Showing posts with label MC70. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MC70. Show all posts

January 2, 2019

Infrastructure Boom

Controversial tender system allows Turkish companies to dominate World Bank public investment list



Five of the world’s top 10 private sponsors of public infrastructure projects are Turkish companies, figures in the World Bank’s 2018 Private Participation in Infrastructure Database show.
Limak Holding, Cengiz Holding, Kolin, Kalyon and MNG Holding are the Turkish companies crowding the top 10, where they are joined by companies from Brazil, Germany, the United States and France.
The heavy Turkish presence on the list reflects Turkey’s status as one of the world’s highest investors in infrastructure projects. The World Bank’s data places Turkey as the fourth highest with $143 billion worth of investment, after Brazil, India and China.
The increased investment that brought Turkey back to the top five in 2018 was largely thanks to four highway megaprojects, the World Bank’s report said.
However, the number of Turkish companies on the list is likely down to Turkey’s private-public partnership system, which has been used to fund a diverse array of megaprojects that includes bridges, ports, roads, airports and even the planned construction of a massive canal that will join the Black Sea and Marmara Sea, turning Istanbul into an island.
High-profile projects still under construction include a new airport in Istanbul, where a soft opening was held in October. The airport, which is planned to be the world’s largest when construction is finally complete, is being built by a consortium of five companies, four of which - Limak, Kolin, Cengiz and Kalyon – feature in the World Bank’s list. The fifth, Mapa Construction, is a Saudi-based company.
Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has gained great political capital from the projects completed in Turkey using this system, and the long list of successful infrastructure projects serves as an inexhaustible source to draw from when AKP politicians are challenged to defend their party’s achievements over 16 years in power.
However, critics say the system has been used as a way of giving out handouts to the government’s clients. It allows private companies granted tender on the projects to make an initial investment and construct the infrastructure, after which they are granted the license to operate it for periods often reaching decades.
One of the main sources of criticism stems from the guaranteed income the government often grants these companies during their tender period. Agreements may stipulate that, in the event that a tender-operating company’s revenues from the infrastructure projects do not reach a certain level, the government will pay the difference.
This has led at times to massive pay-outs from the public coffers to contractors. That the income is often guaranteed in dollars or euros has exaggerated public losses even further this year, as the lira lost value heavily against international currencies.
With the revelation that five Turkish companies had done enough business in this fashion to enter the World Bank’s top ten list, Turks on social media quickly pointed out that none of these five companies were among the list of Turkey’s top taxpayers.
A glaring example demonstrating the shortcomings of the AKP’s public-private partnership system came with the construction of an airport designed to service the three western Turkish provinces of Kütahya, Uşak and Afyonkarahisar.
The income guaranteed to the contractor, IC İçtaş, is based on passenger quotas of hundreds of thousands of passengers per year. However, over the first five years in operation, the passenger numbers have fallen 95 percent short of these quotas, a figure that has cost the Turkish public over 20 million euros to date.
With the company granted tender until 2044, that figure if it maintains its current rate will rise to over 200 million euros in total – a figure that dwarfs its initial 50 million-euro investment.
Source - AHVAL

December 14, 2018

NHAI repeals tender

Elevtated Road project has been cancelled
By UdaipurTimes Team on December 14, 2018


National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has repealed the tender that was floated for the elevatted road in Udaipur – from Court Chauraha to Udaipol.

In 2016, the Rs 136 Crore project was approved by the State Government and NHAI was asked to execute the project  by means of its regular tendering process, and NHAI had processed the tender.

However, a public interest litigation , followed by appointment of consultants by the NHAI to look into the project feasibility even after the State Government had given approval, subsequent intervention by the court recently and finally questioning on the feasibility reports by the CRRI to NHAI, resulted in the NHAI cancelling the tender and the project.  There will no longer be an elevated road in the congested areas of the city.

Hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), Rajasthan High Court had put an interim stop on proposed elevated road in Udaipur. The High Court has issued a notice to National Highway Authority of India, Collector of Udaipur and others in this regard.


Two member bench of Chief Justice, Rajasthan High Court, Pradeep Nandrjog along with Justice Vineet Mathur head the PIL and issued a notice to NHAI, PWD, Udaipur Collector and others seeking a response till 30-July 2018.

The High Court had directed the CRRI to review the project and CRRI had asked NHAI to submit the report, following which NHAI cancelled the entire project and the tender that was issued.

This was the proposed project and the problems accompanying it:

Elevated road planned to be constructed from Udiapol to Court Chauraha (Elevated Road length: 1.65 km; Cost: Rs 126-130 Crore)
Project to have been executed in time and completed by 2021
On completion, the traffic situation in the heart of Udaipur would have eased considerably.  Vehicles needing to move from near Hiran Magri/Udiapol would go use the elevated road.  Only vehicles needing to come into the Delhi gate Surajpol, and such internal areas will need to use the existing roads.  This would ease traffic considerably.

DPR of the consulting agencies for the elevated road raised plenty of technical faults with the plan and said that the project was unfeasible.
A report submitted by the NHAI also confirmed that the project was unfeasible.
Project feasibility mentioned that road was not as per Road Congress standards…viz.

Buses, trucks and HTVs will not be allowed to use the elevated road.
Udiapole road is around 90 feet now; out of this 50 feet will be taken in for constructing the fly-over. A service road will be made underneath which will be used by buses and HTVs. The service road will be of 41 feet in this case. Because of this only 20 feet road on each side will be free which is very likely to create traffic jams.

Speed limit for vehicles has been determined at 40 km/hr whereas as per IRC it should be at least 60 km/hr. Hence speed limit is not as per standard rules.
There is no provision of footpath on the elevated road. Any pedestrian on this road is sure to face risk while on the road.

The Public Interest Litigation was filed by Om Prakash Khatri, JS Dave and Udaipur Citizen Society and others. Representing the applicants, Senior advocate M S Singhvi, Sanjay Mathur and Akhilesh Rajpurohit said that regulations and provisions related to road crossing have been overlooked in the proposed flyover at Udiapole and the elevated road. They also alleged that the design of the proposed flyover has technical faults and raises severe issues related to public security.

Finally, the High Court has also, in its order said that the elevated road project, if it ever comes up in future, will take into cognizance the current decision by High Court and NHAI and will seek approval from the High Court before proceeding.

Source- Udaipur Times

December 6, 2018

Swedish Accident Spot to be covered

NCC to sort out 6km Swedish accident blackspot

 1 day NCC is to rebuild a dangerous road in Sweden under a contract worth nearly SEK455m (£40m).

It has signed a comprehensive agreement with the Swedish Transport Administration to build a new road along a 6km stretch of European route E14 between Timmervägen and Blåberget outside Sundsvall. NCC’s assignment includes construction of a new four-lane expressway, intersections and five bridges as well as the reconstruction of the current route.
The existing road is a blackspot for accidents, and the purpose of the project is to improve accessibility and traffic safety for both motorists and unprotected road users along the route.
The construction project will be planned to ensure a safe work environment while minimising disruptions to motorists, through initiatives including construction of temporary bypasses.
Construction work will start in early 2019 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

December 1, 2018

Procurement Model - Progressive or Blocking


SHINOVENE IMMANUEL and TJIPENANDJAMBI KUHANGA
THE Central Procurement Board has told the Roads Authority to re-advertise two highway road tenders worth N$1,4 billion.
However, the Roads Authority, a parastatal tasked with constructing and managing national roads, believes that the procurement process will delay the projects for more years.

The highways in question include the Windhoek to Okahandja road which would be extended by 21 kilometres for N$1 billion while the Swakopmund to Walvis Bay road will be extended by eight kilometres for N$435 million.

A person familiar with this matter said the Central Procurement Board informed the Roads Authority about its decision last month.

The Namibian understands that the tender agency initially told the roads parastatal to also re-advertise the Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport tender, but that decision is still being discussed.

The decision by the Central Procurement Board comes after Roads Authority chief executive Conrad Lutombi wrote to the transport ministry on 2 February 2018, recommending that the three companies which are currently constructing the highways should be given extensions to work on the next kilometres, which would rule out advertising the tenders.

The Roads Authority has in the past warned that these projects would be delayed and it will cost the government more money if the contracts are re-advertised. The Roads Authority believes that it will be cheaper to continue with the current contractors and save up to N$251 million.

The parastatal is of the opinion that re-advertising the Windhoek to Okahandja road, scheduled for completion by next year as part of the 'Harambee road projects' goals, will delay the project.

Sources said officials at the Roads Authority believe that the Central Procurement Board does not have the powers to award these road contracts because they were awarded by the previous tender regime, which gave parastatals powers to hand out tenders.

The Namibian understands that the Central Procurement Board approached attorney general Albert Kawana earlier this year to obtain a legal opinion on whether the tender agency has powers to award or extend contracts issued by the previous procurement regime.

Kawana declined to comment yesterday while chairperson of the Central Procurement Board Patrick Swartz did not answer a question sent to him on Tuesday.

In the meantime, uncertainty faces the completion of the Windhoek to Okahandja two-way road.

The initial plan was to construct the Windhoek to Okahandja road concurrently in the final phase of the project, but the tender has been delayed for more than two years.

“There is no way we can complete the Okahandja road by next year as promised in the Harambee Prosperity Plan,” a person familiar with the project told The Namibian this week.

Roads Authority spokesperson Hileni Fillemon said the construction of the Windhoek to Okahandja section 4A road is progressing. The current phase consists of the 27km road from Döbra River to the Omakunde interchange.

“Progress on this project is at 78%. Five bridges have been fully completed, and works are progressing well on the bridges/interchanges that we are currently busy with,” she said.

The section is set to be completed by September 2019, she added.

The section 4B, which is 21km, covers the road from the Osona military base to the Otjiwarongo junction – behind Okahandja on the southern side, and it will be turned into a highway.

“The design for this section has been completed, and the Roads Authority is currently engaging the government to secure funds for this section,” Fillemon continued.

The spokesperson said phase one of the Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport road, which stretches from Mandume Ndemufayo Avenue to Sam Nujoma Drive, is 60% completed.

BUDGET CUT

The finance ministry and the transport ministry have over the years clashed over the roads tender. The finance ministry bluntly blamed the transport ministry for committing the government to road contracts worth more than N$2 billion without consulting treasury. Deputy transport minister Sankwasa James Sankwasa said in a letter earlier this year that the roads contracts were riddled with corruption.

There is evidence that the finance ministry reduced the initial budget for the three highway projects.

Documents provided by the transport ministry show that the finance ministry chopped the budget for the three roads projects by N$292 million when the national budget was revised last month.

The Windhoek to Okahandja road, which had an initial budget of N$241 million, was reduced by N$90 million, leaving the project with N$151 million to construct the ongoing road project.

The Windhoek to Hosea Kutako road project was reduced by N$102 million and left with N$47 million. This road is set to be funded by the African Development Bank and a Chinese grant.

The Swakopmund to Walvis Bay two-way road, which had a N$149 million budget, was cut to N$47 million, reducing the project amount by N$102 million.

These project cuts were part of the massive cuts faced by the transport ministry last month.
The ministry's entire budget for this year was reduced by N$700 million from N$2,2 billion to N$1,5 billion.

Director in the works department at the Ministry of Works and Transport, Anneline Black told The Namibian two weeks ago that the finance ministry did not consult them when it chopped the budget of 29 out of 44 projects at the cost of N$700 million.

“The Ministry of Finance did not consult the line ministries on the budget cuts of the development budget,” Black said.The finance ministry did not respond to questions about the lack of consultations.
The ministry of works indicated that the upgrading of the railway network was also cut by N$103 million from an initial budget of N$371 million.
The transport ministry is also faced with a poor implementation record.

Black, who was acting as permanent secretary of the transport ministry, said 21 out of 44 projects were not implemented for this financial year due to the lack of money.

The ministry did not respond to questions about the projects budgeted for but not implemented.
Black, however, said the ministry is still making some progress, despite the budget cuts.

“After having looked at all the affected projects, I can in all honesty not see how these project cuts will not negatively impact these projects at all,” she added.

Source - The Namibian

November 16, 2018

Credit Union HQ Construction to begin

Construction work is poised to start on a new headquarters for one of Ireland’s largest credit unions after a breakthrough in a legal dispute which stalled the project for years.
The chief executive of Bishopstown Credit Union in Cork, which has almost 21,000 members and assets of €150m, confirmed that the dispute with Dunnes Stores over a small section of land next to the earmarked site on Curraheen Road, has been settled to everyone’s satisfaction.
Pictured, on site, after the official contract signing, were members of the Board of Directors and officials from Cumnor Construction and project team. Pic: Brian Lougheed
The settlement, which did not involve any financial payments, has cleared the way for the signing of contracts for the construction of the credit union’s new headquarters on the site of the former Viscount Bar - plans for which were first unveiled in 2013 - two years after the credit union bought the bar and demolished it.
A planning appeal to An Bórd Pleanála delayed the project by 2.5 years before the dispute with Dunnes further delayed building. The site has lain vacant and surrounded by hoarding for several years.
But Mr Kenny confirmed last night that builders will be on site within days after a €5.835m contract was awarded to Cumnor Construction following a competitive tender process.
Construction is expected to take a year to complete.
He also defended the cost and scale of the project and said it will ensure that the branch will be able to cater for growth and future development of credit union sector which has seen many mergers in recent years.
Chairman of Bishopstown Credit Union, David P Barry, welcomed the signing of the contract: “We are now re-establishing our presence in the heart of Bishopstown.
"Work will commence this month and it is intended that the building will be completed and fitted out in 12-months.
As one of the largest community-based credit unions in Ireland, with assets of €150m and a staff of 30 people, we have outgrown our current premises on the Wilton Road and our new headquarters will enable us to make further progress as a key local financial service provider.
“We are a strong and secure financial institution which has made significant investment in IT as a feature of the credit union’s success, and we now have one of the most advanced service delivery channels in the country," he added.
Founded in 1967, Bishopstown Credit Union originally operated from the crypt of Dennehy’s Cross church.
At one time, it had four branches - the headquarters it opened on Wilton Rd in 1997, the branch in Wilton Shopping Centre, as well as offices on the Curraheen Road and in Ballinhassig.
It closed the Curraheen Road and Ballinhassig branches as part of an overall cost-saving drive which achieved some €500,000 in savings.
Once the new building is ready, the credit union headquarters will relocate to Curraheen Road.
The Wilton Road premises, and the adjoining property which it also owns, will be sold - the proceeds of which will help offset the construction costs - and the Wilton Shopping Centre branch will be retained.

October 30, 2018

Samao Bulding Bridge


Work on $7.5 million bridge begins

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu , 
1112 Hits


Construction work on the $7.5 million Mali’oli’o Bridge and new access road at Samalaeulu has begun. 
In September, the Tenders Board awarded the contract for Mali’oli’o River to Ah Liki Construction.
The work is funded by the World Bank, who approved grant of $95.09 m to improve Samoa’s road network.
This was confirmed by the L.T.A. Chief Executive Officer., Galumalemana Ta’atialeoitiiti Tutuvanu-Schwalger in response to questions from the Samoa Observer. 
Cyclone Evan that struck in December 2012 caused significant damage to the bridge in question. 
Last month, the L.T.A. issued a statement the evaluation resulted in the panel’s recommendation to award the contract to Ah Liki Construction; this recommendation has been approved by the Tenders Board and the Cabinet.
The current Ford crossing at Samalaeulu prohibits crossing of vehicles during flash flood thus the construction of the bridge is vital to maintain connectivity even during severe bad weather and natural disasters. 

September 28, 2018

Liverpool Road Tender

Liverpool City Council is looking for contractors to work on a four-year highways framework worth up to £280m.
The framework, one of four platforms the council is creating to invest in roads and new housing, is divided into three lots with projects ranging from £250,000 to £12m for planned highways works including patching and potholes, ground investigation, piling, remedial works, trail pits, bridges and tunnels.
There will be 12 places in total on the framework, across the three lots, with up to 24 suppliers invited to tender.
Interested parties must complete the selection questionnaire by Wednesday 17 October at the Pro Contract website.
The highways frameworks have been set up to enable the delivery of the Better Roads programme, which was launched in 2014, the council said. It added that to date, more than 100 oads have benefitted, including a £1.6m upgrade to Park Lane and the current works dualling the northern gateway to the city centre.
Further procurement frameworks are also being designed to assist the Foundations housing company, which is to be given “stiff targets” to bolster apprenticeships in the region’s construction sector. The frameworks can also can be utilised by other local bodies to contract works.
Mayor Joe Anderson said: Liverpool’s roads are in need of a dramatic overhaul.
“The funding for the roads is in place and Foundations has now been established so the time has now come to fine tune the plans and start delivering.
“To do this, and to make it easier for Liverpool companies to navigate our tendering process, the council’s procurement team has created our first bespoke frameworks.
“This is a watershed moment for the council and symbolises the effort and commitment the entire organisation is undertaking to change the way we operate to be more business friendly so together the public and private sector can make a real difference to the future of the city.”
Source - Placenorhtwest

August 15, 2018

Road Tender Bribes

Israeli tycoon quizzed over Kenya roads tender bribes
A SECTION OF THE MAU-SUMMIT-KERICHO-NYAMASARIA ROAD UNDER CONSTRUCTION WHICH WAS UNDERTAKEN BY AN ISRAEL COMPANY WHOSE OFFICIALS ARE THE SUBJECT OF BRIBERY INQUIRY CLAIMS
A SECTION OF THE MAU-SUMMIT-KERICHO-NYAMASARIA ROAD UNDER CONSTRUCTION WHICH WAS UNDERTAKEN BY AN ISRAEL COMPANY WHOSE OFFICIALS ARE THE SUBJECT OF BRIBERY INQUIRY CLAIMS. FILE PHOTO | NMG  
Israeli police on Sunday questioned Israeli-American billionaire Shari Arison in connection with an ongoing bribery investigation into the country’s largest construction firm, Shikun & Binui, which is alleged to have bribed Kenyan officials to win lucrative road tenders.
In a joint statement on Sunday, the Israeli police and the Israel Securities Authority said their investigation was focusing on suspicions that the company bribed foreign government officials to advance projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars in Kenya and other countries.
Ms Arison was summoned on Sunday along with another executive of Arison Group, Efrat Peled, by the Israeli police’s anti-corruption unit, Arison Group said in a statement.
“They cooperated fully and are certain there was no flaw in their conduct, and that this will also be the conclusion of the enforcement agencies,” the firm was quoted saying by Reuters.
Investigation into the Tel Aviv-based construction group is expected to also place a section of current and former Kenyan Transport ministry officials on the spot over their involvement in suspected corruption.
Israel police on February 20, opened investigations into the activities of Shikun & Binui’s former senior managers suspected of involvement in the bribery in Kenya.
The firm works in Kenya through its subsidiary Solel Boneh International Holdings (SBI Holdings).
SBI Holdings is the company that Nairobi picked to build the World Bank-funded Mau Summit-Kericho-Kisumu Highway at a cost of Sh14 billion in 2010.
Shikun & Binui said in February that four current and former employees of a foreign subsidiary had been detained for questioning by Israeli police on suspicion of bribery in Kenya and other African nations.
SBI, which is one of the largest contraction firms in Israel, has been bidding for other lucrative construction projects in Kenya.
The probe has turned the heat on those who served at the helm of the Transport and Infrastructure ministry at the time the suspect contracts were awarded.

August 2, 2018

Infrastructure Spending - More the Delay more the Money

Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK
The South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), which has starved the construction sector of work for nearly a year, is finally waking up from its slumber — although analysts say it will have little room to manoeuvre for the foreseeable future.
Sanral’s rollout of contracts stalled in 2017 because of disagreements with the Treasury over processes to award consulting service tenders. That led to a major backlog of road projects and has taken its toll on the ailing construction industry.
Basil Read, which has a roads division, is one of several contractors to have succumbed to the generally anaemic state of the industry. The 66-year-old firm was forced into business rescue in June.
Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona told Business Day the roads agency "is contracting again after resolving the issue of design contracts with Treasury".
"We have now resumed the awarding of both design contracts and construction work," Mona said.
AECI CEO Mark Dytor, whose company recently bought materials supplier Much Asphalt, told Business Day last week that Sanral and other roads agencies had started appointing engineers to oversee tender evaluations.
Dytor agreed the Treasury had become more prudent in its cash disbursements and the new government was "clamping down on where the money’s going at the moment".
"But what we are seeing from the likes of Sanral is that contracts are starting to be let out, and I think that bodes well for the last quarter of the year and next year," he said.
"If the country is to grow we have to spend on infrastructure," Dytor said, adding that he expected President Cyril Ramaphosa to prioritise roads and other similar projects.
However, analysts say that while starved construction firms would pounce at tenders, they doubt whether Sanral can afford new roads.
Ample capacity
FNB senior economic analyst Jason Muscat said there was ample capacity in the industry for road projects, since large contractors, including Raubex, were largely weathering the storm.
"But government finances are really not in a position for new builds — at the moment it’s really about keeping everything bandaged up sufficiently to keep going. So I would imagine the bulk of Sanral’s spend is going to go towards maintenance rather than new infrastructure."
Muscat said the state was having to cut back on infrastructure to fund items such as free tertiary education and to provide guarantees for state-owned enterprises.
And if calls within the ANC to scrap e-tolls were taken seriously, Sanral’s woes in the debt capital markets would be compounded.
Muscat said the construction industry as a whole was in a desperate state.
The civil confidence index, which FNB compiles along with the Bureau of Economic Research, fell to 15 points in the second quarter — the fourth-lowest number in the index’s 21-year history.
The average reading over the two decades is 45 points.
The second-quarter reading shows that 85% of respondents did not have confidence in the civil construction sector, partly because competition for the few tenders in the market was becoming even fiercer, and margins were now ultra-thin at best. As many as 90% of respondents said that there was insufficient work, primarily due to the lack of state projects.
Aveng’s share price was closing in on R70 prior to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, but has plummeted to just 8c on Wednesday. Over the same period, Group Five has fallen from close to R60 to 85c and Esor from about R6 to 10c.
Those with bigger international footprints, such as WBHO, have held up better.
Muscat expects more failures in the industry, or at least some consolidation.
He cited German firm Aton’s hostile bid for Murray & Roberts, which in turn has been trying to buy out Aveng.
He said FNB was concerned that following SA’s weak growth in the first quarter and negative high-frequency data in the second quarter, the bank may have to revise its 2018 growth forecasts for the country downwards, from 1.6%.
"We’re concerned that downgrades are soon going to be in the spotlight again, and obviously that’s going to hit Sanral and Eskom bonds … and it’s going to make the cost of financing that debt almost unmanageable, so we’re really up against it at the moment."
Industry Insight economist David Metelerkamp said the release of Sanral projects would be a "good boost" for the construction industry, since road projects account for the bulk of civil construction work — as much as 55% in 2017.
"So this would be a big reprieve for some contractors — in the short run — that are absolutely dying for work."
Most contractors were operating at between 51% and 75% capacity, which meant they had "plenty of resources lying idle waiting for the next job".
However, Metelerkamp said that the country still had too many construction companies compared with other markets, so failures in the current environment were inevitable.
"And even if Sanral are to release a flurry of projects, it still won’t be a big enough reprieve for the overall sector," Metelerkamp said.

July 12, 2018

Asphalting in Rain

A New Innovative Technology for Road Asphalting in the rain

innovative technology for road asphalting

Asphalting in the rain: The Challenge

In February 2018, Sacyr approached ennomotive to solve a complex challenge: an innovative technology for road asphalting in the rain.
Traditionally, the asphalting of roads requires special humidity and temperature conditions to ensure the good quality of the surface. However, in tropical countries where it rains heavily and frequently, paving is extremely difficult, the quality of the asphalt is not always optimal, and oftentimes the operation needs to be halted.
Prior to this challenge, a few potential market solutions had been considered and tested, but they all solved the problem partially, so the expected effectiveness and results were not entirely satisfactory.
Sacyr was looking for a process or an asphalt mix that enabled the paving under heavy rain conditions and the quality of the final product needed to be similar to the asphalt obtained in dry weather.
For 6 weeks, 35 engineers from 10 countries accepted the challenge and submitted different solutions. After a thorough evaluation, Sacyr picked the two solutions that best met the evaluation criteria and awarded the winners, the Portuguese Civil Engineer Henrique Borges Miranda, and José Manuel Sanz, from Spain.
We have contacted Henrique Miranda to learn about his experience and motivations to compete in this challenge. Here you can read the full interview.

Henrique Miranda, an asphalt expert from Portugal

innovative technology for road asphalting

Can you introduce yourself briefly? What is your more relevant working experience?

My name is Henrique Manuel Borges Miranda, I’m from Portugal, and I live in the beautiful city of Lisbon.
Academically, I graduated in 2005 as Civil Engineer at ISEL (Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa), where I had the honor to receive the award for the best civil engineering student.
In 2008, I completed my Master of Science (Transports – Design and Construction of Transportation Infrastructures) at IST, with the collaboration of the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering, where I experimentally studied the fatigue behavior of asphalt rubber mixtures.
In 2016, I completed my Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at IST, with the collaboration of the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering, where I experimentally studied Stone Mastic Asphalt – mix design, production, application, and performance.
Regarding my professional experience, I started to work at ISEL as a monitor in 2003, past to assistant professor in 2008 and adjunct professor in 2017. I am also responsible for the courses on pavement engineering and topography.
During all this time, I simultaneously worked as road and pavement engineer for about 12 years, regarding, namely, road and pavement design, development of new materials (rubberized binders), construction and maintenance of highway pavements. More recently, I have been additionally invited to work as a researcher in the Research Centre for Territory, Transports, and Environment in Portugal.

What challenges have you participated in? Which do you like most?

Life is a challenge, and I like challenges, especially when they require thinking differently. Different is good. Every time we accept a challenge, we have the opportunity to grow no matter whether we win or not.
Fortunately, in 2017 I had the honor of winning the civil engineering innovation award for young engineers given by the Portuguese Association of Engineers. This innovation award was related to the patent I developed during my Ph.D. It was about a new method to design, in a day, stone mastic asphalt using just a computer or a smartphone, as opposed to the several weeks needed in the laboratory for the same mix design.
In terms of online challenges, this was my first one with ennomotive, and from what I had the opportunity to experience, it was a great competition with 35 international participants. This being my first ennomotive challenge, with such hard competition, it only makes me prouder and very honored to receive this award from Sacyr and Ennomotive.
I truly hope that this will be the first of many other challenges in which I participate and, if possible, win. At least, I will work even harder to try and accomplish that.
Having said that, I like challenges that involve the development of new materials/solutions that make our lives easier, not only in civil engineering and pavement engineering but in general, just because I like the feeling of thinking outside the box. It gives us space to dream of a different future than the one that we live in today.

How did you come up with the winning solution?

In the solution for “asphalting under heavy rain”, I basically focused on the main question to solve, without even knowing other possible existing solutions. I think that gave me the required mental space to develop a new solution, out of which we can make a new patent now. Inspiration came both from my background in pavement engineering and from the challenge proposed by Sacyr and ennomotive. Congratulations to them for bringing a good question to solve.
I truly hope this award inspires engineers in Portugal to do the same since I’m the first Portuguese Civil Engineer to get awarded at ennomotive. We have many extraordinary civil engineers, I see that every day with my students.

What is the level of innovation in the Portuguese Universities? Is there any technological area you would like to highlight in Portugal?

I cannot speak in the name of other Portuguese Universities, but I can tell you my experience at ISEL (Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa). Regarding pavement engineering, we are focused in establishing new research platforms about, namely, circular economy, and the development of new road materials such as new rubberized binder technology that allows the use of rubber powder of old life tires till 50% on the binder without losing storage stability.
Source- ennomotive

April 2, 2018

Pan Borneo Highway- A Game Changer

Singapore Bitumen Supplier
BINTULU: After waiting for nearly five decades, the dream of the people of Sabah and Sarawak of having a modern highway cutting across two of Malaysia’s largest states is finally being realised, with the Pan-Borneo Highway expected to be completed within five years.

Spanning 1,089km from Telok Melano and Sematan to Lawas, the mega project was initiated by the Barisan Nasional government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, with an allocation of RM14.2 billion for the Sarawak portion alone.

The first phase of the project — Pan-Borneo Highway Sarawak — was officially launched by the prime minister in Bintulu on March 31, 2015. Construction along a 43km-stretch from Nyabau to the Bakun junction began soon after.

The largest infrastructure development project in the state was announced by Najib as part of the ruling coalition’s manifesto in the 13th General Election (GE13).

It made history as the first highway project, with a four-lane dual carriageway of JKR R5 standard, to be built toll-free.

The highway is expected to spur local development and enhance the people’s socio-economic status, including through the creation of many new towns along the highways and boosting the tourism sector.

“It (highway) will bring a lot of changes to Sarawak, not just in the context of development, but also by boosting the socio-economic level of its people,” said Najib.

His confidence is based on the success of the North-South Expressway (PLUS) project, which had brought numerous developmental impacts from Johor all the way to Perlis.

Najib, who is also BN chairman, said the project was seen as an “agent of change” which would be capable of bringing changes to the development of the state, especially in the rural areas and contribute positively to the socio-economy of the people, such as creating jobs and business opportunities.

In terms of implementation, he said, it benefited the local contractors through the Project-Deliver Partnerships (PDP) method, in particular Sarawak’s Bumiputera companies.

The mega project is seen as part of efforts to bridge the development gap between the Peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak, and as such, is being closely monitored to ensure it will be completed on schedule to avoid the people in both states being left waiting.

A check by the New Straits Times Press (NSTP) showed that the construction work on the first phase, involving the Nyabau to Simpang junctions, was proceeding smoothly.

A resident, Kizie Matusup, 36, said the construction of the highway was a blessing as it would make it easier for people to travel from the north to the south of the state, which was currently a half day’s journey.

“We need about 12 to 13 hours to travel from Kuching to Miri. It takes us longer during peak seasons, which is exhausting.

“Sometimes, we need to make a stop overnight in Sibu before continuing our journey, which increases our travel expenses.

“Once the highway is completed, we expect the travel time to be reduced by at least half,” he said.

The construction of the highway, which began three years ago, has already started contributing to economic growth, particularly the local food and beverage business as well as shops selling daily necessities and other local products.

In Sarawak, the 11 work packages under the first phase of the highway are being implemented accordingly, with the majority involving the upgrading of the federal road from two to four lanes, except the Melano-Sematan route.

The 32.7km-long road was a new route constructed upon the request of the late chief minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, consisting of bridges and other facilities such as rest and recreation stops.

As for Sabah, it involves 35 work packages worth RM12.8 billion, which begins from Sindumin, Sipitang to Tawau with seven packages implemented between April 2016 and December last year.

Borneo Highway PDP (BHP) Sdn Bhd managing director Shahelmey Yahya said the handover of the remaining project package to the contractor was expected to be completed by the end of June, with 10 of them on the west coast, while another 18 packages were in the central and east coast of Sabah.

“As of March, 10 new packages have been approved by the Finance Ministry.

“Four more packages are pending approval of allocation, while 14 packages are in the tender process and the preliminary engineering assessment phase,” he said.

The project also involves the construction of three new routes, namely, Putatan-Inanam known as Kota Kinabalu Outer Ring Road (KKOR), the Tuaran-Kudat Coastal Road and the Lahad Datu Bypass.

Shahelmey said based on current developments, the supply of construction materials was sufficient, thus, he was confident that the project could be completed on schedule.

He gave his assurance that the implementation of the project was proceeding smoothly after the tender process and the packages had been handed over to the appointed contractors.

“If there are any problems, it may have been due to weather conditions and land acquisition processes that delayed the work, but we have reminded all contractors to resolve the minor issues immediately to ensure that the project can be completed on schedule,” he said.

- NST