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This Week in Construction (and Other) News | 2 August 2020

This week's update looks at what industry commentators think about how a Joe Biden win in the upcoming election would mean for the oil and gas industry in the USA. Also, Singapore continues to offer financial help to its construction industry, and the UK government is seeking to stimulate its own construction industry by reforming the planning system...

Predicting what a Joe Biden Win would mean for America's Oil and Gas Industry

Forbes this week published an article outlining the potential consequences of a Joe Biden victory in the upcoming Presidential election in the USA. And the bottom line is: it's a mixed bag.

Biden's clean energy plans will seek to ban "new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters", as well as introducing new protections for the environment. Although the extent of the plans is not clear-cut, Wood Mackenzie's Justin Rostant considers that the impact would be significant.

More than 1 billion barrels of economically viable reserves could be left in the ground in Alaska, which would dash hopes for sustained growth in the region.

Forbes' piece makes for interesting/disturbing/positive reading depending - of course - upon your point of view. Check it out here.

The Singapore Government Steps in Again for its Construction Industry

After pumping S$1.36 billion in aid into the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors just two months ago, the Singaporean government plans to open the vaults again. The Ministry of Manpower announced on Saturday that a further $320 million of support will be released to provide further help for Singapore's struggling heavy industries.

"The majority of an estimated 15,000 firms in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors continue to face financial difficulties as they are unable to resume work due to Covid-19 measures,"

Singapore Ministry of Manpower

The main obstacle to Singapore's industries remains uncertainty over the health and safety of its workers - particularly foreign workers housed in dormitories across the city-state. The government is currently undertaking mass-testing which it intends to complete early this month, enabling people to get back to work.

Reform Planned for the UK's Planning System

The UK government has announced plans to radically reform an "outdated and cumbersome" planning system in a bid to accelerate home and infrastructure construction across the country. The reforms will create guidelines for architecture and level the playing field for smaller firms to compete with bigger businesses.

If you're wondering why this is a big deal, allow the UK's Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick to explain:

"Under the current system, it takes an average of five years for a standard housing development to go through the planning system - before a spade is even in the ground,"

The announcement follows Boris Johnson's recent calls for the country to "Build Build Build". Read the full story here.

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