Monthly Archives: February 2014

Birmingham HS2 redevelopment plan unveiled

Curzon_HS2_Masterplan copy

Birmingham City Council has unveiled the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan, which will see 141 hectares of the city centre transformed.

The ambitious plans form one of the biggest urban regeneration schemes in Britain, and by far the biggest redevelopment so far announced on the back of HS2.

The new developments will be focused around the brand new city centre station – Birmingham Curzon – where HS2 terminates on its 49 minute journey from London. The station will place the city at the heart of the new national high speed network.

Plans include the creation of over 14,000 jobs, 600,000 sq metres of new employment floorspace and 2,000 new homes. The regeneration will boost the city’s economy by £1.3bn each year.

The plans are a critical part of the city’s efforts to support its burgeoning creative, learning and research sectors and the booming professional and financial services industry.

City leaders in Birmingham today hailed the potential of HS2 as a catalyst for urban regeneration and called on political leaders to push ahead with the rail scheme and help unlock growth across the country.

The Curzon HS2 Masterplan is the latest in a series of major projects that are remaking Birmingham’s city centre. The £600 million transformation of New Street Station will be completed next year along with a £128 million Midland Metro extension linking the station with the existing tram line at Snow Hill.

Ambitious plans have also been tabled for Paradise Circus in the heart of the city including a second Metro tram extension continuing on from New Street Station to Centenary Square.

Eastside City Park was the first new city centre park in Birmingham for more than 130 years when it opened right next to Curzon Street in December 2012, and the critically acclaimed Library of Birmingham opened last year as a centre of learning and a major tourist attraction.

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham Council said: “Today we set out our vision for how Birmingham can use HS2 as a catalyst to transform a huge part of our city, bringing with it jobs and prosperity for people in the West Midlands.

“We’re not waiting around for HS2 to get built before we get started. We’re announcing our plans today, and we’re ready to start building as soon as the new railway gets the green light.

“Up and down the length of HS2 there is huge potential for major regeneration and development and we must press forward with this project without delay.”

Lord Deighton, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury and Chair of the HS2 Growth Taskforce said: “Birmingham is going the right way about realising the benefits of HS2 by developing ambitious plans to kick-start development.

“Their vision for the Curzon HS2 Masterplan demonstrates the transformational value of HS2, not just for rail passengers but for the communities that the railway will serve.

“The legacy of our new north-south railway will be not only a railway fit for the future, with better connections to cities in the north, but also regeneration and economic growth for Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, London and everywhere in between.”

Birmingham Curzon station will be Birmingham’s HS2 hub, linking phase one of the project, from London to Birmingham, and phase two from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester.

HS2 will boost the West Midlands economy by £4.1 billion each year and create more than 51,000 new jobs by providing extra capacity and better connections to London and the north.

The new Birmingham Curzon station will be the first new station to be built in Birmingham for over 100 years and when complete will be the biggest building in the city.

The station would be served by Metro trams on a new route branching off  the extension currently being built through the city centre.


Waheed Nazir, Director for Planning and Regeneration at Birmingham City Council said: “The Masterplan sets out the City Council’s aspirations for the new HS2 terminus station and the huge regeneration potential that surrounds it. The potential of HS2 can only be realised if we build a world class station that seamlessly connects people to the rest of the City Centre.

“The masterplan is part of Birmingham’s ambitious growth agenda that will see the city’s economy grow and prosper. HS2 will be an important catalyst for this ongoing development and regeneration activity.”

Lucan Gray, Owner at Fazeley Studios & the Custard Factory, a hub for creative businesses in Digbeth, an area that could be impacted by the proposed masterplan, said: “With MIPIM just around the corner, the timely consultation of the Masterplan is going to be of enormous significance for property developers.

“By getting ahead of the curve and announcing its plans now, Birmingham is going the right way about realising the potential of HS2. Combined with schemes like the New Street regeneration and Paradise Circus, Birmingham property is looking really exciting right now.”

The original Curzon Street station was one of oldest in the UK, and the first ever London to Birmingham service arrived there in September 1838.

© Jonathan Wilcox

The historic Grade I listed entrance of the old Curzon Street station will be revived as part of the Masterplan.

Today sees the beginning of an eight week consultation on the Curzon HS2 Masterplan. Construction is set to start on the HS2 line and stations in 2017 with the first passenger services arriving in Birmingham in 2026.

€600m Pulkovo International Airport opens in St. Petersburg


A new terminal at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg, Russia designed by Ramboll, Pascall + Watson and Grimshaw has opened to the public. The terminal building is the first of a two-phase project costing €1bn which will see the dated airport facility expanded and modernised to meet the operator’s long-term goal of achieving a capacity of 22 million passengers per annum.

This is the first project in Russia for international firm Grimshaw who won the scheme in an international competition in 2007 and were retained as concept guardians. Pascal + Watson acted as executive architects and Ramboll were appointed as lead design consultants.

Grimshaw Project Partner Mark Middleton said: “This building represents a point of departure for Grimshaw. We are known for our expressive structures and attention to detail. We wanted to keep all of those elements – the practicality and the buildability, and our interest in sustainability – but also try to make this building more about form and space.

“This development is a quantum leap, easily holding its own among the world’s top airports. I think the future for St Petersburg is bright; Pulkovo will become a large hub, drawing business from Asia and Eastern Europe.”

The design of the new terminal takes reference from its site 20km from downtown St. Petersburg. The interior spaces have been arranged as a series of interconnected zones that echo the city’s layout of islands and bridges with generous open spaces that reference the grandeur of St. Petersburg. The roof system has also been developed in response to the extremes of climate in the city, with structural ‘trees’ positioned to support the weight of winter snow.

In the future, airside infrastructure and operational support facilities will undergo a major overhaul and landside property development includes construction of a new four-star hotel, a business centre and extensive parking facilities. Funding for the venture was sourced through a €1bn public-private partnership which is the first of its kind in Russia.

Pulkovo 2

Ryder Architecture’s Stoke on Trent HS2 station


Ryder Architecture worked with Stoke on Trent City Council to develop designs for a proposed iconic city centre high speed rail station which have been now been submitted to HS2 and the government.

HS2 for Stoke on Trent aims to deliver a massive stimulus to the local economy creating thousands of new jobs; 55 minute journey times from Stoke to central London; the London to Manchester link seven years early (by 2026); journey times to Manchester and Liverpool circa 25 minutes faster than original HS2 plan; billions in reduced cost to the tax payer compared with other options and reduced environmental impact on Staffordshire countryside.

Stoke on Trent International HS2 station has the potential to change the urban landscape of the city, enhancing current urban strategies, supercharging a new vision for the city. Council Leader, Mohammed Pervez, said “High speed rail should be all about the maximum boost to the UK economy, taking the brakes off growth.  We have developed a compelling case that is financially and technically feasible.  It will deliver new dynamism to the industrial heart of the country, re-balancing the national economy.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for UK Plc.”

Ryder’s vision is for the station to create a new landmark to be located in the Etruria Valley, maximising the potential for economic regeneration, transforming Etruria Valley to the north, connecting the University Quarter to business and enterprise, and creating a new urban area around the station to anchor the extension of the city centre and central business district of Hanley.

The proposal is for a multi modal transport hub with international and domestic HS2 platforms, direct connections to local and regional train services, facilities for secure airport baggage check in, integrated smart parking solutions and bus interchange.

A major new public space will lead to the arrival and departure concourse providing ease of wayfinding and passenger orientation.  Lifts and escalators lead to generous retail and catering opportunities on multiple levels and the international check in lounge and border control facilities beneath the dramatic station roofline. The expressive form and dramatic scale of its translucent roof are inspired by the new age of travel that HS2 represents. The roof will provide cover to the full length of the platform environment, the translucent material allowing excellent levels of natural daylight, minimising heat gain and incorporating natural ventilation to reduce energy use.


Excellent vehicular access is provided off the primary A500.  New loop roads will tie in with existing intersections to facilitate efficient, safe and convenient access and egress.  The integrated parking pods provide secure car storage with direct access from the parking areas to the public concourses and platform environment optimising transfer times between car and train.  The parking pods are important expressive elements that enjoy high visibility from the adjacent A500.  The pods will be veiled in a ceramic filigree that is a contemporary expression of the excellence of the traditional craft of the city.

Ryder Architecture will be joining Stoke on Trent City Council at MIPIM in March to discuss the proposals.

World Infrastructure News is at MIPIM! On Wednesday 12 March, we are chairing: Cities on the move: the next step in multimodal transport in the Red Room on Level 3.


Denis Fuentès, Director, Urban and Regional Mobility Unit, SAFEGE

Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, The Mayor of Warsaw, The City of Warsaw

Chwen-Jinq Chen, Political Deputy Minister, Ministry of Transportation and Communications


Copenhagen Airport plans major expansion


Copenhagen Airport is currently the busiest airport in Scandinavia, serving over 24 million passengers last year. And now the owners are looking to expand.

In a plan that looks roughly 25 years into the future, CPH which which manages both of  Copenhagen’s Airports hopes to nearly double capacity from 24 to 40 million passengers to attract greater numbers of tourists and to attract new business and investment.

Unlike other European airports, CPH is not planning a new terminal but instead favouring a phased plan to expand the existing one. According to Copenhagen Airport CEO Thomas Woldbye, “…building new, separate terminals is not an optimal solution. A phased expansion offers several advantages. Eighteen months of analysis work has shown us that, with this approach, we can avoid building excess capacity, secondly, it allows us to keep the airport’s compact layout ‘under one roof’, which is important and thirdly, a phased expansion allows us to adjust our process to match the increase in traffic and lets us make use of the latest technology,”

Along with expansion of the terminal, the plans also incorporate bigger commercial space comprising a new hotel with conference facilities, bigger retail space and better high speed connections to Oslo and Hamburg. A new station will reflect the importance of quick connectivity to grow passenger numbers and the potential for the airport to continue its place as a key transport hub for Northern Europe. Currently there are rail links from Terminal 3 to Copenhagen’s Nørreport Station and regional Oresundtrain services to Copenhagen Central Station.

All this ambition also means job creation. According to international surveys, the additional 16 million passengers will generate an additional 16,000 jobs at the airport, bringing the total number of jobs in the airport area to more than 40,000. There will be more work to do for a number of support functions as well, corresponding to about 8,000 jobs outside the airport area bringing the total to 24,000.

This growth in employment and tourism can only occur with better business investment and collaboration between municipalities, organisations and businesses from both Denmark & Sweden as well as beyond. As Thomas Woldbye elaborates, “We have presented a vision for the expansion of Copenhagen Airport, and we can and must build the capacity required to handle 40 million passengers a year. But our plan can only be realised if all the relevant parties in the region collaborate. We saw it in Barcelona: since hosting the Olympic Games in 1992, the city has turned into a tourist destination at the top of the European league, and we are currently seeing how the whole region around Istanbul is booming because the airport and airlines are collaborating with the entire region to generate economic growth. If everyone pulls together, we can also lay the foundation for 40 million travellers in this region over the next two to three decades.”

Jim Davis

Balfour Beatty completes infrastructure works for England’s largest on-shore wind farm

Balfour Beatty completes infrastructure works for England’s largest onshore wind farm

Balfour Beatty has completed infrastructure works which serve as the base for 34 wind turbines for SSE Renewables on the largest on-shore wind farm project in England.

The £30 million contract in Keadby, North Lincolnshire, will bring power to approximately 57,000 homes and includes the construction of a £5 million access bridge and the installation of 23 kilometers of access tracks.

Balfour Beatty used its in-house specialist teams to carry out all piling works and the switchgear manufacture associated with the substation electrical installation.

David Sutton, SSE Renewables Lead Project Manager, said: “The project team have worked hard over the past few months to ensure that the construction process has been carried out on time and with minimum disruption to local residents. We appreciate the co-operation the local community has offered us during the construction process and will continue to work hard to maintain communications.”

Stephen Semple, Balfour Beatty North Central Delivery Unit Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to have reached this major milestone on our project at Keadby wind farm. We have significant experience in delivering complex power schemes with our customer SSE Renewables and we look forward to the successful completion of this unique project for them.”

The pre-construction works commenced in February 2012 with the overall scheme scheduled for completion during the summer of 2014. Balfour Beatty will remain on site completing site landscaping and restoration works whilst SSE Renewables undertakes final testing and commissioning of the wind turbines.

Balfour Beatty has significant experience in delivering large, complex power projects and is currently carrying out its £39 million Beauly to Denny power transmission lines project for SSE, as well as several substation projects.


Written By admin 
February 20, 2014 11:32 am
Posted In ENERGY, Wind

A dike with a difference


Katwijk is to have a new flood defence: a row of dunes that incorporates a dike as well as a car park. The project is unique in the Netherlands.

A flood defence currently runs right across Katwijk aan Zee. Its intention is to protect the village and the area behind it, right though to Leiden, from floods. Part of the village lies outside the flood defence and is therefore not protected. Moreover, the structure is too low to deal with a severe storm. It could be raised but many buildings would be lost and this would change the character of Katwijk. For this reason, the decision has been made to construct a new flood defence right on the seashore: a row of dunes that incorporates a reinforcing dike.

Katwijk also has another problem: when the weather is fine, the coastal village is overwhelmed by visitors to the beach. What can be done about all those cars? Currently, they are parked along the boulevard, obstructing the sea views. This led to the idea of building a car park inside the new flood defence. The project is unique in the Netherlands.

Dikes and dunes

The new sea dike will be built using the existing row of dunes between the boulevard and the beach. The dune area itself will be made larger and therefore moved up a bit. The new dunes will be where the beach was. A new beach will be created through sand suppletion. The dunes will absorb the first impact of severe storms or high water so that the dike does not have to be very high. Thus, the dike is integrated into the coastal landscape: from the beach, all you see are dunes, and from the boulevard you see the dunes and the sea. This means that Katwijk remains safe, liveable and accessible.


The ‘dike-in-dune’ concept is explained to Minister Schultz van Haegen during a working visit on 6 February 2014.


Car Park

A car park will be built on the Voorstraat. It will be constructed against the dike, and like the dike, it will be under a dune. The cars that are now parked along the boulevard will disappear from sight.


The construction of the Katwijk Coastal Structure is already well underway. Work began on creating the new beach in October 2013. Construction of the dike began last December and this month work on the car park will start. The project should be delivered by the end of the year. The beach will be accessible as usual during the upcoming beach season, from April to October.


The Katwijk Coastal Structure project is a partnership between the municipality of Katwijk, the Rijnland District Water Board, the province of Zuid-Holland and Rijkswaterstaat (the executive arm of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment). The project is part of the second High Water Programme in which substandard flood defences are being strengthened in 89 places.

Written By admin 
February 20, 2014 10:02 am

Poland’s first underground railway interchange


At a ceremony on 14 February, Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister, Willa Parkowa opened the refurbished Kraków central station by Polskie Koleje Państwowe SA (PKP SA) Polish State Railways, Inc. It is located under the surface of the platforms and is one of the most modern hubs in Poland.

The new station in Krakow railway integrates local, long distance, bus station and public transport. The total surface area is 12,630.39 m2. The investment cost amounted to over 130 million zł gross and was co-financed from EU funds under the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment.

The complex comprises a total of four levels – two above and two below ground. Passengers access the 5 platforms, via 10 elevators and 15 escalators. The building is fully accessible for people with disabilities.

Krakow station is another investment on such a large scale, realised through the EU co-financing. This demonstrates the ability to efficiently use these resources. Through the Infrastructure and Environment priming also modernised stations in Gdynia and Wroclaw. Further projects are being prepared.

Elizabeth Bieńkowska , Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Infrastructure and Development. said: “I’m counting on the fact that an increasing number of facilities in Poland will be implemented like here in Krakow”.

The complex is located in Krakow’s commercial zone with dozens of different shops and dining options with a total surface of 3.830 m2. The focal point and showcase of the station is built in 1996, a six-foot, cast-iron globe, which originally stood at the level of the platforms.

Written By admin 
February 19, 2014 16:09 pm
Posted In Rail, TRANSPORT

How Harsco’s Temporary Works built the Burj Khalifa

Jurgen Stramann,  Area Sales Manager-Dubai, from Harsco Infrastructure describes the challenges and the solutions for building the world’s tallest building. Harsco Infrastructure’s wall, soffit and joist formwork technologies helped build the Burj Khalifa, including the load-supporting multi-story podium and the first ten floors of the tower itself.


Temporary Works Award

We are delighted to announce that, as part of our ongoing programme to highlight innovation in engineering and construction, we are launching an award dedicated to temporary works.

The World Infrastructure Award for Temporary Works is a major international competition for engineering and construction firms, focusing on temporary works carried out as part of larger/ongoing engineering and construction projects.

This category will encompass all sectors including:

  • Transport
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Buildings
  • Disaster Relief


Temporary Works projects in existence since 1 January 2011 (can be current).

Enter Now!


About Harsco Infrastructure

Operating globally in 32 countries, Harsco Infrastructure specialises in two core market sectors, providing construction services and industrial maintenance services. As one of the world’s largest access, formwork and industrial maintenance service providers, the company provides innovative, engineered solutions to some of the world’s largest construction, energy and processing suppliers. The global Harsco Infrastructure business was created when a number of regional specialists were joined together by Harsco in 2010. These included SGB, Hünnebeck, Patent Construction Systems and ESCO.

In September 2013, Harsco Corporation announced to sell its Infrastructure business into a joint venture with the private investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. At the same time, CD&R purchased Brand Energy and Infrastructure Services, Inc and will combine the two businesses as a leading single-source provider of specialized construction and industrial services to the worldwide energy and infrastructure sectors.

Brand Energy and Infrastructure Services is a leading provider of specialty services to North America’s energy markets. Its extensive portfolio of specialized industrial service offerings include scaffolding, coatings, insulation, refractory, forming & shoring, cathodic protection, mechanical services and other related crafts. The company also serves the infrastructure and commercial markets throughout North America and in strategic international regions. Brand operates in five key market segments: Upstream/ Midstream, Downstream, Power Generation, Industrial and Infrastructure.

Could parts of northern Europe soon be plugging into Iceland’s geothermal energy?

With its countless thermal springs, geysers and waterfalls, Iceland has long used geothermal and hydroelectric technologies to provide its own energy in a renewable, clean and economical way.

The country’s tiny population of 320,000 uses only about a fifth of the energy generated each day, and so the Icelandic government has big plans to export the surplus and more via a proposed 1,000-mile power cable running along the seabed to the UK. The UK would then act as a hub for at least four other inter-connectors to Denmark, Norway, Ireland and France.

The UK’s Sunday Times newspaper reports that although the concept of plugging into Iceland’s energy plants has been “knocking around for more than half a century”, plans are now looking far more likely to become reality thanks to “newly available green subsidies from the British government, technological advances and the need to replace the legions of coal plants set for closure”.

In order to help realise the plans, top London financier, Edi Truell, has set up the Atlantic Supergrid corporation, and claims to have sufficient backing from a number of large international pension funds to meet the estimated costs of £4 billion. Truell envisages a cable capable of carrying 1.2GW of electricity, enough to power more than 2 million homes.

The cable idea has been through various incarnations, but the latest – named Icelink – entered the frame in 2012 when Conservative MP and then Energy Minister, Charles Hendry, signed a memorandum of understanding for the UK and Iceland to carry out feasibility studies. (The Sunday Times notes that Hendry has since joined the board of Atlantic Supergrid.)

The Icelandic government is enthusiastic about the Icelink plans and will now decide whether to progress the project. If it gets the green light, the next stage would involve detailed studies of the seabed and in-depth talks with Britain regarding subsidies. Importantly, recent UK energy legislation would allow the granting of subsidies for low-carbon projects such as Icelink, even though they are not on Sovereign soil.

Although the UK currently intends to build a major new £16 billion nuclear power plant in Hinkley, Somerset, Truell predicts that Icelink would be a cheaper energy option for households. It could also potentially be in operation sooner, especially in the light of question marks raised over Hinkley by the European Commission last month.

The UK’s National Grid is currently studying plans for the Icelandic power cable. Spokesman for the Grid, Paul Johnson, told the Sunday Times, “If we can get the appropriate regulatory treatment, this is potentially a more cost-effective proposition to the UK economy than other sources of green energy.”

Gail Taylor

Written By admin 
February 17, 2014 16:24 pm
Posted In ENERGY

PPP Center Invites Interested Consultants for PDMF Panel


Representatives from the Rebel Group International BV, DOTC, and PPP Center sign during the Transaction Advisory Services Contract Signing for the Manila-Makati-Pasay-Parañaque Mass Transit System Project held in PPP Center.

The Philippine Public–Private Partnership (PPP) Center invites eligible international and local consulting firms to submit expressions of interest to prequalify to be part of the Project Development and Monitoring Facility (PDMF) panel of consulting firms.

Selection process shall be undertaken in accordance with Asian Development Bank (ADB) Consultant Selection Guidelines. Deadline for submission of EOIs is on 22 March 2014. Details are available at

The Center is currently restructuring the PDMF panel to further improve its technical dimension and facilitate upgrading in terms of the capability, expertise, and experience of the panel members.

From an initial nine (9) consortia of consulting firms in 2011, the panel has expanded to 15 members in 2012.

PDMF prequalified consulting firms shall be retained on non-committal basis for two years to support preparation and transaction of PPP projects in the Philippines.

Total available budget for transaction advisory services for PPP project preparation and management is approximately USD 90 Million.

The PDMF is a revolving pool of funds from the Philippine Government and the Government of Australia under a Capacity Development Technical Assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The PDMF is being used to engage project preparation and transaction support consultants for PPP project preparation and transaction to develop a robust pipeline of viable and well-prepared PPP projects.

Written By admin 
February 12, 2014 15:38 pm