konin region, with construction expected to begin in 2026.

Poland said that it aims to reduce coal dependence by building four to six nuclear reactors, with a total capacity of 6-9 GW between 2026 and the mid-2040s.

In August 2023, PGE PAK Energia Jądrowa, a joint venture of the Polish companies ZE PAK and Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE), submitted an application to the ministry for a new plant.

As per the application, the proposed plant will have two units and generate 22TWh of electricity per year, which is equivalent to approximately 12% of the current electricity demand in Poland. The plant is expected to begin supplying power in 2033.

In November last year, the Polish government announced the first plant, with a capacity of 3750MWe, would be built in Pomerania, using technology from US-based Westinghouse. An agreement setting a plan for the delivery of the plant was signed in May by Westinghouse, Bechtel and PEJ.

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November 30, 2023 foasummit0

‘Eden House – The Canal’ has been launched by Dubai-based H&H Development. Taking shape near the Dubai Water Canal in Jumeirah, will feature 100 modern housing units along with other key amenities, and aims to redefine modern living experiences and sophistication, and is part of the developer’s expansion, following the response to its ‘Eden House’ brand in Al Satwa.

According to a statement, the developer has signed up Sotheby’s International Realty as the exclusive broker for the high-end project. This collaboration is said to underscore H&H Development’s dedication to delivering unparalleled services and possibilities to its diverse clientele.

With over ten years of success, unrivalled expertise, and a vast network of international buyers and sellers, Sotheby’s is a pioneering force in the UAE real estate market, setting the benchmark for excellence in premium property sales, the statement explained.

“We are proud to join forces with H&H Development, a pioneer in upscale real estate. The ‘Eden House – The Canal’ represents the expression of elegance and we are honoured to be the exclusive sales partner for this remarkable development,” said George Azar, Managing Director of Sotheby’s International Realty.

H&H said it has also partnered with Global Partners, an institutional fund manager, regulated by the DFSA, specialising in the UAE’s growing real estate market. Martin Linder, Co-Founder and CEO of Global Partners, expressed delight at launching the sale of ‘Eden House – The Canal’, in collaboration with H&H Development.

“Global Partners was founded by a group of highly experienced global investment professionals and prominent family offices in the UAE who share a common vision to bring exceptional alternative investment opportunities in the UAE to a wide global investment audience. The sale of ‘Eden House – The Canal’ aligns with our commitment to bringing exceptional residential offerings to the market in the UAE,” Linder explained.

Miltos Bossinis, CEO of H&H Development added, “We are pleased to unveil ‘Eden House – The Canal,’ marking a decade of unwavering dedication since our establishment in 2007. This flagship development harmonises comfort, convenience, and sophistication to offer residents an unparalleled quality of life. Meticulously designed to meet evolving needs, our commitment to exceeding expectations is evident in every aspect. As we enter this significant chapter, we are devoted to delivering maximum value to our esteemed customers.”

“Our collaboration with Sotheby’s International Realty and Global Partners aligns with our vision of redefining modern living, leveraging Dubai’s status as an international financial hub. With a passion for excellence, H&H Development continues to push boundaries, reshaping modern living through our distinctive project portfolio,” he concluded.

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November 30, 2023 foasummit0

Housing benefits worth US $2.1bn have been disbursed by Abu Dhabi authorities ahead of the UAE’s 52nd National Day.

The disbursement of the housing benefits was approved by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, on the directives of President HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in his capacity as Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

According to a report by WAM, the package will cover over 5,685 beneficiaries across the emirate, includes housing loans of all types, with a total value of $1.63bn, from which 3,714 UAE nationals have benefited.

The package also covers exempting low-income retirees and families of those who passed away in 2023 from loan repayments. This segment of the package totalled more than $156mn, from which 549 Emiratis benefited, the report noted.

The package also included the granting of residential lands and ready-made houses to 1,422 UAE nationals at a total value of more than $259mn, incorporating the cost of works to provide infrastructure for residential lands. This brings the total value of housing benefit packages disbursed in Abu Dhabi during 2023 to $3.66bn – 9,292 UAE nationals are said to have benefitted from the packages.

Lauding the initiative, Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Abu Dhabi Housing Authority, said the wise leadership’s interest and continuous support for the housing sector in the emirate has led to achieving the aspirations of citizens, meeting their needs in a way that secures a decent life alongside family and social stability.

“Abu Dhabi Housing Authority is working to translate the directives of the leadership through its programmes and services, through which it seeks to achieve the vision of the wise leadership and provide for citizens in a way that contributes to the achieving of happiness, comfort, and family stability for UAE families,” he concluded.

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November 29, 2023 foasummit0

Commitment to excellence

Redcon Construction has been a driving force in Egypt’s modernisation for decades, leaving its mark with towering skyscrapers and innovative construction projects that redefine the country’s skyline. As a leader in the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) industry, Redcon has always upheld a commitment to delivering excellence to its clientele. Much of the company’s success lies in its unrelenting drive to find new solutions that increase productivity, maximise workforce capacity, and ensure lasting success for its clients.

Navigating 2D Obstacles

Before the adoption of BIM, the construction industry relied heavily on 2D methodologies for reinforced concrete (RC) design and detailing, which presented its own set of challenges that hindered progress and efficiency. Redcon’s engineers experienced this first-hand in the ZED Towers Project, a mixed-use commercial and residential tower development consisting of two distinct phases, Phase 1 and Phase 2.

During Phase 1 of the project, the structural team faced significant challenges due to their reliance on 2D drawings. These challenges included difficulties in coordinating with other disciplines and adapting to frequent design changes. This reliance also extended to Reinforced Concrete shop drawing production. Translating complex structural shapes and details into 2D plans and sections proved challenges, often resulting in inaccuracies and additional work. Additionally, creating accurate Bar Bending Schedules (BBS) for each element in a 2D software environment was time-consuming and error-prone. Furthermore, automating rebar splices, a critical aspect of reinforced concrete design, was challenging within the constraints of 2D, further complicating the workflow. Such errors had a significant impact on both project timelines and material consumption.

Moreover, precision was often compromised in the 2D environment, leading to costly rework and delays as errors were only identified during construction. “Keeping up with changes in the 2D environment (drawings) was challenging. Each time changes occurred, we had to rebuild the drawing, even when the site had already received the revised drawings and initiated work. Drawing in 2D posed difficulties in obtaining accurate measurements, as we could only draw using variable lengths.” said Mohamed Shabaan, Redcon’s Technical Office Team Leader.

Drawing Extracts

Shop drawing 1 extracted from Revit

Shop drawing 2 extracted from Revit

Shop drawing 3 extracted from Revit

Paving the way for collaborative synergy and enhanced productivity

Redcon recognised the need for a solution and decided to use Autodesk Revit, leading to a revolutionary change in how they approached reinforced concrete design and detailing. With some custom features added by the R&D team, Revit 2020 allowed Redcon to create 3D models that provided a transparent, detailed, and interactive representation of their projects. This improved understanding and decision-making among project stakeholders and reduced waste. This was critical for Redcon as waste increased over the 5% standard rate. “ The primary reason for adopting BIM software was to minimise rebar wastage” Mohamed further explains. “We soon noticed that reducing waste led to increased team productivity.”

Coordination model: MEP, reinforced concrete openings, and 3D reinforcement

The Use Of Revit

The use of Revit has also improved measurement accuracy, allowing engineers to create comprehensive Bar Bending Schedules (BBS) and sophisticated rebar models for complex structural elements. Notably, the representation of reinforcement in 3D, which was initially challenging in 2D, has resulted in precise length calculations, providing engineers with more accurate quantity takeoff for reinforcement materials. This enhanced accuracy has significantly reduced rebar wastage, ultimately lowering overall costs.

Moreover, BIM has streamlined real-time coordination among architects, engineers, and construction teams by offering a centralised platform for efficient collaboration. With real-time updates and cloud-based accessibility using Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro, all stakeholders work with the most current information. This flexibility has enabled Redcon to make design updates seamlessly, ensuring a smooth and efficient design process and assisting in meeting stringent project schedules.

Clash Free Rebar Modeling

Rendered Models

ZED Project Redcon Scope

ZED Structure Models Rendered

Rebar Modeling Clash Free Model

Efficiency In Numbers

In Phase 1 of the project, seven structural engineers completed 1,535 sheets of concrete and reinforced concrete shop drawings over 12 months. In Phase 2, where BIM was implemented, the project involved only five engineers, who generated 4,250 sheets within the same period. Farag el-Saadany, Senior Engineer, estimates that BIM reduced overall modeling and annotation time by 50% to 60%, significantly cutting shop drawing time and enabling early clash detection. This remarkable improvement reduced the required workforce by 29% and nearly tripled the productivity of structural engineers, while minimising human errors throughout the workflow, from modeling to extraction. According to Mohamed ElSarha, R&D Manager, the new features for reinforcement detailing and show drawing in Revit 2024 will allow 50% to 60% performance and efficiency boost.

Maximising efficiencies through digital adoption

Redcon’s commitment to integrating Revit into its projects, supported by top management, reflects their proactive approach to embracing technology. “Our Chairman always says this: Technology pays off. Implement it today, and it will reward you in the future.” said Mohamed El Sarha.

Providing insight into the company’s digital adoption strategy, Ahmed Ibrahim says, “BIM is deeply integrated into Redcon’s corporate culture, reaching beyond technical departments to ensure seamless information integration, enhanced security, and accessibility for all stakeholders.” This strategic adoption of BIM positions Redcon as a construction leader in the Middle East region, showcasing the transformative power of technology in the industry.

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November 29, 2023 foasummit0

During the 173rd General Assembly of Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on November 28, Saudi Arabia was chosen as the host country of World Expo 2030. A two-thirds majority of member states voted for Saudi Arabia’s project to host World Expo 2030 in Riyadh under the theme ‘The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow’. The expo will take place between October 1, 2030 and March 31, 2031.

Three countries were in the running to host World Expo 2030. In addition to Saudi Arabia, the other candidates were the Republic of Korea (Busan) with the theme ‘Transforming Our World, Navigating Toward a Better Future’ and Italy (Rome) with the theme ‘People and Territories: Regeneration, Inclusion and Innovation’.

“On behalf of the BIE, I offer my warm congratulations to Saudi Arabia on its election as host country of World Expo 2030. In the coming years, we look forward to working closely with Saudi Arabia to bring the world together in Riyadh,” said the Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri S Kerkentzes.

Eligible and present Member States, represented by government-appointed delegates, elected the host country in a secret ballot using electronic voting, on the principle of one country, one vote. Securing 119 votes in the first round, Saudi Arabia was elected outright, as it received the two-thirds majority required. Republic of Korea received 29 votes and Italy 17.

Addressing the assembly, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah said the Kingdom will continue to devote its efforts to regional and global cooperation and development.

He commented, “We take pride in the efforts and achievements that the kingdom has made thus far.”

He also highlighted the significance of the year 2030, as it marks three critical milestones: Expo 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Saudi Vision 2030.

“The Kingdom is actively working to accelerate progress on these three fronts. As we strive to develop and transform our economy, we believe that the Kingdom’s progress, along with regional development and the well-being of the global economy, will advance steadily,” said the Foreign Minister.

He underlined the Kingdom’s unwavering commitment to cooperating with all nations in hosting the expo, which he described as “built by the world for the world.” He also shed light on a comprehensive facilities package worth US $348mn allocated by the Kingdom to a group of 100 eligible countries participating in the expo.

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November 29, 2023 foasummit0

As climate-related disasters intensify in frequency and severity, so does the economic impact on communities and businesses.

Despite a responsibility to mitigate the crisis with emissions reductions in their operations and supply chains, companies have not made much progress in comprehensively measuring and reducing their emissions over the past year, according to a new study by CO2 AI and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) being released ahead of COP28, which begins at the end of the month.

Titled Why Some Companies Are Ahead in the Race to Net Zero, the study builds on CO2 AI and BCG’s 2021 and 2022 investigations into the progress that businesses around the world have made on emissions measurement and reduction. CO2 AI and BCG surveyed 1,850 executives responsible for emissions measurement, reporting, and reduction in their organizations across 18 major industries and 23 countries. Each organization surveyed had at least 1,000 employees and annual revenues ranging from $100 million to over $10 billion.

“Reflecting the UAE’s leadership in climate action, the nation has launched the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative, being among the first in the Middle East and North Africa to target net-zero emissions by 2050. This ambitious drive underscores the region’s commitment to comprehensive emissions measurement and reduction, aligning with global sustainability goals,” said Shelly Trench, Managing Director and Partner at BCG.,

Progress on Comprehensive Emissions Measurement Remains Slow

According to the survey, just 10% of companies now report comprehensively measuring all their emissions, revealing no improvement relative to the 2022 survey. More concerning, only 14% of companies report reducing emissions in line with their ambitions over the past five years, down 3 pp from 2022, citing difficult economic conditions and capital constraints as challenges to their reduction efforts.

However, companies that have made decarbonization progress are realizing both financial and non-financial benefits to their business, citing reputational value, lower operating costs, and regulatory compliance among the top benefits. When asked to quantify, 40% of respondents estimate an annual financial benefit of at least $100 million from meeting emissions reduction targets, a 3 pp increase compared with last year’s survey.

An Improvement in Scope 3 Emissions Measurement

The number of respondents indicating partial measurement and reporting of Scope 3 emissions has increased by 19 pp since 2021, from 34% to 53%. In tandem, more respondents said they have set Scope 3 reduction targets—up 12 pp since 2021, from 23% to 35%—with the most common areas of focus being waste management and purchased goods and services.

Some regions have demonstrated clear improvement in comprehensive measurement of emissions in the past two years. Asia Pacific respondents improved comprehensive reporting of Scope 1 (direct emissions from company-owned and controlled resources), 2 (indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy that an organization consumes), and 3 (indirect emissions that occur in the value chain of a company, including both upstream and downstream missions) emissions by 7 pp since 2021. The number of South American and North American respondents improved comprehensively reporting their internal emissions, Scopes 1 and 2, by 9 pp and 5 pp, respectively.

Four Traits of Companies Reducing Emissions in Line with Ambitions

Companies that report reducing their emissions in line with their ambitions were found to display four notable traits more strongly:

  • Collaborating with suppliers and customers on emissions measurement and reduction: 75% of companies that reduced emissions in line with their ambition have joint reduction initiatives with most of their suppliers, and 54% have similar initiatives with most of their customers.
  • Calculating emissions at the product level: The survey found that 75% of companies attempt to calculate emissions for at least some of their products “from cradle to gate,” that is, from raw materials to distribution.
  • Harnessing the power of digital technology in the emissions-management process: Companies with automated digital solutions for measurement are 2.5 times more likely to measure their emissions comprehensively. In addition, 30% of companies plan to expand the deployment of AI-powered tools within the next three years to improve accuracy, efficiency, and decision-making in emissions management.
  • Viewing Regulations Positively: They are 2.0 times more likely to view emissions-reporting regulations as a key reduction enabler.

“In the GCC, the advancement and expansion of artificial intelligence and technology in addressing climate sustainability are drawing international attention and reinforcing the region’s commitment. The strategic investment in AI-driven solutions is revolutionizing resource management and carbon emission reduction, showcasing innovative approaches to environmental stewardship. This proactive adoption of cutting-edge technologies demonstrates the GCC’s dedication to leading in sustainable solutions, catering to its distinct environmental and economic contexts. The burgeoning interest from global stakeholders further underscores the region’s role as a pioneer in integrating technology with sustainability.” said Robert Xu, Managing Director and Partner at BCG. 

Download the publication here.

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November 29, 2023 foasummit0

Ras Al Khaimah’s leading publicly listed property developer has opened its first Dubai sales centre, located in Business Bay.

The center will bring to life the concept of ‘enhancing lives and places’ embodying the spirit of Ras Al Khaimah, showcasing RAK Properties portfolio of luxury beachfront projects, including residential, commercial and mixed-use real estate, allowing buyers to learn more about the company’s innovative approach to real estate development to customers in the GCC region and around the world.

RAK Properties says it is creating a highly experiential ‘urban island’ lifestyle destination in Mina Al Arab, the heart of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), creating the conveniences of urban living with the free-spirited energy of island life.

Sameh Muhtadi, CEO of RAK Properties, commented: “Our aim is to create an immersive setting for investors to meet and explore our luxury developments. Dubai remains a cosmopolitan hub with more than 200 nationalities residing there, and we have an enormous pipeline of projects launching in 2023 and 2024. It is imperative for us to have a strategic presence in this city, where the demand is, and to be close to our clients to better serve them.

“Our team is dedicated to delivering a tailored customer journey that not only meets but exceeds international standards, ensuring our regional and global clients receive unparalleled support and care.”

The centre will also showcase the company’s commitment to excellence and attention to detail, evident in RAK Properties development, added the firm.

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November 29, 2023 foasummit0

Ahead of COP28, the ENEC ADVANCE program has been announced by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC). The program aims to take advantage of the latest advancements in nuclear energy technologies, and aims to strengthen the UAE’s position as a nation delivering climate action by accelerating the global clean energy transition to Net Zero.

According to a statement from ENEC, the programme will evaluate the latest technologies in the advanced, Small Modular Reactor (SMR) and microreactor categories, which can generate clean electrons and molecules, such as steam, hydrogen and ammonia, as well as process heat for industrial processes. In doing so, ENEC, the UAE’s only mandated nuclear energy developer, will then work with national stakeholders to determine deployment pathways, and with international partners for both technology and project collaboration opportunities.

Within the ‘Year of Sustainability’ in the UAE, the program will support the continued rapid decarbonisation of the country’s heavy and energy intensive industries, creating further sources of clean energy while using the latest technologies and helping to deliver Net Zero by 2050.

Heavy industry (steel, aluminum, oil, gas, cement and chemicals), and transport currently contribute to 50% of the UAE’s total carbon emissions. These sectors are challenging to decarbonise as they require vast amounts of energy continuously, and a significant portion of the emissions arises from activities conducted off-grid, the statement explained.

Advanced reactors and SMRs offer an innovative decarbonisation solution for these sectors. These reactors can be co-located with critical infrastructure and provide a reliable supply of clean electricity, as well as clean steam, heat and hydrogen. SMRs are easier to manufacture, thereby contributing greater economies of scale, in addition to being flexible, safe and efficient to deploy.

ENEC ADVANCE offers a clear example of the action-oriented approach the nation is taking to fast-track the clean energy transition, through leveraging the latest technologies in the nuclear energy sector. The program will expedite and centralise the UAE’s approach to deploying state-of-the-art nuclear technology and boosting value streams through the generation of clean electrons and molecules, strengthening opportunities for users to generate green premiums for their low-carbon end products, the statement added.

“Nuclear energy is vital for reaching Net Zero as part of a balanced portfolio of energy sources, and we are committed to evaluating and deploying the latest nuclear energy technologies to accelerate the decarbonisation of the UAE’s hard-to-abate industries that require ever-growing volumes of clean electricity, molecules, heat and steam. This announcement builds on the great momentum we have made with the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant and the significant expertise we have gained. ENEC is working to harness innovative nuclear energy technologies like advanced reactors to facilitate the achievement of the UAE’s climate goals and transition to low-carbon energy systems,” said His Excellency Mohamed Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC.

“The Barakah Plant is already the largest single source of clean electricity in the UAE and the Arab World. Now, as we evaluate the leaders in the emerging advanced reactor arena, we will utilise the ADVANCE program to select the best technologies for our needs here in the UAE, as well as for projects internationally, where we see opportunities for collaboration and co-investment. We look forward to working closely with our global partners to advance the peaceful use of nuclear energy and support the global goal of tripling global nuclear capacity by 2050,” added Al Hammadi.

With Unit 4 of the Barakah plant due to start up in 2024, ENEC said it is now focused on capitalising on the full value of the UAE’s investment in the nuclear energy sector, working closely with key technology companies and energy intensive industry leaders to identify the right technology and meet the growing demand for clean electricity and molecules.

ENEC’s technology selection and opportunity for co-investment in technologies, will ensure it remains at the forefront of advanced reactor development and create more attractive, high-value and long-term job opportunities for UAE Nationals. ADVANCE boosts the UAE’s R&D and innovation activities, enhancing national intellect that can cross-pollinate to related sectors, the firm stated.

The announcement comes as reports show that global electricity demand is set to double by 2050, combined with a new era of international support for nuclear energy as a proven solution for energy security and sustainability. Global nuclear energy capacity will need to triple to meet the growing demand for clean energy and meet Net Zero targets, and this capacity will come from large-scale reactors, advanced reactors and SMRs. At present, there are over 80 SMR designs alone at varying stages of progress, with owners anticipating commercial deployment in the early 2030s. The SMR market is already valued at over $6bn, which is expected to rise significantly once the first reactors come online.

As a key player, the UAE welcomes other nations visiting the country for COP28 to learn how the nation has rapidly decarbonised its power grid, through the deployment of nuclear energy, offering a model for others looking for a proven route to reducing carbon emissions while boosting energy security.

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November 29, 2023 foasummit0

A deal has been signed by Skanska, Syltern and Nye Veier for the construction of a section of the E6 highway between Berkåk and Vindåsliene in Trøndelag County, Norway. The deal is part of a design and build contract that includes work from Ramboll, with a total package value of $207mn.

According to a report, Skanska’s contract is valued at $122mn and mainly involves the design and construction of a 15km stretch of the E6 – a section with 2×2 lanes, featuring a new intersection and connection to the existing E6. The scope of work includes 15km of local roads, 800m of tunnel, six bridges, two wildlife crossings and various smaller constructions.

The project is being approached with sustainability in mind, and aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by over 50%, compared with regulatory benchmarks. Skanska says the project is expected to receive environmental certification at the BREEAM Infrastructure Whole Team Award level of Very Good.

Detailed engineering activities will start immediately, with construction work expected to begin in the spring of 2024.

The road network is slated for completion by the autumn of 2027, the firm noted.

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