Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/07/2012 -- BMI View: We continue to expect anaemic growth for the construction sector in 2012, with real growth forecast to reach 1.5%. This is mainly due to the poor outlook for the residential building sector, as we believe that activity for mining-related infrastructure projects and non-residential buildings should remain robust.
Key developments include:
- In November 2011, Lend Lease secured a AUD$530mn (US$560mn) contract to upgrade the Pacific Highway in New South Wales, reports roadtraffic-technology.com. The project will be undertaken by Land Lease's subsidiary Baulderstone and will affect 16.3km of the highway, including twin tunnels and eleven bridges. Work is expected to commence in 2012 and last until mid-2014.
- In December 2011, the Australian national government and the New South Wales (NSW) state government have formally approved the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor Upgrading, a US$1.1bn project to modernise the interstate railway network between the cities of Sydney and Newcastle. The upgrading project is expected to start construction in February 2012 and be completed in June 2016.
- In December 2011, the state government of Queensland in Australia announced plans to expand Abbot Point Port to nine terminals, following overwhelming demand from the country's mining companies. The government had earlier planned to approve the port expansion to seven terminals. The expansion project, which is expected to cost AUD9bn (US$9.06bn), is likely to bring the annual export capacity of the port to approximately 400mn tonnes, Bligh mentioned. The first shipment of coal is expected to be exported in 2017.
- In December 2011, the latest contracts was awarded for the construction of Melbourne's new Regional Rail Link project. A consortium comprising Balfour Beatty, Parsons Brinckerhoff, SKM and Thiess has been awarded an AUD835mn (US$848mn) contract for the 7.5km section along the existing corridor between Footscray and Deer Park. Work is expected to begin in early-2012, with a scheduled completion date of 2016.
- In February 2012, Australian mining company BHP Billiton announced that it will construct a new US$917mn harbour port at Port Hedland on the Indian Ocean. The new facility will allow BHP Billiton to initially increase its annual iron ore export capacity by 100mn tonnes, with the prospect of raising this by a further 100mn tonnes in the future.
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