The main construction companies in the country have coincided at the XII meeting of the Infrastructure, Transport and Mobility sector, organized by Deloitte and ABC, that the Government must retake the concessions, as they have previously existed in Spain and how they work in others countries.
The general director of Dragados, Santiago García, has said that the public-private collaboration is very interesting. Spain has been an example in the construction of infrastructures and long-term concessions. «Today, no concessions are being made in our country. It is a drama that the model has been abandoned. Obstacles have been put in place that make it impossible. Not all administrations are convinced. He added that limiting the investor’s profitability to just over 2%, “with all the risks involved in concessions, makes this model impossible. In other countries there are no such limitations. Like the Anglo-Saxons. They offer logical returns to attract the investor. ‘
Regarding the internationalization of Spanish companies, he explained that “we are looking for markets with financial and legal stability and a suitable working environment, such as Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and Chile.” He stressed that in the sector there is more competition and lower margins and the types of contracts have been changed. Regarding the gigantic infrastructure plan announced by the US Administration, he thinks that “it is going to go ahead. It is pending for political approval. It is feasible and bankable, the financing will be fast, although the execution will be difficult. The workforce will be a challenge. ‘
The CEO of FCC, Pablo Colio has stated that international experience shows us that construction is a very local activity. “We are currently working in fewer countries than at the beginning of internationalization. They have preferred to be stronger in some countries rather than spread out happily. We need to know all the local markets deeply, it takes a lot of time and patience. For this reason, companies have had to transform. Like HR, with the profile of the workers. “The templates have had to adapt to new ways of working, such as the language and culture of the countries where we work.” Also in transparency.
You have referred to the ‘cotton test’ on the problem of profitability. «It is very easy to demonstrate. There is a great liquidity capacity in the markets. It is curious that the construction sector never has appeal for funds. It is not by chance because the investor is cautious and cold. And this sector is not attractive. We have to look at it. The risk balance of the companies is disproportionate ”. And he stressed that, in general, “contracts with public administrations no longer contemplate the revision of prices. We cannot pass on increases in raw materials to customers, especially when the increases are around 100% that companies cannot assume. This issue must be resolved urgently.
Acciona’s Construction CEO, Huberto Moreno explained that “companies are adapted to the national market, despite Covid and the rising cost of raw materials.” There is an opportunity with European funds and a need for new rail, environmental and water infrastructure. «Productivity improvement goes through digitization and process improvement. Companies are prepared for the challenge of sustainability ”.
The CEO of Sacyr Ingeniería e Infraestructuras, Pedro Sigüenza, recalls that “we have maintained contact with the works during the pandemic thanks to technology. I am quite analog and I have been shocked. We already use big data, artificial intelligence, automatic machines, etc …
He pointed out that “we here have a lot of experience in international litigation. In the works contingencies come out continuously. As with the pandemic and the rise in materials and maritime transport. This will increase litigation. There are more reasonable clients and others less. And he asks to change the hiring procedure, limit the losses in the proposals. «We have 50% of the concessions portfolio and another 50% of direct works. The concessions have more ‘glamor’ in the market. There is less competition. We optimize costs for lower profitability. It is a pity that there are no concessions in Spain as in other countries.
The CEO of Ferrovial Construcción, Ignacio Gastón, has recognized that, “although we have been very slow in making decisions, we must assume leadership in innovation.” He has stressed that industrialization is “essential and unstoppable.” It warns that the environmental rehabilitation of housing “cannot be achieved if the sector is not industrialized. Spain is not in the lead ». Regarding the aforementioned US infrastructure plan, he said that “it will go ahead, but it will be difficult for everything to come out.”