Atkins signs strategic framework cooperation agreement in China

Atkins, the UK’s largest design, engineering and project management consultancy, has formed a strategic partnership to take forward plans for a major new development in Fuzhou on China’s east coast.

A strategic framework cooperation agreement between Atkins and AVIC Joy Air Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation in China, was signed at the UK-China business summit held in Beijing this week. UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Minister Designate for UK Trade & Investment Lord Livingston witnessed the signing during the trade mission to the country.

Atkins’ chairman Allan Cook, who is part of the three-day UK trade delegation to China, said:

“Atkins has been supporting clients in this region for more than 40 years. We are the largest urban planning team in China and now, as we all face some unprecedented challenges, it’s even more important that we work together to find innovative and sustainable solutions.”

In its role with AVIC Joy Air Holdings Ltd, Atkins is setting out a vision for a new town in Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian Province, large-scale industrial park for aviation related activity, and a ten-kilometre tunnel as well as expressway that will connect to Fuzhou city. Initial investment in the area is expected to be around 15 billion RMB (£1.5 billion GBP), with subsequent investment taking the total value to an expected 50 billion RMB (£5 billion GBP).

The site is located within an environmentally sensitive area, with low-lying land surrounded by natural rivers and watercourses. Plans address the risk of extreme weather events such as sub-tropical typhoons and heavy rainfall. Atkins teams are also ensuring work to future proof the development meets with China’s new National Green Urbanisation Strategy. The project will have a unique sense of identity – it aims to reconnect people who previously left the city for Taiwan and abroad.

Construction of the development is scheduled to begin in early 2014. Upon completion, it will provide more than six million square metres of office, research and development, hotel, commercial and residential floor space, with housing for 110,000 residents.

Mr Ji, president of AVIC Joy Air Holdings Ltd, said:

“We finally selected Atkins because of their track record in masterplans that are innovative, practical and cost-effective. They fully understand our business and therefore are able to produce a design solution that is both technically excellent and commercially viable. At the same time, they are well versed with the industry requirements and can navigate through the various stages of the approval process. We found the team to be extremely responsible, dedicated and refreshing, and we feel comfortable in offering them more work in the future.”