When drive decided to acquire a large part of the civil works portfolio of Lendlease Engineering in Australia, between 2019 and 2020, he did so with the firm conviction that this was going to be his great destination abroad. The group already has more construction activity there than in Spain, becoming the largest market for the Infrastructure area: its weight in construction income is around 33%, due to the 20% that the domestic market represents.
This milestone was highlighted by the president Jose Manuel Entrecanales at the recent shareholders’ meeting. His company went ahead with taking Lendlease’s contract reserve in the midst of the pandemic, which meant raising the portfolio to 4 billion Australian dollars (about 2.47 billion euros at the time) and having it today above 5,100 million local dollars (3,440 million euros at the current exchange rate), with the combination of public and private sector projects.
Acciona barely invested 99 million euros in three sections but had to prepare to carry out works 17,000 kilometers from Madrid. Before, in 2017, it took a decisive first step with the purchase of Geotech for 140 million euros. The latter provided half a thousand employees and highly specialized as a subcontractor in railway works.
Australia accounts for 23% of the infrastructure portfolio, and 26% of water
Now, the Entrecanales see their company prepared to focus on opportunities by more than 150,000 million euros in different work plans, and there is no lack of references to be able to bid.
“The integration of Lendlease Engineering has allowed us to triple our business in Australia and become one of the three most important operators in that market”, the president of Acciona expressed his chest before the participants of his company. Of the 19,600 million in the portfolio of the infrastructure division, 23% comes from Australia and Southeast Asia, a percentage that rises to 26% compared to the 15,150 million in the reserve of work to be executed in water.
The 150,000 million that Australia will move in public investment are planned in the next four years and the pitch is populated. ACCIONA is measured with Cimicsubsidiary of DHW; the dealership transurban; John Hollandproperty of the powerful China Communications Construction Company International (CCCI); with the building specialist Hutchinsonor with investors like Plenary, IFM and Macquarie.
Groups from abroad such as Ferrovial, Sacyr, the italian WeBuildthe British Laing O’Rourke or the French Vinci and Bouyguesamong many.
Acciona’s notable reinforcement in construction responds to the investment framework available to the various Australian states, but also to previous experience in both infrastructure and renewable energy. Now you can target the largest civil construction works and other smaller projects that require high specialization in roads, bridges, hydraulic projects, etc. The Australian subsidiary is led by Bede Noonanson of one of the two founders of Geotech in 1972, Gerry Noonan.
Cimic, Transurban, John Holland and Hutchinson, among the biggest local rivals
Acciona is carrying out projects such as a runway at the new Sydney airport; Bayswater Station, Kenwick Rail Freight Facility and Bunbury Bypass (in Western Australia); the Rookwood dam or the new Brisbane metropolitan transport system (the last two projects in Queensland). And it shares with CPB (Cimic) the execution of 306 kilometers of a railway line between Melbourne and Brisbane, the Inland Rail.
This same month of July it has been known that it is a preferential offer for one of the sections of the Rockhampton Ring Road, some 500 kilometers north of Brisbane and valued at 400 million Australian dollars.
Growth in alternative energies
Acciona set foot in Australia for the first time in 2002. It has dedicated itself to installing desalination plants, building roads, railway lines and waste treatment facilities, but above all it has stood out for its commitment to the field of renewables.
The Spanish company, currently the author of the largest wind farm in Australia in Queenland (MacIntyre, 923 MW of installed power and 1,000 million euros of investment), is planning the investment of 26,000 million Australian dollars (about 17,525 million euros) in the next five years in alternative energies. The objective is install 6GWmultiplying the nearly 600 MW it has in operation.
The figure has been revealed by President José Manuel Entrecanales in an interview granted to the Sydney Morning Herald. The company says that it prioritizes significant economic returns, a stable legal system and attractive federal investment plans to improve the electricity grid. This latest development, baptized as reconnect the nation, is essential to make future solar and wind sites viable. Entrecanales stated in the interview published last Thursday that “Australia is probably the most effective destination for our investment.”