Contractor Admits Liability in UK Blacklist

U.K. construction trade unions say recent court action makes them confident of winning "very substantial compensation" for members named on a secret blacklist used by a group of major contractors. The list was discovered in 2009. The contractors on Oct. 8 submitted documents to the High Court in London admitting liability for defaming 3,213 workers, according to officials at the GMB, one of several unions seeking compensation. The workers on the list were denied work because they raised safety issues or were activists.

Court action follows failed negotiations on compensation first offered two years ago by contractors. They are Balfour Beatty plc, Carillion plc., Costain Group plc, Kier Group plc, Laing O'Rourke Ltd., Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd., Skanska U.K. plc and VINCI plc. The list was kept by a now defunct, privately owned group that charged subscribing contractors an annual fee of $4,600.

Kuwait Lets Multiple Contracts For $16-Billion Refinery Project

Kuwait National Petroleum Co. on Oct. 13 awarded five EPC contracts to global joint ventures to build the estimated $16-billion Al Zour refinery, which is set to process 615,000 barrels per day when completed in mid-2019. Officials said, when completed, the refinery would be one of the world's largest greenfield plants. The first EPC award, valued at $4.23 billion, went to the JV of Technicas, Hanwha Engineering & Construction Corp. and Sinopec. A JV of Fluor Corp., Daewoo and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. won the second and third packages, valued at $5.59 billion total. A JV of Saipem SpA and Essar Oil won the fourth contract, valued at $1.5 billion. A JV of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Saipem and SK Holdings Co. took the fifth, valued at $1.5 billion.

Another Nuke Set To Close

Entergy Corp. said on Oct. 13 it will close its Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass., no later than June 1, 2019, because of safety problems and unfavorable conditions in the Northeast energy markets. The company expects to lose $10 million to $30 million a year through at least 2017 on the single 680-megawatt reactor. The announcement comes after the company said in September it would decide by the end of this year whether to shut down the Pilgrim reactor and the 838-MW Fitzpatrick nuclear plant in Scriba, N.Y. The move also comes after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Sept. 2 stepped up its oversight of the Pilgrim plant because of recurring unplanned shutdowns. Pilgrim is the sixth nuclear-reactor closure announcement made in the past three years. About $870 million stands in the decommissioning trust fund for Pilgrim.

Building Information Model For Owners Coming

With the help of an upcoming guideline, building teams will be better equipped to deliver a standard set of BIM-based documents to owners, both during design and construction, and for facility maintenance and operations. Just beginning development, "The National BIM Guideline for Owners" is intended for adoption by the building owner to provide a documented process for the owner's design team to develop a project BIM, says the National Institute of Building Sciences, which is kicking off the guideline development with the American Institute of Architects, ASHRAE, the Building Owners and Managers Association International, and the International Facility Management Association. The guideline will be based on foreign, federal, state and local BIM guidelines, referencing a range of documents and practices.