At Ferrovial, we have together looked back over the year to check out our most significant milestones. New construction projects or services, acquisitions to further strengthen the company, social projects to cater for the reality on the ground in different communities, and prizes and awards which recognise different aspects of our work. Projects, partnerships and acquisitions which enable us to pursue our growth strategy based on efficiency, effectiveness and a streamlining of resources. Share with us our selection of top highlights for 2016.
Ferrovial’s top highlights for 2016
Ferrovial started the year with the award of a contract for the construction of two sections of high speed railway line in California, as part of the line between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The first section runs for 22 miles (some 35 km) between the towns of Wasko and Shafter, in the counties of Tulare and Kern, as part of the 100 mile (161 km) central section of railway line. The second stretch will link the towns of Wasko y Shafter as part of the central section of high-speed railway line between Fresno and Bakersfield. We also climbed on the high-speed train in the UK, winning a contract for HS2 (High Speed Two), for works to be done prior to construction of the central section of the high-speed railway line joining London and Birmingham.
February saw the acquisition of Siemsa, a company specialising in technical services for the energy, petrochemical and industrial sectors, thus expanding our services to maintenance and installation of equipment for power generation and distribution; construction of low and medium voltage installations; connection and grid infrastructure; installation and maintenance of analysis and control systems; and support for dismantling of facilities, such as refineries and nuclear and electric power plants, amongst other services.
The year continued with the purchase of the Australian company Broadspectrum. This is a large services company present in various sectors such as natural resources, energy and transport infrastructures, with a presence in Australia, the US, Canada and Chile. Integration of this company enabled Ferrovial Services to increase sales to 4,314 million Euros. We also acquired Siemsa, a company specialising in technical services for the energy, petrochemical and industrial sectors, thus expanding our services to maintenance and installation of equipment for power generation and distribution; construction of low and medium voltage installations; connection and grid infrastructure; installation and maintenance of analysis and control systems; and support for dismantling of facilities, such as refineries and nuclear and electric power plants, amongst other services.
It has also been a special year through the presentation of social projects to be carried out in 2016. As part of its programme of Social Infrastructures, Ferrovial has delivered projects for the construction of water infrastructures in communities in Colombia, Peru and Uganda, working together with NGOs Action against Hunger, Plan International and the Anesvad Foundation. In addition to this, “soup kitchens” have been refurbished in Asturias, Seville, Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid.
With the aim of strengthening the construction business in the US, Ferrovial bought the Texan company Pepper Lawson Construction through its subsidiary Webber. This company specialises in non-residential water and building infrastructures, and thus boosts Ferrovial’s capacity and resources in the water division.
The year continued with the purchase of Australian company Broadspectrum. This is a large services company working in various sectors such as natural resources, energy and transport infrastructures. The company operates in Australia, and has a significant presence in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Chile. The Australian company had recently announced the award of a contract for the design of a telecommunications network in New Zealand for Powerco, one of the country’s largest gas and electricity suppliers.
Important also this year was closure of the refinancing of the Autopista del Sol in Málaga. This operation has meant that Ferrovial Cintra has been able to apply new resources to the repayment of existing financing arrangements and the cancellation of hedging contracts, thereby eliminating future refinancing risks and thus helping to reduce the costs of funding and optimising the efficiency of the financial arrangements in place on its assets.
But this was not the only important milestone for our roads business: significant also are the award and commercial and financial closure of highways D4 and R7 in Slovakia, as well as the I-66 in Virginia. The first of these contracts marks the first project for Cintra in Slovakia and will improve traffic conditions in the region, as well as long-distance travel between countries in the region, boosting potential for economic development, job creation and the local supply chain. The second contract, in the US state of Virginia, is a highway with three regular toll lanes and two managed lanes in each direction. This new section of highway will expand capacity, improve mobility, provide more accurate journey times and enhance driver safety, as interchanges will also be upgraded to reduce congestion.
Still in the US, in the heat of the summer, Ferrovial was selected to negotiate an agreement for a public-private partnership to upgrade Denver Airport’s main terminal. Known as the Great Hall project, it covers extensive upgrade to the main terminal at Denver Airport, spanning more than 70,000 square metres of floor space. This will mean for the terminal new shopping and food service areas, extension of the security areas, improved building access and passenger transit flows, plus a new check-in area and general streamlining of the space and efficiency of the terminal.
And in July, Ferrovial and Acciona announced a joint venture for the design and construction of the Clarence River Crossing, a 1.5 km bridge on the Pacific Highway in Australia. The infrastructure, which will span the Clarence River in New South Wales, will have a height of 30 metres and four lanes of traffic. It will be the longest of the more than 100 bridges on this stretch of the Pacific Highway, between the towns of Woolgoolga and Ballina, once it is upgraded.
At the beginning of September, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) – a global benchmark index – confirmed Ferrovial’s presence in its ranking for the 15th consecutive year, as one of Europe and the world’s most sustainable companies. In this respect, 2016 was a great year for Ferrovial, which was again listed in other sustainability indexes such as the FTSE5Good4 and the STOXX Global ESG Leaders, and received triple A rating in the Morgan Stanley Capital Indexes.
At the end of the third quarter of 2016, Ferrovial reached an agreement for the acquisition of Transchile Charrúa Transmisión, S.A., a Chilean electricity distribution company owning a 204 km transmission line linking the substations of Charrúa and Cautín, in the south of the country. At about the same time, Ferrovial announced the acquisition of Biotran, a company specialising in the integral management of industrial waste from the pharmaceutical sector. This company has the only plant in Spain for mechanical treatment of pharmaceutical waste with energy recovery, in addition to modern transfer centres equipped with the latest technological devices and processes for waste treatment and recovery.
In October of this year, much of the international media reported on the UK Government’s recommendation for an extension of Heathrow Airport through the building of a third runway. According to the Airport Commission (the work team set up by the Government to ensure that the UK continues to be an important international hub), Heathrow is the best option due to the fact that estimates indicate it will create 179,000 new jobs and inject over £211,000 million into the country’s economy by 2050.
Ferrovial has also consolidated its presence in Poland by securing contracts worth a total of almost 1 billion Euros through its Polish construction subsidiary, Budimex. Half of such contracts are for civil engineering projects as part of the country’s ongoing 2014-2020 Road Plan.
Another milestone to highlight is the inclusion of Íñigo Meirás, Ferrovial CEO, in the list of the Harvard Business Review’s 100 Best Performing CEOs in the World. This ranking is based on qualitative rather than quantitative values, and thus takes into account not only a company’s stock market value, but also other factors such as financial development of the business, market profitability, reputation and sustainability.
And since what you are reading right now is the Ferrovial Blog, we must also mention the award for Best Blog Post from the Content Marketing Institute for the article “Engineering fiction: How would you build the Death Star today?”.
All that remains now is to find out what the new year has in store for us. A year in which we hope to embark on new projects to continue to spur on our company’s growth. Happy 2017!