Bouygues Construction / Soletanche Bachy Group Consortium wins £131.3m Paris Metro Lines 14 Contract
A consortium consisting of Bouygues Travaux Publics (lead company and a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction), Soletanche Bachy France, Soletanche Bachy Tunnels and CSM Bessac has signed a contract worth €164.9 million with RATP for the second tunnel package of the Paris metro line 14 extension project, north of Paris, running from Clichy-St Ouen to Pleyel, in the neighbouring town of St Denis.
This underground infrastructure project, which is 55 percent financed by Société du Grand Paris, will help to relieve congestion on Line 13, improving travel conditions and access to Paris for people living in the northern suburbs.
The consortium’s construction works will include: a 2.2-kilometre tunnel linking Clichy-St Ouen and Pleyel, including a tunnel that links to the train maintenance and marshalling zone; The Mairie de St Ouen station; and four ancillary structures, including reinforcing the infrastructures of line C of the RER (Regional Express Network).
The consortium will lay a strong emphasis on sustainable development. In particular, it will focus on limiting nuisances in a very dense urban environment. All excavated materials will be evacuated by river, for instance, to avoid disrupting road traffic in the towns concerned by the project.
The project, which will be carried out with an 80 metre-long earth pressure balance tunnel boring machine, includes several major technical challenges, such as taking account of the diversity of soils along the route of the tunnel and the reinforcement of the infrastructures of line C of the RER, beneath which the connecting tunnel to the train maintenance and marshalling zone will pass.
To meet these challenges, the consortium will analyse all the data collected from the TBM and resulting from monitoring on the surface in real time in order to have the capacity for immediate response.
The works will begin this summer and last several years, mobilising nearly 260 employees at peak periods. The companies in the consortium have undertaken to hire site workers through social inclusion schemes, providing 20,000 hours of employment.
Bouygues Travaux Publics and the entities of the Soletanche Bachy Group have previously carried out several underground infrastructure projects: a section of the Toulouse metro, the second tube of the Toulon tunnel and a tunnel for a metro line in Hong Kong. They are currently constructing the underground section of the Nice tramway.
Soletanche-Bachy was acquired by Vinci in 2007.
217,000 extra workers needed to meet COVID-19 recovery
As the construction industry’s recovery progresses, the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) Construction Skills Network (CSN) forecasts have led the organisation to believe the industry will reach 2019 levels of output in 2022.
The CSN says there will be an increase in the number of construction workers in “most English regions” by 2025, with demands forecasted at a 1.7% rise for the East Midlands, and a 1.4% rise for the West Midlands.
Scotland and Wales are also predicted to see a surge in demand for construction workers with a total increase of 1.4% and 0.7% respectively. The North East is the only region to see a slight decline in workforce demand at -0.1%.
Wood and interior fit-out trades among the most desirable during COVID-19
According to CSN’s forecast, the trades that are the most wanted are those of wood and interior fit-outs, with both requiring around 5,500 workers per year. Other in-demand trades include technical staff and other construction professionals, requiring 5,150 workers each year, construction managers at 3,600, and the electrical installation trade, which requires 3,400 staff per year.
There is also expected to be demand for 7,850 non-construction, office-based professionals and technical and IT support staff each year. Steve Radley, Policy Director at CITB, said: “It’s great to see construction coming back so strongly and creating lots of job opportunities.
“We need to adopt new approaches to meet these growing skills needs and deliver these quickly. We are working closely with the government and FE to build better bridges between FE and work and make apprenticeships more flexible. We are also making significant investments in supporting work experience that make it easier for employers to bring in new blood.
“We must also make sure that we invest in the skills that will drive change and meet new and growing needs such as Net Zero emissions and Building Safety. We will be announcing plans soon to tackle specific skills and occupations such as leadership and management, digital skills, and skills related to energy efficiency”, he said.