New Leading Indicator for Construction Markets Launched
McGraw-Hill Construction has launched the new Dodge Momentum Index, which is designed to be an accurate indicator of future construction put-in-place data published by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. In designing the new index, MHC looked at over a decade of monthly data and discovered that Dodge's planning figures can predict non-residential building put-in-place 12 month ahead with a 91% accuracy rate. Since last July, the index has trended up in all but two months. "The steady movement upward suggests that non-residential building spending put-in-place should move in a positive direction during the second half of 2012," says Robert Murray, MHC's chief economist.
Ontario Awards $1-Billion Job To Extend Highway 407
A $1-billion project to design, build, finance and maintain a 22-kilometer section of Highway 407, Ontario's electronic toll road, has been awarded to the 407 East Development Group General Partnership, a consortium of Cintra Infraestructuras S.A. and Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin. The project will be delivered using Ontario's alternative financing and procurement. Unlike the existing 108-km highway, which was sold to Cintra in 1999, the province will own Highway 407 East and establish customer-service standards. Besides extending the highway, the project also includes a 10-km connection with Highway 401. Along with engineering and soil investigation, design will start in June, with design and construction expected to take approximately three and a half years.
Plans for First U.S. Floating LNG Plant Move Forward
The first floating U.S. plant to liquefy natural gas is being planned for Lavaca Bay, Texas. Front-end engineering design (FEED) of the "floating liquefaction storage offloading" (FLSO) vessel began in 2009, when Excelerate Energy LP engaged Black & Veatch for the process FEED and Samsung Heavy Industries for the shipbuilding and process integration FEED. The FLSO will be able to produce 300 million tonnes per year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export at its mooring alongside a jetty in Port Lavaca. FEED will continue until the end of 2012, followed by 44 months of construction. Excelerate pioneered offshore LNG regasification terminals and has a fleet of nine, with one under construction. The company did not disclose project costs.