Considering what a challenging year 2020 was, many will be looking to 2021 as a year where there are more positive outcomes. Indeed with vaccine rollouts happening there is a sense of optimism that the worst of the pandemic will soon pass and that economic activity will once again pick up. Early indicators are that the construction sector is one of the best positioned to lead the charge in terms of recovery. There are a number of major projects in the pipeline, creating employment and contract opportunities. We take a look at which projects are likely to dominate the news.
While work on HS2 has already been taking place for several years, with the government giving the project its full backing early in 2020, the pace of work is set to accelerate in 2021. This is great news for the construction industry as main contractors bid to get a piece of the pie. However, the major cost of the project, and possible delays are ongoing causes for concern. Especially with public money as a major source of the funding.
Rolls Royce’s modular nuclear power plants
Nuclear power is always a very contentious subject. While some claim it can contribute to cleaner energy generation there are also major concerns about nuclear waste and the massive costs of building nuclear plants which then have a limited lifespan. Rolls Royce has nevertheless announced their intention to build mini modular nuclear facilities that can be set up at a fraction of the cost of major plants.
Aligning with governments net zero plans, and the projected increase in demand for batteries, the Blynth plant is set to be a landmark project. The former coal plant that covers an area of 95 hectares will be transformed into the UK’s first gigaplant car battery facility and will be powered solely by renewable resources.
Government has repeatedly claimed that construction has a major role to play in economic recovery following the pandemic and has promised major investment in infrastructure as part of this. However, there are still major obstacles ahead in the form of Brexit and questions around where the funding that has been promised by government is going to materialise from. As we move forward into 2021 with renewed hope, it should not be forgetting the hard lessons that the past few years have taught us.