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This Week in Construction (and Other) News | 1 November 2020

  • England goes back into lockdown;

  • Australia to build the world's largest solar farm; and

  • Berlin's newest airport opens... 9 years late

England Back into Lockdown

As cases of coronavirus continue to rise in the UK, the country's Prime Minister has ordered a national lockdown in England from 5 November. In a deeply polarising move, Boris Johnson stated that the government had "no alternative" but to call for a strict nationwide lockdown after previous measures had not gone far enough to stop the spread of the virus.

The government's previous strategy had been to impose restrictions on a regional level, using a tiered system. However, relying upon the advice of medical experts, Mr Johnson has now decided to move ahead with a national lockdown until at least 2 December.

During his speech, the Prime Minister announced that, alongside the manufacturing sector, construction should remain open where people can't work from home. Though, with many in the construction supply chain still feeling the effects of the first lockdown, businesses in the industry face a nervous future.

"I am under no illusions about how difficult this will be for businesses which have already had to endure hardship this year. I am truly, truly sorry for that." Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister

Read what our Founder, Rob Barratt, said about this latest blow for the UK's construction industry.

Australia to Build the World's Largest Solar Farm

Sun Cable has announced that it will build the world's largest solar farm near the northern-Australian city of Darwin. The $14 billion project will export electricity from Australia to Asia, first to Singapore and then later to Indonesia via a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) network.

"If all approvals are secured, including environmental assessments, the construction work will start in 2023 and energy production will commence in 2026, the first exported electricity could be flowing in 2027." Eliza Danby, Pinsent Masons

The project has been awarded 'major project status' by the northern territory government in recognition of its potential to create billions of dollars in revenue and create thousands of jobs.

Read the full story here.

Berlin's "new" Airport Finally Opens... 9 Years Late

Saturday saw the long-awaited opening of Berlin's Brandenburg Airport - 9 years late. The 14-year long project finally came to an end and was marked by the simultaneous landing of two aircraft on its twin runways.

Thirty years of planning went into the airport which is intended to rival its high-capacity cousins in Frankfurt and Munich. Though, Berlin's newest airport has done nothing to advance Germany's proud reputation for efficiency and punctuality.

So shameful was this delay that authorities decided against a lavish opening ceremony to mark the occasion. This was perhaps wise, given their experiences in 2012 where, just a month before the planned ceremony, the airport's price tag ballooned three-fold to US$7 billion and the opening was postponed.

"We're not going to have any opening celebration. We're simply going to open." Engelbert Luetke Daldrup, Berlin Brandenburg Airport CEO

SCMP carries the full story.

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