Construction & Megaprojects

A climate change activist locked himself to a projector screen at an oil and gas conference in Texas today interrupting a TransCanada executive who was making a presentation on a pipeline from Alberta to the U.S. Instead 300 astonished attendees heard an impassioned presentation about TransCanada's poor safety record.
A new ski complex is being constructed in the environmentally sensitive Seven Lakes region of the snow-capped Rila mountains of south-western Bulgaria. Yet authorities have not been able to produce any planning permits nor have the investors produced any documentation of who is funding the construction.
Sherpa, a French NGO, has asked courts to investigate Vinci, a French construction company, for violation of migrant workers rights in Qatar. QDVC, a Vinci subsidiary, has €2.2 billion ($2.3 billion) in infrastructure contracts for the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament including a new subway and an orbital highway.
Sacyr, the Spanish construction giant, has threatened to halt work on the expansion of the Panama canal unless it is paid an extra $1.6 billion. The company leads a consortium that won the 2009 contract after bidding to do the job for $1.1 billion less than the next bidder.
President Gloria Arroyo has ordered an investigation into reports that Filipino workers were forced to go to Iraq to work on the U.S. embassy there despite a ban on them traveling there. A report from the watchdog organization CorpWatch said that "other South Asians" were indeed working for First Kuwait Trading and Contracting in Iraq.
Media attending the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are being housed in apartments constructed by workers "in conditions analogous to slavery" by Cyrela, the largest real estate company in Brazil. The local community has also complained that the construction has ruined the water supply and destroyed forested areas.
Villagers in Koh Kong, Cambodia, say that their lands have been bulldozed by employees of the Union Development Group, a Chinese company, which is building a massive casino on a 45,000-hectare-land concession inside Botum Sakor National Park.
A U.S.-based company is planning a system of elevated highways in Chennai, India, that will despoil natural resources that humans and wildlife have shared for millennia, environmentalists and villagers claim. Wilbur Smith Associates has won approval for the projects, they further charge, through deceptive practices and corporate sleight of hand.
Destined for American kitchens, planks of birch and poplar plywood are stacked to the ceiling of a cavernous port warehouse. The wood, which arrived in California via a cargo ship, carries two labels: One proclaims "Made in China," while the other warns that it contains formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical.
A major Dutch arms manufacturer's bankruptcy revealed a secret deal to supply weapons to General Augusto Pinochet of Chile. The man behind the scheme is now a tax exile who appears to be immune from charges of bribery or tax evasion.