Report shows Vegas’ CityCenter construction strays from plan
Las Vegas (AP) — A newspaper review of public records shows that the general contractor building the $8.7 billion CityCenter complex on the Las Vegas Strip has not resolved numerous construction discrepancies cited by inspectors.
Officials for Perini Building Co. and MGM Mirage, one of the project’s partners, said every discrepancy will be fixed before the six high-rise towers open to the public.
The project, an MGM Mirage partnership with Dubai World, is scheduled to open in stages starting later this year.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal said its review of Clark County building records shows that Perini has not fixed 69 percent of its discrepancies at the Harmon Hotel & Spa as of Feb. 13.
In January, hotel officials said structural defects would delay the Harmon’s opening and force it to be shortened by 22 floors.
Lithuania and Sweden to build power link with 700 to 1,000-megawatt capacity
Vilnius, Lithuania (AP) — The prime ministers of the three Baltic countries agreed Monday to build an underwater power link between Lithuania and Sweden, ending a long-running dispute about the cable’s route.
For years, Latvia and Lithuania argued over which of them should have the $570 million link under the Baltic Sea. The two Baltic countries don’t have any direct connection to European power networks, unlike Baltic neighbor Estonia, which is linked to Finland’s grid.
The 215-mile cable, expected to go online in 2016, is especially important for Lithuania, which fears dependency on Russian energy once it closes its Soviet-era nuclear power plant at the end of this year.
The three Baltic countries and the European Union will finance the project. Construction must begin by the end of 2010 under the terms of the deal. The EU has pledged $240 million to the project.
The power bridge is expected to have a capacity of 700 to 1,000 megawatts.
Russian tycoon to return stake in Austrian construction company
Moscow (AP) — Embattled Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska will return his 25 percent stake in Austria’s Strabag construction company to its shareholders, Deripaska’s Basic Element holding company said Monday.
Under a deal to be signed this week with Strabag’s shareholders, Deripaska will transfer his stake while retaining one share and two seats on the supervisory board. Deripaska has the option to buy back the shares by the end of the year.
Deripaska took out a loan from Deutsche Bank two years ago to acquire his stake in Strabag. The loan was refinanced by Strabag’s shareholders last year, and Deripaska’s stake was provided as collateral.
One of the biggest casualties of the global economic crisis, Deripaska is estimated by Forbes magazine to have shed some $25 billion of his fortune, toppling him as Russia’s richest man.
He is locked in debt restructuring talks with foreign creditors over $7.4 billion loaned to aluminum giant Rusal.