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The B1M | 4:54
WHILST we may not always recognise it, built infrastructure plays a fundamental role in enabling all of us to live our lives. Here we look at five of the largest schemes currently under construction worldwide.
5 – HINCKLEY POINT C – UNITED KINGDOM
At an expected cost of USD $29BN, Hinckley Point C is the first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK for more than two decades.
Above: Hinckley Point C is the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for more than 20 years (image courtesy of EDF).
Construction of the controversial scheme has now begun, with concrete for the first reactor set to be poured in 2019 and the main operational building due for completion by 2025.
In total, the vast project will involve some three million tonnes of concrete and over 230,000 tonnes of steel.
4 – GRAND PARIS EXPRESS – FRANCE
Staying in Europe, the Grand Paris Express is an ambitious USD $39BN extension to the city’s existing rapid transit system – the Metro.
The scheme, which has been described as “the most ambitious new subway project in the Western world” aims to better connect Paris’ suburbs to its centre.
Above: Tunneling on the Grand Paris Express has begun, with the project due to complete in 2030 (image courtesy of CLS).
In total four new lines, 68 stations and more than 120 miles of track will be constructed, increasing the Metro’s passenger capacity by around 40%, when it completes in 2030.
3 – AL MAKTOURM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Dubai are currently extending Al Maktourm International to create the world’s largest airport.
Once completed, the destination will capable of handling more than 220 million passengers a year. To put that into context, Atlanta – currently the world’s busiest airport – handles just over 100 million passengers every 12 months.
The first phase of the scheme – valued at some USD $42BN and due to complete by 2025 – will see the construction of a 7,000,000 square foot new terminal with two 17,000,000 square foot satellite concourses alongside two new 4.5km-long runways.
Above: Al Maktourm International is set to become the largest airport in the world (image courtesy of DAEP).
Phase one alone will give the airport capacity to handle 120 million passengers, while a further terminal with two more satellite concourses and two further runways will bring the airport to its full capacity.
2 – DELHI-MUMBAI INDUSTRIAL CORRIDOR – INDIA
Continuing our journey eastward we arrive in India; a country currently investing USD $90BN in the world’s second largest infrastructure project.
The "Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor" (or DMIC) is a concentration of numerous infrastructure upgrades aimed at creating a high-tech industrial zone.
Spread across six states, the 1,483km corridor will see a huge amount of construction over the next 20 years.
Above: The USD $90BN project will include the construction of a staggering 24 “smart” cities (image courtesy of DMIC).
Overall, the immense scheme includes a high-speed freight railway, a six-lane expressway, two ports, six airports and two power plants.
Along with this new logistical infrastructure, a staggering 24 “smart” cities – each becoming home to up to 3 million people – are planned along the route.
The project’s ambitious size is matched by its fast-paced timescale, with the entire new freight railway expected to be completed as early as December 2019.
In a powerful demonstration of the impact that built infrastructure can have, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor has the potential to double the number of Indian citizens in employment, triple industrial output, and quadruple exports from the region in the next five years.
1 – BELT AND ROAD – CHINA
Topping our list is one of the most ambitious infrastructure schemes ever conceived.
With a projected total cost of almost USD $200BN, China’s "Belt and Road" programme (formerly “One Belt, One Road”) aims to dramatically improve the country’s international connections.
The “Belt” seeks to re-open historic trade routes and consists of six land based corridors, where infrastructure developments will better connect China to Russia, Europe, Turkey, India and South East Asia – forming a cohesive economic area in the region.
The “Road” initiative is a maritime version of the historic Silk Road running from the Chinese Coast through Singapore and across to the Mediterranean.
Above: The world's largest infrastructure project, costing USD $200BN, aims to better connect China with the world (image courtesy of Lommes).
Officially launched in September 2013, the majority of projects within the Belt and Road master-plan are still on the drawing board but look set to fundamentally impact global trade in the years ahead – once again demonstrating the phenomenal power and influence that built infrastructure has in shaping how we all live our lives.
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Images courtesy EDF, Gerard Rollando, CLS, Kengo Kuma and Associates, DAEP, DMICDC, HKTDC and Lommes. We welcome you sharing our content to inspire others, but please be nice and play by our rules.