HS2 cuts carbon with basalt tunnel reinforcement
The London section of HS2 tunnels will use basalt and low carbon concrete instead of steel and conventional concrete. The replacement leads to a reduction in embodied carbon of 50%.
The system was designed by a Skanska Costain Strabag JV. Basalt is volcanic rock. It is 4.5 times lighter than steel and has 22% lower carbon footprint. It doesn’t spark when cut resulting in no hot work and doesn’t rust or corrode. It has a higher mechanical strength than steel rebar. However, basalt cannot bend and relies on fittings. Basalt is the most abundant igneous rock on earth and is formed from volcanic activity. In addition, steel splits cement apart called ‘spalling.’ This happens especially when combined with salty earth air or water. Basalt does not corrode cement.
The new guidewall reinforcement system is a first in the UK.
Photo Credit Skanska
HS2 Birmingham Bridge designs revealed
Curzon 2 viaduct will carry the trains into Curzon Street Station in Birmingham. Designed by Mott McDonald for main contractor Balfour Beatty Vinci, the 150m long steel triangle bridge will be 25m high and run over Victorian brick viaduct.
It will be assembled on the ground and hoisted into place 17m above the ground.
Acclaimed light artist and sculptor Liz West has been commissioned to design a vibrant light installation called ‘Out of the Blue’ which will paint the triangular structures with multicoloured linear light.
Jacobs wins multiple places on UK fusion and nuclear frameworks
American engineering firm Jacobs has been appointed by the UK Atomic Energy Authority and Office for Nuclear Regulation to maintain and support the UK’s nuclear assets subject to competition under the framework. The appointed firms also appointed to research teams in the UK’s fusion laboratory which does work in design, robotics, materials and fusion.
Hydrogen wins Tarmac’s 2022 Supplier Innovation Challenge
The annual Tarmac Supplier Innovation Challenge invites suppliers to submit inventions on a theme. This year’s theme was energy efficiency. The winner was submitted by Prior Power Solutions. It’s a hydrogen induction system which can be fitted onto diesel engines resulting in a carbon reduction of 8%.
Hydrogen atoms are extremely small which makes storage the largest challenge as the molecules permeate almost any substance. This machine does not store hydrogen but converts water into hydrogen on demand from de-ionized water (hydrogen is just a by-product of water making it an abundant and sustainable source of energy). Apparently, it results in an 80% reduction in diesel particulates and 20% reduction in nitrous oxides. Due to the lower levels of diesel running through the engines there is less wear and tear on the machinery leading to a longer lifespan.
Tarmac will now partner with the winning supplier to bring the solution to industry.
Paint & decorate £125m framework
Credit The Good Painter
Fusion21 is looking for bidders on its new £125m public sector painting and decorating framework. There are 4 lots. It will launch in February 2023 it will run over 4 years.
Lot 1 Housing is up to £74m, Lot 2 Education up to £15m, Lot 3 Blue Light up to £15m, Lot 4 Public Sector up to £20m.
Interested parties should apply before the deadline 23 January https://fusion21.delta-esourcing.com/delta/respondToList.html?accessCode=434KZ5UPWZ
M25 to last longer with Shell & Balfour
Shell, Balfour Beatty and others have joined forces to see how to extend the pavement life of the M25.
Connect Plus consortium consisting of Balfour, Edge, Orbital and Egis has a contract with National Highways until 2039.
Shell has patented a low aging bitumen additive made of waste plastic Cariphalte AgeSafe which lasts longer than traditional bitumen by slowing down the surface ageing process.
Carbon capture gas power station
The Government has approved plans for the UK’s first carbon capture power station in Scunthorpe North Lincolnshire. The £2.2bn plant was awarded to SSE and Equinor will produce 910MW of power and is due to be in operation by 2027. It is estimated to be able to remove 5% of the UK’s emissions at 1.5 million tonnes.
It would be the first power station in the UK to be equipped with carbon capture technology. It will be fueled by natural gas. The CO2 will then be shipped for storage offshore.
Colas wins £300m highways contract
Colas has won the contract to maintain 2,300km of public highways and structures in Cheshire & Chester. The £20m per year deal will run for seven years with a maximum of 2 x 4 year extensions bringing the potential total to 15 years at £300m.
Midlands Rail announces £1.5bn scheme ‘Going for Growth’
Midlands Connect has submitted plans for 100 additional trains to provide another 15m seats each year with faster and more frequent journeys.
The £1.5bn ‘Going for Growth’ scheme would take place between 2025 and 2030 with the goal to bring East and West Midlands closer together with more frequent services for 43 communities.
It would create two new chords and a number of infrastructure upgrades to enable an additional 100 trains per day.
Housing framework bidding open
Thirteen Housing Group based in the North East has been appointed as a strategic partner for Homes England and is now searching for delivery partners to deliver 3,270 affordable homes by 2028.
It has received £191m of funding. The framework will run from 2023 to 2027.
Deadline is 1 February 2023, apply here.