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This Week in Construction (and Other) News | 9 August 2020

Green shoots of recovery can be found in construction industries around the world as good news came out of the UK, Singapore and the Philippines this week. Things are not looking so good if you wanted to visit Super Nintendo World anytime soon though.

UK Construction Up, Oil and Gas Down

This week finally saw some good news from the UK where construction industry growth in July hit the fastest rate in almost five years. Reuters reported that the IHS Markit/CIPS construction Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 58.1 from the June total of 55.3. To show just how far the industry has come since the introduction of a nationwide lockdown, the figure in April this year was 8.2.

"The acceleration in construction was dominated by a bounce in house building, with commercial and civil engineering projects slower to get off the ground." Reuters

However, while things are starting to look brighter for construction, the UK's oil and gas industry is still struggling with a Covid-19 induced hangover. Offshore Technology reported EY's findings this week that there were more profit warnings from UK-based oil and gas companies in the second quarter of this year alone than there were in the whole of 2019.

"Oil and gas businesses have made 14 profit warnings since January, 11 of which were attributed to the effects of Covid-19." Offshore Technology

The impact of the UK government's continual changes to travel restrictions on Aberdeen, the country's oil and gas hub, remains to be seen. Though there is some confidence that the Scottish city retains the right talent to innovate through the current hard times. EY's director of strategy and transactions, Chris Durling, saying "the oil and gas industry, particularly in Aberdeen, has an enviable track record of developing innovative, digital and transformative businesses, that have proven their resilience through multiple sector challenges.

Foreign Workers Return in Singapore but Super Nintendo World on Hold

We reported last week about the obstacles facing Singapore's construction industry and the health of its foreign workers. Dormitories house 300,000 of the city-state's foreign construction workers and some have been the site of Covid-19 clusters. Many onlookers have pointed to cramped living conditions and shared toilets and showers for outbreaks of the virus.

But, finally, it seems like there may be some positive news on the horizon. NHK reported this week that Singaporean authorities have almost finished testing on foreign workers living in dormitories and that workers will be allowed to return to construction sites when they test negative. This is expected to happen throughout August.

The workers will not, however, be working on the construction of Super Nintendo World at Singapore's Universal Studios - at least yet, anyway. Owners of the theme park this week announced their intention to push back construction of the new attraction, citing design changes required as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Check out the full story, here.

Philippines' Clark Airport Nearing Completion

A new passenger terminal at Clark Airport in the Philippines is on track for completion next month, reports Business World. And this is a big deal for both Clark and the country's overstretched airport Ninoy Aquino international airport in Manila.

The introduction of a new passenger terminal in Clark is expected to not only bring hundreds of thousands of new jobs to Clark and the Central Luzon region but also to take the pressure off the capital's airport. Completion of the new terminal is expected to encourage international travellers to land in Clark, rather than Manila.

"Once fully operational, the new terminal will help position Clark as the next major global gateway in the country." Philippine News Agency

The Philippine News Agency reported in 2019 that full airport development, which spans four phases, will generate more than 80 million passengers annually, making Clark International Airport at par with the biggest airports, not only in the region but in the world.

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