Aconex deployed for Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway project
Aconex is assisting Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. of South Korea and Combined Group Contracting Co. (CGC) of Kuwait to design and build the US$2.6-billion Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway project using Aconex solutions. Aconex was proposed by the two contractors and approved by the project owner, the Kuwait Ministry of Public Works.
One of the largest and most prestigious transportation infrastructure projects in the Gulf region, the causeway will connect Kuwait City with an area across Kuwait Bay known as the Subiyah New Town or the City of Silk. The new settlement, which is expected to be completed in 2035, is planned as a major stop on China’s proposed “One Belt One Road” initiative, which is intended to revive the ancient Silk Road trade route.
By shortening the distance between Kuwait City and Subiyah from 104 kilometers (65 miles) to just 36 kilometers (22 miles), the new throughway will trim travel times from 90 minutes to less than 30 minutes.
Controlling Project Information across Geographies
In November 2012, the Kuwait Ministry of Public Works signed a contract with a consortium of Hyundai and CGC to design and build the causeway. A combination of low-level bridges and embankments, the project also includes 26 separate buildings and two artificial islands of 30 hectares each designed to enhance the scenic value of the drive. Other members of the consortium include Systra, AECOM; Dar Al-Handasah (Shair and Partners); T.Y.LIN International and SSH International.
Work began in November 2013. According to Eng. Mai Al Messad, the project engineer, the number of daily transmittals of inspection requests, checklists, approvals, and progress reports had already risen into the hundreds.
“We needed to manage the transmittals and to securely share documents with different organizations across multiple geographies,” Eng. Al Messad said. “It was critical for us to locate and retrieve project information quickly, and we needed to improve project control by automating manual processes.”
Eng. Al Messad said that the team settled on Aconex because the collaboration platform is project-wide, neutral and easy to use. With Aconex, no single organization owns the project information. Instead, each organization retains control and ownership of its proprietary data, and determines which documents and communications are shared with other members of the team.
Replacing Manual Processes with Automated Workflows
Aconex also enables the project team to leverage workflow automation and create standard processes for everything from project communications to handover. This has provided the team with greater visibility and control.
For example, instead of sending requests over commercial email programs, participants manage correspondence as part of standard workflows on the Aconex platform. Rather than create, upload and register Requests for Inspection (RFIs) in one location and then download, edit, upload, supersede, and transmit them back again in another, the project team manages RFIs using workflows. This not only reduces the amount of record-keeping associated with RFIs, but also provides full visibility and control of all RFI reviews and approvals. In this way, Aconex makes it easy to track which RFIs are unanswered or overdue and which have been transmitted and received responses.
Aconex Smart Manuals frees the team from labour-intensive tasks related to gathering handover materials. These materials play a critical role in efficient operation and maintenance (O&M), and incomplete or inaccurate documentation can delay commissioning and significantly increase the asset’s lifetime cost. Aconex Smart Manuals enables the team to assemble all of the project’s drawings, blueprints, photos, change orders, reports, manuals, warranties, permit approvals, and operating procedures during design and construction, automating what had been an inefficient, last-minute process.
Eng. Al Messad said. “Complete, up-to-date manuals will ensure the efficient transition from construction to operation and maintenance of the causeway.”
“The Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway is one of the world’s longest and most complex bridge projects,” said Henry Jones, Senior Vice President of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Global Accounts at Aconex.
“We are pleased with the opportunity to support the development through all phases of its lifecycle. The causeway is one of many examples of how Aconex is contributing to the successful delivery of transportation infrastructure projects throughout the Middle East.”
Read the January 2017 issue of Construction Global here
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.