Brexit set to impact construction projects in Northern Ireland
Britain’s shock decision to leave the EU as a result of the recent referendum will not only impact heavily on the future of Northern Ireland’s economic growth, but also any foreseeable infrastructure developments, in addition to Northern Ireland businesses who have previously traded across Europe effortlessly, developing and shaping their businesses for future markets.
Construction output statistics for 2016 stated: “The total volume of construction output in Northern Ireland in the final quarter of 2015 decreased by 1.7% compared to Q3 2015 but was 3.0% higher compared to the same quarter in 2014.”
Seamus Leheny, Freight Transport Association’s Policy and Membership Manager for Northern Ireland, said: “Coming out of the union risks new costs, restrictions and bureaucratic requirements being imposed on moving goods in and out of Europe.” With immigration being a prime concern within the referendum, it is widely thought that border controls are set to be introduced, which will greatly affect communities which have worked so hard to overcome previous years of unrest, alongside citizens who wish to relocate for work in London and neighbouring cities.
Wide scale infrastructure and construction projects will be impacted in terms of budget and timeframes, such as the York Street Interchange in Belfast which receives 40 percent of the projects total cost from the EU. Further projects and investment plans are now set to be pushed back due to this economic impact.
Further information: http://www.yorkstreetinterchange.com/
Read the June 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”.