John Holland to begin Melbourne Metro Tunnel construction work in 2017
The contract includes excavati...
John Holland will deliver the $324m early works package for Victoria’s biggest public transport project, Melbourne Metro.
The contract includes excavating massive shafts in the centre of Melbourne as part of preparations for the tunnel and five new underground stations.
It will involve excavation of huge open shafts adjacent to Swanston Street to enable the underground construction of the two new city stations built as part of the $10.9b project.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the shafts will be up to 35m deep – more than 11 storeys below the ground – and involve the excavation of 34 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of soil and rock from beneath the city.
Excavation of the CBD North Station will involve two shafts – at Franklin and A’Beckett Street – which will be covered by massive acoustic sheds to reduce noise for neighbouring residents and offices. Construction of CBD South will involve the partial demolition of the carpark underneath City Square.
Other works in the package include the relocation and protection of up to 100 utilities, including gas, power and telecommunications services, and the 120 year old brick main sewer line under the Domain interchange.
These works will start within weeks, with work on the stations shafts to begin next year, following the conclusion of Environment Effects Statement (EES) process currently underway and formal planning approval for the project.
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”.