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6 global construction projects to watch in 2017

The pace of global construction continues unabated as 2016 draws to a close. The next 12 months will see a number of ongoing projects continue or conclude, as well fresh developments breaking new ground. With that in mind, here are some of 2017’s hottest construction projects for you to keep an eye on in the new year.

Construction projects in Russia & The CIS

Lakhta Centre, St. Petersburg, Russia

Moscow City was the real first influx of 21st century skyscrapers hitting Russia. Not to be caught out, St. Petersburg has its own supertall structure underway: the 428 metre Lakhta Centre. As well as its sky-piercing superstructure, this $2.5 billion complex will play host to the headquarters of state energy company Gazprom, plus restaurants, shops, apartments and other ancillary facilities.

This is one Russian megaproject that has a distinctly international flavour. London architecture studio RMJM supplied the tower’s initial design work, for example. Additionally, thanks to their peerless experience in building the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE-based Arabtec has also been involved in constructing the Lakhta Centre. France’s Saint-Gobain has supplied over 40,000 square metres of glazing for the tower’s fa├žade.

As of November 2016, construction has reached the tower’s approximate halfway point at floor 55. Given the worries of Russia’s construction sector in recent years, the ongoing activity on this hugely ambitious project is an encouraging sign. A high presence of international companies also points towards a bigger, more collaborative future for Russia’s build and interiors industry.

Shymkent City, Kazakhstan

Shymkent City is an ambitious $1 billion project in the heart of Kazakhstan’s third-largest city. A bid to create a new “megalopolis” for Kazakhstan, the scope of this project, designed by Ink Architects, is huge. 21 new kindergartens, two hospitals, seven schools and housing for 60,000 people are part of this masterplan. The plans also include what looks like a sports stadium and office blocks/retail space, as well as around two dozen high-rise buildings and a cinema complex.

An additional 6.9 billion tenge ($20.6 million) has been set aside by the Kazakhstani government for roads, a park and several high-rise buildings at Shymkent City. This new neighbourhood falls under the scope of the state Affordable Housing Programme, hence the additional government investment.

Construction began in mid-2016, with the first 5-storey residential blocks built by the end of November. Full residential units are expected for completion by March 2017. The expansion of Shymkent, which houses 600,000 people presently, is part of a country-wide initiative to boost affordable housing levels by 2020 – a drive which keeps foreign firms coming back to Kazakhstan’s construction sector.

Construction projects in Asia

Patimban Port, Indonesia

Patimban deep-sea port is a project of national strategic importance for Indonesia. The nation, which covers 17,500 islands, is reliant upon sea transport – both for internal supplies and for international trade. As such, Indonesia is committed to constructing a wealth of new ports to improve its economic performance and reputation as a maritime trading power.

Construction of the new deep-sea facility at Patimban, roughly 145 kilometres from Jakarta, is set to start in 2017. Initially capacity for the new port is planned for 250,000 twenty-foot unit equivalent (TEUs) containers with first operations starting in 2019. By 2037, the port could handle 7.5 million TEUs.

Construction of ports does not just include the berths and docks. Warehousing, logistics centres, dockside storage facilities and land transportation links are all set to be built at the Patimban site.

Indonesia is keen to collaborate with international investors and companies to help achieve its construction goals. Japan is fronting much of the cash for this particular port project. A total of $3.09 billion is estimated to realise the new Patimban port – and Japan is loaning Indonesia a cool $2.5 billion, making it the facility’s principal partner.

GIFT City, Gujarat, India

When it comes to construction projects, ambitious is the word in India. Take the Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City for example. This $11 billion development will result in a brand new business district from scratch across a 3.58 square kilometre site in Gujarat state.

The site plans to boast a huge number of structures and amenities, including tier IV data centre, 110 towers, automated waste collection services designed by Swedish engineers Envac and a 2.4 kilometre service tunnel. Schools, offices and residential spaces are also to be included.

Construction has already finished on the twin GIFT 1 and 2 towers, which are two 28-storey office blocks. GIFT’s centrepiece, the 410 metre-tall Diamond Tower, is slated to finish in 2017. 25,000 smart homes, outfitted with cutting-edge appointments, are set to begin construction in 2017.

GIFT City is expected to see sustained building activity until at least 2023. Redefining the concept of megaprojects, GIFT City’s development, building and completion is set to create more than 1 million direct and indirect jobs. India is in the grips of a smart city frenzy, with 100 cities across the nation either being built from scratch, with GIFT as a blueprint for future endeavours, or being upgraded in a multi-billion dollar initiative.

Construction projects in Africa

Nationwide affordable housing, Nigeria

Despite being Africa’s biggest economy, 90% of Nigeria’s population are considered below middle income levels. Affordable housing, complete with appropriate mortgage rates, ranks highly on the national agenda. With the introduction of the 500 million naira ($1.5 million) Family Home Fund, 100,000 new homes are expected to be delivered each from 2017 onward.
According to GIZ, the German Organisation for International Cooperation, affordable housing in Nigeria holds massive market potential to the tune of $300 billion. With 90% of Nigeria’s construction materials coming from imports, the nation’s ongoing affordable housing programme is rife with opportunities for foreign companies.

100,000 units a year is just an initial projection. Nigerian Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun has stated that the Family Housing Fund will be increased to 1 trillion naira ($31.7 billion), allowing the government to fund as many as 400,000 new homes annually. Despite renewed efforts, Nigeria will require as many as 20 million new homes by 2021, or 2.6 million new housing units a year, to meet demand.

Construction projects in Europe

Crossrail, London, United Kingdom

Europe’s biggest construction project has been no stranger to controversy since its 2005 inception. Crossrail’s $19.2 billion price tag being the main point of contention. Still, the UK government has ploughed ahead with one of the UK’s largest post-war building works.

Centred on creating new rail links across London, giving England’s capital a 10% increase in rail capacity, Crossrail has involved drilling 42 kilometres of tunnels below central London, construction of 10 brand new train stations, upgrading 30 more and integration of new rail links into the UK’s existing infrastructure.

According to Crossrail’s website, construction stood at 75% complete as of November 2016. Building work is expected to continue until 2018 with first trains hitting the tracks in 2019. Crossrail is estimated to inject a further $42 billion into the British economy once fully operational – something for cost detractors to mull over.With multi-billion projects underway, 2017 is set to be another great year for global construction. Here are six projects to keep an eye on next year.

A comprehensive programme of trade shows to match global projects

As 2017 looks to be another year full of large scale building work worldwide, ITE Build & Interiors’ collection of international trade shows is ready to connect the people that matter globally. Our worldwide network of exhibitions and events is busier than ever, ready to receive the construction industry’s top figures.

Attending one of our shows is the ideal way to forge those all important business connections. Remember to head over to the ITE Build & Interiors events page to see our calendar of global events and start your 2017 the right way.


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