Feb 10, 2021

Mabey Bridge meets Bahrain's oil modernisation needs

bridges
Bahrain
Oil
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Two identical Mabey Bridge Compact 200 bridges were supplied to help increase refining capacity and improve energy efficiency
Two identical Mabey Bridge Compact 200 bridges were supplied to help increase refining capacity and improve energy efficiency...

Mabey Bridge has delivered two critical construction site access bridges in support of a multi-billion-dollar modernisation and infrastructure improvement programme led by the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco).

The Bapco Modernization Programme (BMP) constitutes Bapco's largest capital investment in its 90-year history, and is designed to increase its refining capacity and improve energy efficiency.

Mabey Bridge's role was to support the construction of Bapco's new industrial facilities with the supply of a brace of two-lane bridges. Two identical Compact 200 bridges were supplied to meet the requirement, each sized 27m x 6.3m, complete with parapets and anti-skid decks.

The aim was to facilitate easy access of construction vehicles and deliveries of specialist equipment to the construction site, without interfering with the local road network.

Post-installation technical assistance was also provided by Mabey Bridge to ensure extra-heavy load requirements were met.

BMP Project Director Mr Hafedh AlQassab described the design and installation as "first rate" and recognized by all stakeholders as a positive addition to the BMP Project.

Michael Treacy, CEO Mabey Bridge, said providing quick and safe access to site for construction traffic was of paramount importance. "We are delighted to have been able to demonstrate how modular steel solutions can deliver real project efficiencies in transformational construction projects like this," he said. 

Across the GCC, economies are in recovery mode following COVID and drop in oil prices. 

In April 2020, the first full month of the coronavirus impact, just $4.1bn worth of contracts were awarded in the region, close to 40% lower than the $6.2bn worth of contracts in the same month in 2019, according to the MEED Projects tracking service.

As the market slows, project companies now face two distinct challenges, according to the Deloitte GCC Powers of Construction 2020 report (click here). 

"They have to adhere to contracts and maintain Construction output while at the same time meeting the requirements for social distancing among staff and transporting them to and from site," it notes.

"In parallel, there is anecdotal evidence of payments slowing and cashflow deteriorating, while falling building material production also threatens to disrupt project schedules as the availability of key supplies like mortar, brick and plasterboard becomes more limited."

Bahrain's large neighbour, Saudi Arabia, has been the worst hit with just under 300 projects put on hold, according to the report. 

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Jun 20, 2021

Contractor issues head disputes list in 2020: Arcadis report

construction
contractors
Disputes
surveys
Dominic Ellis
2 min
The average value of disputes globally rose to $54.26 million in 2020 - but the numbers were much the same as 2019, according to an Arcadis report

The average value of disputes globally rose from $30.7 million in 2019 to $54.26 million in 2020, while the length of disputes fell from 15 months in 2019 to 13.4 months, according to an Arcadis report.

The data, featured in Arcadis' 11th annual report, illustrates industry-wide ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic although interestingly the overall volume of disputes stayed relatively the same in 2020 as in 2019.

While trends in the value and length of disputes varied from region to region, all regions surveyed saw an increase in "mega disputes" related to bigger capital programs and private projects. Notably, more than 60% of survey respondents encountered project impacts due to COVID-19.

Owners, contractors, or subcontractors failing to understand and/or comply with their contractual obligations became the leading cause of construction disputes in 2020 (jumping from 3rd place in 2019), followed by owner-directed changes and third-party or force-majeure changes as the second and third-leading causes, respectively.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Proper contract administration was a theme across the globe for the successful and early resolution of disputes
  • Most disputes were settled through party-to-party negotiation, and a willingness to compromise played a key role in early resolution
  • Among regions surveyed, the buildings (education, healthcare, retail/commercial, government) sector saw the most disputes
  • In North America, construction dispute value rose from $18.8 million in 2019 to $37.9 million in 2020, while the length of disputes shortened from 17.6 to 14.2 months.

While cost and length have changed since 2019, risk management was still seen as the most effective claims avoidance tactic, while owner/contractor willingness to compromise was once again the top-ranked factor for the mitigation/early resolution of disputes.

"COVID-19 irrevocably changed every industry," said Roy Cooper, head of contract solutions for Arcadis North America. "Construction disputes experts will have to continue to adapt, even post-pandemic, as workforce expectations, climate events and government infrastructure funding change how projects are designed and contracted in the future."

The research presented in the report was compiled by Arcadis based on survey responses, global construction disputes the team handled in 2020 and contributions from industry experts.

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