Construction & Megaprojects

One billion dollars and just over four years after Boeing won a contract to build a "virtual fence" on the Arizona-Mexico border, the high-tech project was canceled last week by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) amid widespread recognition that it has been a failure.
In what is expected to be the first of a series of criminal charges against officials and contractors overseeing the rebuilding of Iraq, an American has been charged with paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks to American occupation authorities and their spouses to obtain construction contracts, according to a complaint unsealed late yesterday.
Almost four years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Iraq's healthcare system is still a shambles. While most hospitals lack basic supplies, dozens of incomplete clinics and warehoused high-technology equipment remain as a testament to the failed U.S. experiment to reconstruct of Iraq. First in a series of CorpWatch articles.
Caterpillar - one of the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment - used a subsidiary in Switzerland to avoid paying $2.4 billion in taxes over a period of 13 years, according to a new U.S. Senate report titled 'Caterpillar's Offshore Tax Strategy.'
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.
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.
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.