In today’s news, we will look into the Bucket Manufacturing Company, which has a strong sense of professional pride. In the meantime, the construction industry in the UK is still struggling amid a decline in housebuilding. In addition, work has begun on the UK’s “largest under-construction BESS,” which will have a capacity of 640MWh. Also, tens of thousands of workers in the UK energy site building industry have decided to go on strike after turning down a salary offer. On top of that, NeuConnect has finished the first phase of construction in the UK, which ensures that the first UK-German energy link will be built as planned.
Bucket Manufacturers: Proud of Their Work
Original Source: Bucket Manufacturing Company: Taking pride in the job
The Bucket Manufacturing Company, a private British SME, turns 20 this year.
In 2012, Wayne Ridings took over the Bucket Manufacturing Company (BMC) and switched from making cheaper items to higher-quality ones comparable to or better than those of recognized manufacturers.
Offering custom buckets at a busy market
BMC gained market share by making more custom attachments for our buckets.
UK markets keep buying inexpensive foreign-made goods in droves. We could make the same for a similar price, but the market won’t pay the extra.
Bespoke design is crucial to the sustainability of heavy engineering in the UK, and we are happy to help customers find the odd attachment they need.
We strive to exceed client expectations by providing a high-quality, affordable product.
We have experienced professionals to assess customer demands and provide experienced customers confidence in our ability to supply them to assist us reach our goals. A good customer experience from first inquiry to purchase helps retain the local manufacturing skill base.
UK manufacturing’s future talent training
I started as a boy with Geith International and worked my way up to workshop manager at their Tredegar facility in South Wales for 30 years till they shifted their manufacture from Slane Ireland and Tredegar to abroad.
BMC has apprenticed boys to preserve a trained workforce, but the willing lads supply chain is shrinking.
I think young school leavers and manufacturing enterprises need more information about apprenticeships and career prospects. Schools believe everyone wants to go to university, but not everyone does.
Though the world is shrinking, BMC’s market is growing.
We make most of our items in Chepstow and support local suppliers. This is essential to quality and local wealth and might be reproduced nationwide for national gain.
Big, exciting changes in the excavation market help BMC. Since being introduced two years ago, tilt-and-turn couplers have revolutionized construction and become a standard tool.
Due to their high equipment standards, creating buckets for the Scandinavians has been a luxury, thus making attachments for these has been fun.
Our global customer buys a single bespoke product as the world shrinks. We send Manual Quick Couplers to the US, buckets to Poland, and our trademark four-in-one buckets worldwide, so we must be doing something right and proud of it.
UK Construction Stagnates as Housebuilding Falls
Original Source: UK construction remains in the doldrums amid housebuilding slump
In October, UK construction rose somewhat but continued in decline due to a housing recession.
The S&P Global/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply construction purchasing managers’ index climbed to 45.6 in October from 45.0 in September, the second-lowest since May 2020.
October saw “challenging” economic circumstances, with company activity declining for the second month in a row due to a lack of new work to replace completed projects.
“House building decreased for the eleventh consecutive month in October and at a much steeper pace than elsewhere in the construction sector (index at 38.5),” S&P Global reported.
“Falling work on residential construction projects was widely linked to a lack of demand and subsequent cutbacks to new projects,” the poll said.
October civil engineering activity dropped considerably (index 43.7), the fastest drop since July 2022.
However, commercial building activity fell less than in September (index at 49.5), indicating stability.
S&P Global Market Intelligence economics director Tim Moore said: “High borrowing costs and a wait-and-see approach to new projects weighed on UK construction output again in October.”
According to Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply head economist Dr. John Glen, “There is no doubt that UK construction is in a difficult period and there will likely be further challenging months to come.”
Samuel Tombs of Pantheon Macroeconomics said the data showed that rising interest rates hurt building “now that the backlog of work that built up in the wake of the pandemic has been fully depleted.”
The “silver lining” for construction enterprises is that subcontractor availability has improved for the 12th consecutive month and supplier delivery times have shortened for the 8th consecutive month in October.
He said the construction PMI matches the official production figure decreasing 1% quarter-on-quarter.
Construction Started on UK’s 640MWh “Largest Under-Construction BESS”
Original Source: Work begins on UK’s ‘largest under-construction BESS’ at 640MWh
SSE Renewables is building a 320MW/640MWh battery energy storage system (BESS), which may be the largest in the country.
The renewable energy IPP subsidiary of UK utility SSE announced yesterday (1 November) that it has made a final investment decision (FiD) on the Monk Fryston project in Yorkshire, north England, and will begin construction. The project is near a National Grid substation in Monk Fryston.
“It’s fantastic that we have taken a Final Investment Decision on the Monk Fryston BESS project, one of the UK’s largest battery storage projects,” said SSE Renewables solar and battery director Richard Cave-Bigley.
Another UK developer’s senior director acknowledged that the project is the largest BESS under construction in the UK.
Larger projects like Innova’s 800MWh system and Carlton Power’s 2,080MWh project have planning authorization to build, but neither has set a start date due to future FiD procedures.
SSE Renewables’ third BESS project is under construction. Wärtsilä BESS units arrived at the 50MW Salisbury project last month, and development on the 150MW Ferrybridge project began in August.
Solar Power Portal’s sister site, Energy-Storage.news, has asked SSE Renewables to comment and will update this post when they respond.
The UK energy storage sector, along with California and Texas, is one of the most developed, with over 3GW of BESS online. Most projects today are 2-hour projects because ancillary service markets are saturated and require more energy-intensive activities to make up the difference due to lowering prices.
Construction Engineers Strike
Original Source: Engineering construction workers vote to strike
After rejecting a salary offer, thousands of UK energy site construction workers will strike.
The GMB union reported that around 3,000 workers at Stanlow, Fawley, Valero, Grangemouth, Mossmorran, and Sellafield oil refineries and the nuclear power station are voting on a 10% pay package for 2024 and 5% for 2025.
The proposal was rejected by 86% of voters on Friday.
GMB will meet with union reps today (6 November) to discuss industrial action strategy.
According to GMB National Officer Charlotte Brumpton-Childs:
Engineering construction workers’ salary has fallen to more than 20% below inflation, so it’s hardly surprising they haven’t accepted a wage contract that still cuts their income.
“These highly skilled workers are considering mass legal industrial action for the first time in their careers because their employers have failed to keep their pay rates up with inflation.
“GMB will discuss next steps with reps on Monday.”
NeuConnect Completing First Phase of UK Construction Keeps First UK-German Energy Link on Schedule
NeuConnect announces latest construction milestone as UK and German governments launch ‘UK-Germany Energy and Climate Partnership’.
The £2.4bn/€2.8bn NeuConnect project reported today that the first phase of UK construction has been completed on time, keeping the delivery of a key new energy link between the UK and Germany on track.
To mark the building milestone, NeuConnect Chair Julia Prescot signed a new ‘UK-Germany Joint Declaration of Cooperation on Energy and Climate’ with the UK and German governments today. NeuConnect, led by global investors Meridiam, Allianz Capital Partners, Kansai Electric Power, and TEPCO, will connect two of Europe’s largest energy markets for the first time with 725 kilometres of land and subsea cables, creating a ‘invisible energy highway’.
NeuConnect will allow up to 1.4GW of power to flow in either way, improving energy security and resilience in the UK and Germany and integrating renewable energy sources. Subsea cables will connect new converter stations on Kent’s Isle of Grain and northern Germany’s Wilhelmshaven across British, Dutch, and German waterways.
This summer, NeuConnect contractor Prysmian began Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) to bring the underwater cables on land in the UK, which was chosen to minimize environmental effect.
Prysmian completed this crucial first phase of construction on time by installing the final of three subterranean ducts totaling over 1.2km this week. Over 12,000 construction hours, Prysmian and subcontractor HDI (Horizontal Drilling International) worked safely. The works will allow Prysmian to start onshore and offshore cabling in 2024.
NeuConnect Chair Julia Prescot announced this latest construction milestone today after UK Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Claire Coutinho and Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Change Dr. Robert Habeck signed a new “UK-Germany Energy and Climate Partnership” (more here).
NeuConnect Chair Julia Prescot said: “NeuConnect is the single-largest Anglo-German infrastructure project and will create an important symbolic link between both countries, so we warmly welcome the new UK-Germany bilateral cooperation on energy and climate signed by both Governments today.
NeuConnect shows how the UK and Germany can collaborate on energy resilience and net zero, and with the first phase of NeuConnect’s construction in the UK complete, this crucial new energy link is on track.” The NeuConnect project should be operational by 2028.
Summary of today’s construction news
Overall, we discussed the Private British SME Bucket Manufacturing Company is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. When Wayne Ridings took over the Bucket Manufacturing Company (BMC) in 2012, he immediately began producing goods of equal or higher quality to those of established brands at a fraction of the price. Meanwhile, construction in the UK increased somewhat in October, but it has been falling overall due to the housing slowdown. The economy was “challenging” in October, with business activity falling for the second consecutive month as a result of a dearth of new projects to take their place. Additionally, SSE Renewables is constructing what could be the largest battery energy storage system (BESS) in the country, with a capacity of 320 MW/640 MWh. On November 1st, the UK utility SSE’s renewable energy IPP business announced that it had taken a final investment decision (FiD) and will be beginning construction on the Monk Fryston project in Yorkshire, north England. There is a National Grid substation close by the construction site at Monk Fryston. In addition, the GMB union said that over 3,000 workers at the nuclear power plant and oil refineries in Stanlow, Fawley, Valero, Grangemouth, Mossmorran, and Sellafield are voting on a 10% wage package for 2024 and 5% for 2025. On Friday, 86% of voters decided against the proposition. On top of that, the governments of the United Kingdom and Germany have launched the “UK-Germany Energy and Climate Partnership,” and NeuConnect has announced the next building milestone. Today, officials from the £2.4 billion (€2.8 billion) NeuConnect project announced that the first phase of construction in the United Kingdom had been finished on schedule.