HS2 Ltd has received local authority approval to build a third viaduct across the Digbeth canal as part of the Curzon Street station site in Birmingham.
Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBVJV) will be the contractor on the job, which received the go-ahead from Birmingham City Council’s planning committee yesterday.
Three viaducts will be constructed on the Curzon Street site, which was waiting on the approval of designs for the third one, located closest to the station.
The new proposal included changes in design, such as the reduction of the width of the structure from 71 metres to 65 metres, and an alteration to its curvature. The Curzon 3 viaduct, which was approved, will open into four decks near the station.
Tweaks include the scrapping of the Curzon Street pumping station. It will be replaced by an attenuation pond or tank, which will store excess water that gathers on the viaduct, allowing it to be released in a controlled manner.
The three viaducts will be built on inverted steel piers, as opposed to the V-shaped piers in the original design, which serves as a tribute to the heritage of canal-side cranes in Birmingham. It will also save space underneath for more public area.
This follows concern that the concrete platform or plinth could create run-off into the surrounding canals.
HS2 planning manager for Birmingham City Council Victoria Chadaway recommended the proposals for approval, which were voted on by the planning committee yesterday.
A HS2 spokesperson said the planning approval was a significant win for the rail project. “Our design refinements bring a range of benefits, including reducing the construction time and materials, resulting in reduced carbon.”
Earlier this month, HS2 began construction on its largest viaduct at Colne Valley, using a 700-tonne bridge-building machine.
Malaysia plans record $18 billion subsidy spend in inflation fight
© Reuters. A Malaysia Ringgit note is seen in this illustration photo June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/Files
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia is expected to spend 77.3 billion ringgit ($17.6 billion) in subsidies and cash aid this year, the largest amount in history, to help temper the effects of rising prices, its finance minister said on Saturday.
Prices of goods have jumped in Malaysia in recent months due to supply chain disruptions, labour shortages and the impact of war in Ukraine. Food inflation rose 5.2% from a year earlier in May, the highest since November 2011, government data showed this week.
Malaysia is projected to spend 51 billion ringgit on consumer subsidies including for fuel, electricity, and food, assuming that commodity market prices remain at current levels, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said in a statement.
The government will also distribute 11.7 billion ringgit in cash aid, and 14.6 billion ringgit in other subsidies, he said.
Malaysia said on Wednesday it would disburse nearly $400 million this month to help households cope with rising food and living costs.
Earlier this month, it said an increase in government revenue from rising commodity prices was insufficient to offset an expected spike in subsidy spending this year.
($1 = 4.4000 ringgit)
China’s central bank, BIS set up renminbi liquidity arrangement
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Headquarters of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, is pictured in Beijing, China September 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s central bank said on Saturday it had signed an agreement with the Bank for International Settlements to establish a Renminbi Liquidity Arrangement (RMBLA) that will provide support to participating central banks in times of market fluctuations.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said the arrangement’s first participants, in addition to the PBOC, would include Bank Indonesia, the Central Bank of Malaysia, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Central Bank of Chile.
Each participant will contribute a minimum of 15 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) or the U.S. dollar equivalent, it said. The BIS said in a separate statement that the funds could be contributed either in yuan or U.S. dollars, and that they would be placed with the BIS, creating a reserve pool.
($1 = 6.6878 renminbi)
Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Down by 25% Since Early June
Bitcoin’s energy consumption has reportedly declined drastically since only three weeks ago. Estimates from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index on Friday show that the network now consumes more than 25% less power than it did at the start of the month.
- According to the index, Bitcoin’s current electricity consumption is approximately 10.65 gigawatts. That’s down from the 14.34-gigawatt estimate recorded on June 6th.
- At these levels, Bitcoin estimated annualized power consumption now sits at 93.33 terawatt-hours – down substantially from May’s high of 150 terawatt-hours.
- The estimates are based on a “profitability threshold” that uses “different types of mining equipment as the starting point,” according to the index’s methodology page.
- This puts Bitcoin’s energy consumption back below Argentina (125 TW/h) and Norway, but still greater than that of Finland (82 TW/h)
- Bitcoin’s power consumption primarily stems from its proof of work consensus mechanism. The mechanism incentivizes Bitcoin “miners” to consume electricity in a race to construct Bitcoin’s next block. The winner earns a fixed number of Bitcoin.
- That said, when Bitcoin’s price falls, miners become less profitable. This disincentivizes less efficient miners from staying online, which can lead to reduced power consumption and hash rate.
- This month, Bitcoin’s price dropped below its previous all-time high in 2017. Its hash rate rapidly declined in short order, despite charting an all-time high just two weeks ago.
- A recent report from Arcane research found that public miners cumulatively sold off more Bitcoin than they generated in May. The selloff is expected to be higher in June.
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