Italy engineering, Kuwait infrastructure strong partnership

 ROME- In the last four years, leading Italian companies in the infrastructure sector such as the Trevi Group, Rizzani de Eccher, Pizzarrotti, and Studio Altieri have won a wide range of contracts in Kuwait, strengthening the existing ties between the two countries.  

 The most notable project is the joint venture between Trevi Group, Rizzani de Eccher and other local companies in Kuwait, which is believed to be the biggest such deal involving Italian companies in the Middle East.

 Specifically, the project constitutes of a collaboration between Louis Berger (LBG) and Pan Arab Consulting Engineers (PACE) along with Rizzani De Eccher, SPA-Italy, Obrascon Huarte Lain, SA-Spain , Boodai Construction- Kuwait and TREVI, SPA-Italy. The joint venture secured “Preferred Bidder Status” for this outstanding infrastructure project worth $1.3 bn. The project started on May 2011 and, according to the Project Engineer -Mahmoud Ramadan-, will be finalised by 2016 as the completion date (contractually) is set for Oct. 28 2016.

 The “Jamal Abdul Nasser Street Development Project” (RA/167), as it is officially named, entails the upgrade of this main artery in the middle of Kuwait City. The main aim of the joint venture is the transformation of Jamal Street into an ExpressWay, a 14 km road plan linking the fourth Ring road at the UN roundabout with the city centre at the Sheraton roundabout.

Indeed, the joint venture will construct over 395,000sqm of viaducts made of prefabricated segments, an operation that requires specialist equipment and the use of advanced technologies. The project, together with the reconstruction of the existing road, also includes a multileveled-elevated highway. These constructions, says Mahmoud Ramadan, will certainly minimize and reduce traffic congestion, improving safety standards as well as making Jamal Abdul Nasser highway an efficient and important transport infrastructure. An important goal because of the adjacent establishments such as the Ministry of Defence, Kuwait University and the Shuweikh medical zone. The completion of the infrastructure plan will also boost the existing network of newly interconnected highways such as the Jaber Causeway and Jahra Highway. 

Logistically speaking, the project has five work phases which are all being carried out simultaneously, a strategy which drastically simplifies the construction process. In order to facilitate safety and environmental policies and complete the project by the contracted time, the Ministry of Public Work –road engineering sector- is supervising operations step by step.

At present, the Jamal Abdul Nasser Street Development Project (RA/167) is at 45 percent completion, as the Italian-Spanish-Kuwaiti joint venture continues construction.  

In 2014, the Trevi Group has been awarded further new contracts in the Middle East of about $100 and $84 million. These medium size contracts entail civil works as well as special foundations such as implementation of pile drives, innovative drilling technologies and ground consolidation for infrastructure work (hospitals, universities and industrial sites) that will be carried out by Soilmec machineries.

These kind of large scale commitments are only possible because Trevi Group is based on the vertical integration of its main divisions: Trevi is specialised in ground engineering (tunnel excavation and building of specific machinery), Petreven provides drilling services (mainly oil), whilst Drillmec produces drilling rigs (water, gas and oil), and finally Soilmec manufactures rigs for ground engineering.

Undoubtedly those agreements achieved by Trevi Group and the joint venture with Rizzani de Eccher represent a positive sign for the Italian infrastructure sector and denote an even closer collaboration between Kuwait and the peninsular country.

In fact, “the recent acquisitions of the Trevi division confirm the potential development of the infrastructure market in geographical areas of historical interest to the Group” said Gianluigi Trevisani – CEO of Trevi Group- on his company’s interest in beginning new urban projects in the Middle Eastern region.

The FSI –Fondo Strategico Italiano- has not remained indifferent to the Trevi Group’s acquisitions. Indeed, on July 30 2014, FSI Spa and Trevi Holding SE signed an investment agreement, which provides for the acquisition by FSI of a minority interest in Trevi Finanziaria Industriale. Under this agreement, FSI has to make a total investment in Trevfin of about €101 million and D. Trevisani – CEO of Trevi HSE- will sell to FSI a portion of the rights followed by an up to €200 million share capital increase.

CEO of FSI, Maurizio Tamagnini, expressed his happiness about the recent investment with Trevi Group, saying it is exciting to be on a path of development and internationalization as “this transaction represents the target investment of FSI, which through a capital increase supports the development of TREVI Group with indirect positive effects on the Italian economy.”

From the other side, Trevisani ensured that FSI is the ideal partner for their long-term plans.

Specifically, the interest moved from FSI to Trevi is not just related to their excellent operations abroad but also because of the consolidated turnover of the group. In fact, Trevisani’s company has achieved an outstanding growth path increasing its business volume by five times from €303 million in 1999 to €1,276 in 2013 million. Given that, the investment agreement will only create added value to Trevi Group, a company that makes 90 percent of its revenue abroad although it produces the machinery in Italy. Moreover, the company buys products from Italian suppliers supporting in total around 7,000 employees across the globe. 

Meanwhile, the Pizzarotti Infrastructure Company and Studio Altieri have completed another key contract, which demonstrates the strengthening relation between Italy and Kuwait. In fact, in 2013 they were awarded a contract for the design and construction of the Al Amiri hospital expansion project in Kuwait. Under the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health, the joint venture composed by Pizzarotti, Altieri and other three Kuwaiti companies (Associated Construction Company, Qattan Architectse, Al Essa Medical & Scientifical Equipment) will carry out the project, worth €270 million, within the existing hospital which is located in the Sharq area of Kuwait city. The work entails the construction of a new hospital directly connected to the old one through a bridge, the supply of medical equipment and hospital furniture. The new hospital will have a bed capacity of 406, 13 floors, a floor surface area of around 101,000 m² as well as 640 parking spaces. The project has a fixed term of 42 months, six of which will be dedicated entirely to planning.

“This project is an incredible stimulus for the company” said Pizzarotti in a press release, the company has also indicated their wish to expand further in the hospital infrastructure field.

To conclude, thanks to the help and collaboration of Kuwait there is a strengthening of economic and diplomatic ties between the two countries, that is giving middle size Italian companies a positive outlook for the future.