Balfour Beatty Bags 1.5bn-pound Contract to Support UK Public Infrastructure Projects
Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure company, has been appointed as the sole contractor to a new UK-wide civil engineering and infrastructure framework for public works.
The framework is valued at up to £1.5 billion, runs until February 2019 and individual projects are expected to be valued at up to £40 million.
The national framework is operated by Scape Group - the public sector-owned built environment specialist – and is open to all public sector bodies in the UK. It is the first to provide dedicated support to such a diverse range of projects, with Balfour Beatty providing expertise and resources for civil engineering and infrastructure projects ranging from road repairs, new bridges and coastal defence works to light rail schemes and major road projects.
Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty’s Group Chief Executive said: “Balfour Beatty has significant depth of expertise across the UK in delivering civil engineering projects successfully and through this appointment we will be able to improve delivery for our customers and expand our portfolio of local infrastructure schemes.
“I am also delighted that we share Scape’s commitment to employ and develop trainees and apprentices in acquiring the skills necessary to build lifelong careers, and to support the local businesses that the infrastructure sector relies on.”
Other frameworks supported by Balfour Beatty include the £4 billion Education Funding Agency Framework, the £400m National Capital Works Framework, and the £250m Regional Defence Framework for Capital Works Projects for East Midlands and Eastern England for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).
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”.