Balfour Beatty completes engineering works to the former London Olympic stadium
International infrastructure group Balfour Beatty has completed the transformative engineering works to the iconic former London Olympic stadium.
The works, which began in January 2014 on behalf of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), have contributed significantly to the regeneration of the Olympic stadium, allowing West Ham United FC to start using the multi-purpose venue in August.
Sustainable measures included the reuse of over 6,000m of cable, 3,800 lights and 1,000 mechanical and electrical components as well as the use of 19,000 tonnes of recycled demolition material.
Works included the installation of the world’s heaviest anti-gravity roof which is twice the size of the original and the iconic lighting towers which have been reintegrated within the stadium.
At its peak, the project employed over 1700 people on site, culminating in 3.4 million man hours worked.
Boosting the local economy through the use of local businesses in the local supply chain and local employment was a priority for Balfour Beatty. In line with the company’s commitment to the 5 percent club, Balfour Beatty has also created 50 local apprenticeships in a range of trades as well as 10 work placements and over 300 training opportunities.
Stephen Tarr, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s Major Projects business said, “From the very beginning we were focused on continuing the legacy of this historic venue, transforming it from its original use of a single-purpose venue to a multi-functional world class venue providing numerous opportunities and uses for generations to come.
“We have utilised some of the most complex engineering techniques on this project, capitalising on our in-house capabilities and expertise to ensure the project was delivered safely to a high specification whilst boosting the local economy through employment opportunities; it’s a project we are all immensely proud of.”
Read the August 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
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”.