Federal safety officials have cited Harrison Hoist Inc., Grand Prairie, Texas, for six serious safety violations and fined it $29,400 in connection with a tower-crane collapse during disassembly at the University of Texas, Dallas, that killed two workers on July 7. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the firm for failing to ensure that disassembly procedures positioned workers to minimize their exposure to danger and failing to ensure the procedures were developed by a qualified person, among other violations. Harrison Hoist crews were working at the site of the new $60-million Arts and Technology Building on the Richardson, Texas, campus when the accident occurred. Officials from Harrison Hoist could not be reached for comment.

Foster Wheeler, Fluor Win Big Petrochemical Jobs

Foster Wheeler AG announced on Nov. 26 that its construction group unit has won the EPC contract for what the project owner says will be the world's largest ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber production plant. Awarded by German specialty chemicals firm Lanxess, the estimated $294-million plant will be built in Changzhou, China, and is set for startup in 2015, says the owner. Foster Wheeler now is doing the 160,000-metric-ton-per-year facility's front-end engineering design (FEED). The engineer did not disclose the contract value but is including it in third-quarter bookings. Lanxess says demand for EPDM is set to rise by more than 4% per year globally and at twice that rate in China, driven by the automotive and construction sectors. Fluor Corp. announced on Dec. 3 that it won a $200-million contract for project-management consulting on a greenfield phosphate production facility in Saudi Arabia. Awarded by Saudi Arabian Mining Co., the complex will produce up to 720 million tons a year of phosphate products. Jacobs Engineering Group is the job's FEED contractor.

NYC Mega-Site Starts Up Amid Growing List of Stalled Projects

After years of delays, work began on Dec. 4 on the first building of the 26-acre, mixed-use Hudson Yards site, Manhattan's single-largest undeveloped property and New York City's largest private development since Rockefeller Center. The event comes as trade group New York Building Congress (NYBC) reports that, from February to November, the city's list of stalled construction projects grew by 17%, to 691, "erasing virtually all of the progress made in the prior 15 months." Some 26% of the stalled projects were added to the list this year, says NYBC, which analyzed Dept. of Buildings inspection records.

At Hudson Yards, construction crews broke ground on the 1.7-million-sq-ft, 47-story South office tower, which is set for completion in 2015. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the tower is part of a planned $15-billion complex. Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group are co-developers on the yard, Tutor Perini Corp. is the contractor, and Tishman Construction is the builder.

Southern California Utility Backs Plant To Supply Costly Water

The San Diego County Water Authority board has backed a 30-year deal with Poseidon Resources LLC that will help sell bonds to finance more than 80% of a $984-million project, which would be the Western Hemisphere's largest seawater desalination plant. The plant in Carlsbad, Calif., is designed to produce 50 million gallons of highly purified drinking water a day, enough to supply 8% of the region's water needs. The project will provide water at about twice the cost, compared to water from current sources. But advocates say the premium price is worth the insurance it provides against drought.