Here is this week's round up of news from the engineering, procurement and construction sector.

In the past seven days we have seen UK construction and services companies Balfour Beatty and Carillion enter talks regarding a potential GBP3 billion (USD5.09 billion) merger, TransCanada Corporation get the go-ahead for its USD800 million pipeline project, and a Fluor-led consortium secure a USD945 million motorway construction project in the Netherlands.

ABB has won an order worth roughly USD35 million from Hydro-Québec to upgrade the 350 MW Madawaska HVDC transmission link that connects the grids of New Brunswick and Hydro Québec in southeast Canada.

German transmission grid operator Amprion GmbH has commissioned Alstom to deliver six large power transformers. The transformers will be manufactured in Alstom's Monchengladbach plant, and delivered by late 2015. The project will modernise the substations in Niederstedem, Urberach, Pfungstadt and Walsum in Germany.

Alstom inked a USD30 million deal to supply a new SVC system to FirstEnergy Corporation's Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) unit. b will design, manufacture, construct, install, test and commission the new SVC, which will be located in West Wharton, New Jersey.

Alstom also secured a USD430.4 million deal to supply 127 wind turbines to Renova Energia for the Umburanas wind farm complex in Brazil.

AREVA has been awarded a contract by SVAFO to dismantle the R2-0 and R2 research reactors located near Nyköping, Sweden.

International infrastructure group Balfour Beatty won a GBP129 million (USD218.9 million) deal to upgrade a 20.1-km stretch of the M3 through Hampshire and Surrey to a four-lane 'smart motorway'.

Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) has secured a USD80 million deal to build a 280 MW thermal biomass boiler system for the Skærbækværket power plant near Fredericia, Denmark.$80-Million-Contract-to-Build-Biomass-Power-Plant-in-Denmark.aspx

Himark BioGas International has signed an agreement with NEO Energy LLC for the design, construction, and start-up of three integrated anaerobic digestion (AD) and fertilizer plants in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The plants will recycle food waste to produce organic-based fertilizer and renewable electricity.

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and Hitachi have jointly received an order for an H-25 gas turbine from China's Ningbo Kefeng Thermal Power (NKTP). It will replace an existing gas turbine currently in service in NKTP's thermal power plant in Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province. The new turbine is slated to go into operation in the middle of July 2015.

MHPS, in cooperation with Sumitomo Corporation, has also received an order to design, build, operate, and maintain three separate Automated People Mover (APM) systems at the Orlando International Airport (OIA) in Florida, to be completed in 2018.

MHPS Europe also secured a deal to build a lignite-fired ultra-supercritical-pressure thermal power unit at Turów, Poland, on behalf of Polska Grupa Energetyczna.

A consortium consisting of Fluor, Ballast Nedam, Heijmans and 3i Infrastructure has been chosen as the selected bidder for PPP project A9 Gaasperdammerweg in the Netherlands. The project includes the design, build, management, maintenance and financing of the existing and new infrastructure of the A9 motorway between Diemen and Holendrecht and has a value of approximately USD945 million.

Hatch Goba has been chosen by African Minerals Limited to improve rail and port infrastructure between the Tonkilili mine and Pepel port in Sierra Leone. Hatch has been assigned to help find new ways to increase the overall iron ore export levels (from 12 Mtpa to 20 Mtpa by 2015) while utilising existing equipment.

Nordex has received three contracts for the installation of its N117/2400 and the N117/3000 turbines in Turkey.

A McDermott International subsidiary was awarded a contract to provide transportation and installation services to Walter Oil & Gas Corporation for the Megalodon platform destined for South Timbalier Block 311 in the Gulf of Mexico.

McDermott will provide all materials and equipment to transport and install the six-pile platform in 391 ft of water, over an existing well site. The heavy-lift Derrick Barge 50 will perform a side-lift of the 3,300-tonne jacket and set the 2,100-tonne topsides. Installation is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The Alberta Energy Regulator has approved TransCanada Corporation's application to construct and operate the Northern Courier Pipeline Project (Northern Courier).

TransCanada was selected by Fort Hills Energy LP to design, build, own and operate the USD800 million Northern Courier Pipeline Project, which is fully contracted under a long-term agreement. The approximately 90 km pipeline system will transport bitumen and diluent products between the Fort Hills mine and bitumen extraction facility and Suncor's East Tank Farm, located north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Ivanhoe Mines announced the start of construction on the box cut for the planned underground mine at the Kamoa copper discovery in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The box cut contract was awarded to Lubumbashi-based Mining Company Katanga and is expected take approximately five months, after which development of the first set of twin declines can begin.

A Foster Wheeler subsidiary, in joint venture with Taknia Libya Engineering Company, has secured a FEED contract from Nafusah Oil Operations for an onshore oilfield development, known as the Area 47 Development Project in Libya.

Technip, in a consortium with PT Wijaya Karya has been awarded an onshore lumpsum contract by PT Pertamina EP for the Matindok Gas Development project located in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Statoil has been awarded interest in the COL4 licence offshore Colombia in the Caribbean Sea in the 2014 Colombia Licensing Round. Statoil will hold 33.33 percent in the licence. Repsol will be the operator of the licence and will hold 33.34 percent. ExxonMobil Exploration Colombia will hold 33.33 percent.

Statoil resumed oil and gas production on the Njord A platform in the Norwegian Sea on July 19, after a major reinforcement of the platform structure. Production has been shut down since summer 2013.

AECOM Technology Corporation has acquired URS Corporation in a cash/stock deal valued at approximately USD4 billion.

In view of recent media speculation the boards of Carillion and Balfour Beatty confirmed that, following an approach from Carillion to Balfour Beatty, they are engaged in preliminary discussions in relation to a possible merger of Carillion and Balfour Beatty.

For more information on any of these projects, or to submit news of your own, please contact David Kershaw at