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INDUSTRY REVIEWCIVIL ENGINEERING


there might have been one or two such projects a year; now there are more like five or ten. That is still not many for such a big continent but it is a significant increase.” The current mixed picture regarding worldwide civil engineering industry activity, and the resulting heavy lift and forwarding work, was confirmed by Joerg Roehl, chief executive Europe for UK-headquartered international logistics group Trans Global Projects (TGP). “Geographically speaking, the increase in the number of civil engineering projects being sanctioned is patchy. Activity is currently particularly buoyant in the Middle East, including Turkey [where TGP recently opened a new office in Istanbul]. There are also signs of life returning to that market in Australia and the UK,” he commented. “Within the overall civil engineering market, the industry sectors seeing the most activity and the biggest projects are transport and other infrastructure, which tend to be government-backed and in response to national productivity improvements.”


Feeling the benefits Roehl went on to suggest that those positive trends are now starting to be felt in TGP’s own business activities. “Over the last five years our involvement in civil engineering projects has been limited, largely as a result of a relative dearth of worthwhile projects in that market. However, with a definite uptick detectable in the number of such projects being sanctioned in some of the geographical areas we specialise in, we are definitely noticing more demand.”


Sarens, a Belgium-based worldwide provider of crane rental, heavy lifting and engineered transport services, is primarily active in two civil engineering sectors – bridge replacement/installation and the steel assembly/installation of roof structures for sports stadiums and industrial buildings.


“If you look at bridge projects, the market in Europe continues to be fairly steady, Australia is slowly speeding up and the USA is set to see substantial growth in the coming years. However, general infrastructure work in Asia is still limited with no real signs of any pick-up on the way,” explained Gert Hendrickx, sales director projects for Sarens.


The other main sector of Sarens’ civil engineering project business, lifting and installing roof structures for new football stadiums and other sports facilities, remains


50 May/June 2018


ALE installed the roof for the Olympic Parque Roca swimming pool in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


steady, according to Hendrickx. “There is always somewhere in the world where new sports stadia are being built − for example, we are currently involved in the construction of Hungary’s


new national football stadium in Budapest [a 68,000-seat facility due to open in 2019],” he stated. Further evidence of the still rather patchy nature of civil engineering project logistics business growth was provided by Erik Zander, director of sales for Omega Morgan, a rigging and heavy haulage service company operating in the USA’s Pacific Northwest and Western Canada regions.


Demand for quotes


Within the overall civil engineering market, the industry sectors seeing the most activity and the biggest projects are transport and other


infrastructure, which tend to be government-backed and in response to national productivity improvements.


– Joerg Roehl, TGP


He reported that while Omega Morgan, which has in the past undertaken heavy lift work for several North American bridge construction and demolition projects, has yet to see any general increase in current civil engineering sector work, “we are starting to see a greater volume of requests for quotes relating to work in 2019”. Expanding on those points, Zander said that while the US Pacific Northwest, for example, is seeing investment in facilities to accommodate its growing workforce, such as large office buildings, hotels, convention centres and airport expansion, “unfortunately, the heavy infrastructure projects and utility work are not in the queue for 2018”.


Meanwhile, he continued, Western Canada is seeing some large civil engineering projects moving forward “but it seems like the trend across the board is for projects to take longer to get the go-ahead and sometimes not be able to get


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