Operating within ACCIONA Group, ACCIONA Construction merges the experience and knowledge of its specialised business units to successfully complete technically challenging major infrastructure projects across the globe
With more than 33,000 professionals operating in over 30 countries, ACCIONA is a leader in the development and management of infrastructure, renewable energy, water and services. Included in the select Ibex-35 stock market index, the group has a track record that stretches back more than a century and is known as a pioneer in areas such as development and sustainability. Wholly capable when it comes to responding to the challenges of achieving sustainable development, ACCIONA’s activities avoid the emission of millions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year; the group also aims to gradually reduce its carbon footprint and lead the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“ACCIONA is comprised of two businesses with one purpose: to fulfil some of society’s most pressing needs for clean energy and modern, low-carbon and sustainable infrastructure,” begins Jesús Sancho, Director at ACCIONA in the Middle East. “ACCIONA Construction, the civil works arm of ACCIONA, traces its origins back to the 1860s, when it built some of the first railways in Spain. Today, we are one of the world’s leading private infrastructure developers, with a 11 billion euro backlog. ACCIONA Construction has been present in the Middle East for over eight years and is an integral part of the Expolink Consortium that was recently awarded the Design & Construction of the Route 2020 Metro Project in Dubai (UAE).”
Thinking over the reasons for ACCIONA’s incredible global success, Mr Sancho continues: “One of our key strengths is the specialisation of the company; for example, ACCIONA Construction is specialised in three major areas: bridges, roads and special structures; railways and tunnels and ports and hydraulic works. In each of these areas, we have the capacity to take on all of the aspects of the value chain, from design and engineering, to their subsequent implementation and maintenance. Additionally, ACCIONA Construction may participate as a developer of infrastructure of the above specialised areas when the civil works projects are tendered under a PPP scheme.”
When it comes to the rail industry, ACCIONA’s origins can be found in a railway concession company that was created in the 1860s to develop, build and operate two main railway lines more than 240 kilometres in length in aggregate. “Today ACCIONA’s activity in the rail industry is channelised through its railways and tunnels specialised business unit (SBU), a global unit that retains, develops and applies ACCIONA’s critical know-how on these two fields that often come together and offer good synergies,” says Mr Sancho. The SBU, in collaboration with other ACCIONA Construction departments and regions, is able to design and build turnkey railway infrastructure solutions such as high speed lines, underground and elevated metros and light rail systems all over the world. So far the company has provided such services to more than ten countries, including America, Europe, the Middle East and Australasia.
Mr Sancho says the key to the success of this synergistic approach to business is the company’s locations in 30 countries across five continents: “The geographical specialisation approach of ACCIONA makes it possible to focus efforts on high-potential areas where the company can maximise leverage of its specialised technical capabilities while ensuring appropriate resource assignment to all activities. Each region is supported by hub countries, which co-ordinate resource management in their areas of influence, ensuring availability and optimal utilisation.”
Complementing the group’s strong geographical presence are its three centres for technological innovation, with ACCIONA Construction benefiting from the Madrid technology centre striving to improve efficiency during the construction process and reduce the environmental impact of building projects. “Over the last ten years ACCIONA Construction has boosted its technological centre to create its own solutions for the worksites; these solutions allow ACCIONA to be more sustainable and cost efficient than its competitors. For example, one of the most breakthrough technological solutions developed is the use of composite materials for infrastructure projects,” says Mr Sancho. “Composites stand out for their lightweight, mechanical strength, and high corrosion resistance. This let ACCIONA be the first worldwide company to design, manufacture and implement bridges and footbridges made with these materials. The latest milestone reached has been the construction of the first lighthouse in the world made of composite materials, in Valencia Port, Spain.”
Other notable projects for ACCIONA Construction include the construction of the Metro of Quito in Ecaudor and the Sydney Light Rail in Australia. Having worked on all metro lines in the major cities of Spain as well as on international projects in Columbia, Puerto Rico and Kowloon, Hong Kong, the company has gained experience in the construction of over 150 kilometres of metro lines. “The Metro of Quito in Ecaudor and Sydney Light Rail in Australia projects are gathering a lot of attention due to their size,” notes Mr Sancho. “Both are over the $1 billion contract amount and iconic for their respective cities. In Quito for instance, we are building the full 22 kilometres and 15 stations for the first line of Metro of the City, which is most of the underground; once completed, we hope this Line 1 will significantly improve the mobility of Quito citizens.”
Looking ahead, the company will continue to expand its global presence as it seeks key business opportunities across the globe that focus on sustainability and the environment. “We have recently been awarded the Route 2020 Dubai Metro expansion project, which will link the existing Red Line in Dubai with the Expo 2020 site and some prominent residential and commercial areas in Dubai. The civil works of this project consist of tunneling works, 2.5 kilometres TMB, five elevated stations, two undergrounds and one iconic station at the Expo site; depot facilities and a viaduct,” highlights Mr Sancho.
“Over the coming years, the specialisation of the company and our knowledge management will give us the competitive edge required to thrive in the international market. We shall continue to expand our areas of specialisation and create new ones to adapt to the ever-changing markets,” he concludes.