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EME w w w. e m e o u t l o o k m a g . c o m


A Cypriot stalwart built on a client-first approach to construction

Issue 33


An emblem for Oman’s economic diversification

BUILDING FOR BUCHAREST How One United Properties continues to apply the Midas touch to residential and mixed-use developments across the Romanian capital

Mobica’s Stefan Marxreiter and Wolfram Ries discuss the ins and outs of the autonomous vehicle market

travel magazine Your Guide to the World THE UNRELENTING

demand to travel, both for business and leisure purposes, is showing no signs of slowing up, and for Outlook Publishing, the growing extent to which we are covering this industry across our existing titles has led to the launch of Outlook Travel magazine. The major component of the publication takes the form of our Outlook Travel Guides, providing executives, avid travellers and our existing 575,000 international subscribers with the ultimate rundown of all the major economic drivers and thriving

hubs across the world, with exclusive input from tourism industry associations and stakeholders – the people who know these places the best. You can join the vast numbers of tourism sector players enjoying the exposure we provide across our digital platforms with a range of options, from advertising through to free-of-charge editorials, extensive social media saturation, enhanced B2B networking opportunities, and a readymade forum to attract new investment and increase exposure.


Romania Revitalised

EDITORIAL Editorial Director: Tom Wadlow Deputy Editor: Jonathan Dyble PRODUCTION Art Director: Stephen Giles Senior Designer: Devon Collins

R O M A N I A A N D its construction industry, like the majority of Europe, was hit hard by the global financial crash of 2008-2009.

Junior Designer: Matt Loudwell BUSINESS Managing Director: Ben Weaver Sales Director: Nick Norris Operations Director: James Mitchell PROJECT DIRECTORS Joshua Mann HEAD OF PROJECTS Callam Waller Thomas Arnold TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Eddie Clinton PROJECT MANAGERS Alistair Bailey David Knott Josh Hyland Matthew Selby Ryan Gray Vivek Valmiki BUSINESS TRAVEL Director: Joe Palliser Sales Manager: Jordan Levey Sales Manager: Krisha Canlas Sales Manager: Matt Cole-Wilkin

ADMINISTRATION Finance Director: Suzanne Welsh Administrative Assistant: Sophia Curran Office Manager: Daniel George CONTACT EME Outlook East Wing, Ground Floor, 69-75 Thorpe Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 1UA, United Kingdom. Sales: +44 (0) 1603 959 652 Editorial: +44 (0) 1603 959 657 SUBSCRIPTIONS Tel: +44 (0) 1603 959 657 Email: Like us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: @eme_outlook

Public spending froze, confidence plummeted, and companies across the entire construction value chain struggled to stay afloat, many having to cut back or cease trading entirely. However, since 2013 the market has been recovering. According to research carried out by the European Commission, there were 89,943 enterprises and 608,715 people engaged in the broad construction sector in Romania in 2016, respective increases of 7.6 percent and 2.9 percent since 2010. This revitalised sector forms the focus of our cover story, which features an in-depth interview with Andrei Diaconescu and Victor Căpitanu, Managing Partners and Founders at Bucharest-based developer One United Properties. One of the few companies which actually grew through the difficult years, we check in to learn more about its ongoing projects in Bucharest. In Cluj, family firm Transilvania Constructii has set its sights on expanding its network of industrial parks, the property investment and development enterprise having successfully overseen dozens of developments since it was privatised in the 1990s. There are also plenty of success stories to be found in Romania away from its rebounding construction sector. For example, in the frozen food industry, Macromex continues to innovate and bring quality products to Romanian consumers. We spoke with CEO Albert Davidoglu about the huge opportunities for growth in the sector, as well as how the company has invested in the future, not least through its enormous 43-metre-high warehousing facility. This month’s Topical Focus explores the ever-evolving world of autonomous vehicles, featuring an exclusive Q&A with Mobica’s VP of Automotive Sales Wolfram Ries and COO Stefan Marxreiter. “While we might romanticise the heritage of the motor car – the elegance of a classic chassis or the precision engineering of the combustion engine – transportation is entering a new era,” Marxreiter tells us. “We must recognise that software now plays a crucial role in all vehicles and that the data this generates is pushing the industry in a new direction.” Among the other industries explored in this packed issue are manufacturing, supply chain and oil and gas, while our travel guides venture into three eyecatching cities – Naples, Bordeaux and Helsinki. Enjoy the issue! Tom Wadlow Editorial Director, Outlook Publishing EME Outlook issue 33 | 3





10 12

Around Europe and the Middle East in seven stories



32 Bordeaux

Qatar’s quest to innovate for the future


10 Food & Drink

Dairy Goes Digital   How AgrosMilk is ensuring farmers across Western Europe are paid properly  

12 Oil & Gas

A slice of Italian culture


Offering a feast for the senses

44 Helsinki


A city embracing openness


166 European Mining Convention

An Engineering Ever-present  

Reframing mining sustainability with innovation and experience

How DORIS is powered by people, synergy and a fit-for-purpose approach

168 Food Ingredients Europe


Bringing innovation to the heart of the conversation

16 Sustainability – autonomous vehicles

Understanding Automotive Automation   Mapping out the prospects of driverless vehicles

170 High-rise Projects KSA Discussing best and worst practice in Saudi construction

172 4th Global Dairy Innovation Congress & Awards MENA 2020 Exploring opportunities across the Middle East and North Africa region

174 THE FINAL WORD What, in your opinion, makes a good business leader?

16 4 | EME Outlook issue 33





Tell us your story and we’ll tell the world

Fulfilling a Vision


58 One United Properties Building for Bucharest

A creator of landmarks in the Romania capital

77 Cyfield Group

The Complete Constructor A Cypriot stalwart built on a client-first approach to construction

86 Transilvania Constructii

Romania’s Diligent Developer Building on success in Cluj by expanding east

94 Horizon Gulf Electromechanical Services Bright People. Right Solutions. Adapting and evolving to offer supreme service

100 A.R. Hourie​

A Lebanese Legacy A mainstay in Lebanon’s construction industry

106 Synergy Construct Can-do Contracting

Shaping the built environment, delivering sustainability

110 BuroHappold Engineering Building Brighter

116 Mazoon Dairy An emblem for Oman’s economic diversification

126 Macromex ​

Romania’s FMCG Revolution Delivering quality and innovation to the frozen food market



132 Port of Oslo

Charting a New Course Emboldened by innovation


140 Hranipex Cutting-edge

Maintaining best-in-class quality for a quarter century

148 Safina a.s.

Keeping Metals Precious Maximising the value of precious and nonferrous metal waste



Driving Forward Combining experience and innovation


160 Foresight Offshore Drilling​

Safety. Efficiency. Reliability. At the forefront of oil and gas excellence


Delivering creative construction solutions for an ever-changing world



EME Outlook issue 33 | 5

NEWS Around Europe & the Middle East in seven stories… SPORT

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosts first NFL games


VIRGIN HYPERLOOP ONE DEEPENS TIES IN SAUDI ARABIA VIR G IN HY P ERLOOP ON E (VHO) has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to help develop the country’s transport sector. The two parties agreed the pact at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh and will exchange technical knowledge, the news coming short-

ly after VHO published its feasibility study for a centre of excellence in King Abdullah Economic City. Dr Tony Chan, president of KAUST, said: “Having visited the first VHO test site in Las Vegas myself, I believe the hyperloop technology is hugely impressive and will truly transform the way passengers and goods are being moved in the 21st century.”



Majid Al Futtaim to open first Carrefour store in Uzbekistan D U BA I ’S M A J I D Al Futtaim, holder of Carrefour franchise rights in more than 30 countries, is bringing the French retail outlet to Uzbekistan. The move represents the Central Asian country’s first internationally6 | EME Outlook issue 33

A Y E A R later than originally planned, Tottenham Hotspur has finally hosted its first NFL matches. On October 6, The Oakland Raiders overcame the Chicago Bears 24-21, with Raiders quarterback Derek Carr saying that the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, in north London, was possibly the best he has ever played in. A week later, the Carolina Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 37-26. Crowds of more than 60,000 watched the games, with Wembley Stadium also staging two fixtures in 2019 – the LA Rams’ 24-10 victory of the Cincinnati Bengals on October 27, and the Houston Texans’ 23-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 3.

owned retail store, part of ongoing efforts to open up its economy. Hani Weiss, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim said: “A supportive government, growing economy, and high demand for a customer centric offering like ours makes Uzbekistan a compelling fit for our expansion into Central Asia.” The company currently operates 285 Carrefour stores, and will open its first outlets in Uganda before the end of 2019.



Orange records solid Q3 results, driven by MEA growth F RENCH TELCO giant Orange has released what it has described as solid Q3 2019 results. Owed to strong commercial performance in France and promising growth in the Middle East and Africa, the company recorded revenue rises of 0.8 percent, reaching €10.57 billion for the period. Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, commented: “These results further attest to the relevance of our very high-speed broadband network strategy. FOOD & DRINK

Oktoberfest sees 7.3 million litres of beer consumed in Munich ANNUAL BEER celebration Oktoberfest swept across Europe, with 7.3 million litres of beer consumed in Munich alone. Around 6.3 million people flocked to the Bavarian city, with 55 nations rep-


“We reached more than seven million fibre customers in Europe this quarter, an increase of 25 percent compared to last year. This can be seen in France in particular where we achieved 178,000 net additions, a record figure for a third quarter. The launch of the Livebox 5 at the beginning of October should also maintain this momentum.”

resented – the top 10 being the USA, UK, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, Sweden and Denmark. The first ever Oktoberfest was held in 1810, in honour of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities ran for six days and finished with a horse race. Today the festival runs even longer, typically lasting 16-18 days.

TH E S E CO N D phase of Dubai’s Autodrome Business Park is on course for completion in February 2020, its developer Union Properties has said. Already completely booked out, the facility is purpose-built for racing teams and other motorsport activities. Union has confirmed that 95 percent of the foundation work has been completed, with 60 percent of the steel structure in place. The site is adjacent to the race circuit at Dubai Autodrome, and phase three of the project is already in the conceptualisation and design process. TECHNOLOGY

NOKIA HIRES 350 NEW EMPLOYEES IN 2019 TO QUICKEN ITS 5G DEVELOPMENT F I N L A N D ’ S L E A D telecom network equipment maker Nokia has announced the hire of hundreds of new engineers this year in an attempt to speed up its 5G development, according to Reuters. The company slashed its 2019 and 2020 profit outlook in recent times, stating that profit would have to take a back seat as the company seeks to compete in the fast-growing 5G business. 240 hires have been made in its mobile networks unit, the company ramping up its system on chip integrated circuits development – a critical part of its 5G equipment.

EME Outlook issue 33 | 7


Qatar’s Quest to Innovate for the Future Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh, Executive Director of Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), discusses the country’s drive to become a world leader in research and innovation Written by: Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh, Executive Director of Qatar Science & Technology Park


hile many countries have infrastructure – all of which recognised the imporconstitute a vibrant RDI ABOUT THE EXPERT tant role of research and ecosystem. Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh is the innovation in national developRDI isn’t just something ment and growth, only a few Executive Director of Qatar Sciwe see as relevant to ence & Technology Park (QSTP), have strategically invested in addressing only domestic Qatar’s premier free zone and hub shaping the emergence of a vichallenges. Several projects for technology development and able and impactful ecosystem and initiatives undertaken innovation. Saleh brings a wealth of expertise to this for research, development, and at QSTP have been specifleadership role from the fields of industrial technoloinnovation (RDI). ically launched with a view gy development and applied research. Qatar is one such country to addressing challenges Over the past 24 years, he has held technical, taking ambitious yet confident that have global relevance management, and research positions in Qatar’s oil steps in this regard. too – whether it is reducing and gas industry. Prior to joining QSTP, he was the Innovation and technology carbon emissions, artificial Vice President at Qatar Shell Research & Technology development are vital to adintelligence applications, Centre where he oversaw its $100 million investment dressing Qatar’s priorities and energy and water mancommitment to research, with a specific focus on challenges that also have global agement, or developing corrosion in gas plants and CO2 utilisation and water resonance – climate change sustainable facilities. solutions. and environmental sustainabilOur efforts have now ity, water security, cybersecuribeen underway for more ty, and precision medicine. than a decade and it continRDI can generate solutions that fostering a vibrant and productive RDI ues to be as imperative as ever. When strengthen Qatar’s sustainability and ecosystem is key. an unjust blockade was imposed resilience, make their way into the At a time when many nations have against Qatar in 2017, it was expected global marketplace, and directly and been reducing their funding for RDI, that our economy, society, and individpositively impact people’s lives. this has allowed us to attract top talent uals would struggle to cope with this. from around the world and accelerOn the contrary, this blockade spurred The economic challenge ate our progress. Whether individual our growth and enhanced our sustainHaving traditionally thrived on oil and researchers and scientists or major ability. There has been a paradigm shift gas, Qatar continues to diversify its international companies, people are among the general Qatari population, economic offering. now looking to Qatar as an attractive with increased interest in RDI. This is no simple feat and the coundestination to help them further their We’re also seeing continuing efforts try’s approach has been broad-rangcareers and businesses. And this is towards self-sufficiency and innovaing, with strategic investments not just because of funds, but also tion emerge from within our commuin sectors spanning education to because of our sustained commitment nities, academic institutions, as well as healthcare. As a nation, we strive to to advanced education, scientific rebusinesses across all sectors – whether become more sustainable and more search, and technology development it’s families growing their own food, self-sufficient. To achieve this, we need in nationally relevant and globally advances in sustainable agriculture to be producers of technology, not just impactful areas, combined with and food production, or entrepreneurs importers. And for all this to happen, homegrown expertise and world-class establishing advanced manufactur8 | EME Outlook issue 33

ing and industrial capabilities for a whole range of domestic products as well as services. We’re curious, and keen to find new solutions for us and the global community.

A place for innovation to thrive It was with this outlook that the Qatar Foundation set out 10 years ago to establish a unique place for technology companies, innovators, and entrepreneurs to come together, and for technological development to excel. Qatar Science & Technology Park, part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI), is Qatar’s premier free zone and a global hub for applied research, technology innovation, incubation, and entrepreneurship. As the engine that drives the implementation of RDI, QSTP facilitates the development of new high-tech products and services and supports the commercialisation of market-ready technologies. Situated in an area larger than 125 football pitches, QSTP is home to, and business partners with several of the

biggest global technology companies in the world who are jointly delivering impactful and measurable benefits for Qatar. We aim to increase our commitment to business R&D activities and project our vital role in attracting foreign investment, specifically in the technology sector, as well as promote private investments for our entrepreneurs. QSTP’s strategic approach toward attracting significant investments in energy, environment, health sciences, and information and communication technology sectors demonstrates the commitment of our partner companies, entrepreneurs, and innovators to support Qatar’s drive toward sustainable economic development and diversification. Simultaneously, QSTP continues to support the development of startups and has various programmes in place to help them grow and succeed. We have a well-established accelerator programme to provide entrepreneurs

the mentoring they need to streamline their ideas and make them commercially viable. Our Incubation Centre helps entrepreneurs develop their products and bring them into market. We also offer a tech venture fund to assist startups access seed capital. The concept is simple – one destination that houses the complete RDI value chain, from ideation to the marketplace. And it is clear that this remarkable ecosystem supports the coexistence and advancement of both established global companies and flourishing startups. We are proud to have technologies that have been developed here at QSTP experience huge success internationally, like SenoBrightTM, a mammogram technology now used in hospitals around the world. With past and present projects including the development of low carbon concrete, creation of a cloudbased threat detection system, and testing of solar technologies from around the world, the possibilities and future of QSTP are indeed limitless. EME Outlook issue 33 | 9


Dairy Goes Digital


airy is an essential part of billions of people’s diets. From milk to butter, yoghurt to ice cream, it is consumed in a tremendous number of ways all over the world, and although modern dairy farming began in the early 1900s, humans have been drinking milk from cows for thousands of years. Today, it is big business. Valued at $442 billion worldwide, the dairy industry is forecast to continue expanding at an annual rate of around two percent in the coming years. Europe is one of the keenest consuming regions. Last year EU countries between them consumed more than 33 million metric tonnes of milk alone, more than the United States and second only to India. “The dairy industry in general terms has been going from 10 | EME Outlook issue 33

AgrosMilk’s portal is used by companies all over Western Europe to ensure proper management of payments to suppliers, vital for farmers who often work on narrow margins Writer: Tom Wadlow

strength to strength in recent times,” comments Niall Kiely, Chief Operating Officer at Irish milk management solutions firm AgrosMilk. “I think many dairy companies have diversified their product range quite cleverly, particularly over the last 10 years or so. Gone are the days where a dairy company just produces milk and cheese – unless it is a specialised supplier. This has been a major move in the sector and insulates companies from possible weaknesses in future sales.” A more complex and diverse industry than ever before, Kiely is also aware of challenges faced by European producers and their suppliers, none more so than the ongoing process of the UK’s departure from the European Union. “Of course, the greatest risk right now to UK and Ireland


companies is Brexit,” he continues. “Nobody knows the exact details or repercussions of Brexit right now, however, overall I’m a firm believer in the glass being half full. “Whilst there is great risk, there is also great opportunity and any Brexit fallout will demand a trade deal to allow companies to continue grow and flourish.” Keeping abreast of technological advances is one way to mitigate against risk and open up new opportunities, something which AgrosMilk has been advancing ever since it set up 35 years ago. The company’s raison d’etre is simple – to allow dairy companies to pay their suppliers accurately and on time. Not only is this vital for farmers who often have to operate with tight margins, it is also critical to larger corporates and dairy producers who rely on attracting suppliers to maintain their very existence. Although a simple sounding mission in theory, Kiely unravels some of the complexity behind it. “First and foremost, AgrosMilk helps dairy companies ensure control and governance over payments to its suppliers,” he says. “It provides key reporting and analytics to ensure that the payments made are accurate and timely. There are numerous factors across volume and quality of dairy supply which determine the price per litre of produce. These are often quite complex and de-

manding and need to be reconciled each and every period. “AgrosMilk reduces this complexity by automating the rules that govern payment and securely transfers funds to the supplier’s chosen location.” Keeping up with emerging technologies has been critical, the company able to deliver real-time information via its supplier portal that houses online statements, quality and collection results, and full membership records, among other important details. For Kiely, this innovation-driven way of doing business is what lured him to the company in the first place. “When I was approached about the role, I deemed it a perfect fit,” he says. “Given the client rapport that was built over many years and the niche market that it’s in, I was really enthused about where the company could go. “The advent of new technologies leveraged mainly through cloud advances meant that we could reach a global market whilst maintaining excellence in product and service. The combination of growth and ability to deliver quality to our growing client base was a key factor in me joining.” Such a client base now translates into 115,000 registered users across most of Western Europe, an area the COO describes as the heartland of dairy produce, a claim backed up by the fact that Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands make up the top four EU producers of cow’s milk. And the region as a whole looks set to play a leading role on the world dairy stage in the future, the European Commission predicting that by 2030 the EU could supply close to 35 percent of global demand. For Kiely, prospects such as this

fuel a sense of optimism, the COO concluding by highlighting two major priorities for the years ahead. “Agros will continue to grow and invest in its people and product range, as has been its commitment over the last 35 years,” he says. “By staying aligned to market needs, we aim to enable dairy companies to be as efficient and diligent in their payments to suppliers as possible, and enable suppliers to have on demand access to all data across all platforms and devices.”

PRODUCT PORTFOLIO AGROS|PAYMENT: Automated, secure payments system used by 86 percent of UK farmers AGROS|MSS: Self-service function which allows on demand access to all aspects of supplier details and payments AGROS|MRM: Full case management suite catering for full audit and ticket management between supplier and company AGROS|HAULIER PORTAL: Web portal for hauliers who can view all haulier load details and proof of delivery AGROS|INSIGHT: Business intelligence delivered through tailored in-application reports AGROS|FORECASTING: Models future payments based on historical transactions and future trends IMILK: Provides access to all AgrosMilk products via mobile partner of Lycopodium.

EME Outlook issue 33 | 11



he ability to move with the times is an essential ingredient to any business hoping to thrive in the energy industry for a long period. It is a sector prone to change. From fluctuating commodity prices and new resource discoveries to evolving technology and heightening HSE demands, operators in this volatile space must be agile in order to endure long-term success. Take France’s DORIS.

AN ENGINEERING EVER-PRESENT Working with some of the world’s largest energy players, DORIS has become a well-established and critical engineering support partner on landmark projects across the globe Writer: Tom Wadlow

12 | EME Outlook issue 33

OIL & GAS Established in 1965, it has been an ever-present and essential protagonist of engineering in the energy industry, a worldwide reference in the oil and gas, renewables and offshore wind arenas. “With specialised engineers working together, we deliver all the engineering services that energy operators and contractors need to enable safer, faster and lower cost production,” comments Christophe Sarri, Group Chief Commercial Officer.

“The services we provide are conceptual and front-end engineering design (FEED), detailed design, technical assistance, asset management and project management.” From concept to decommissioning, the company provides performance and cost-driven services covering all parts of a field, including subsea developments, fixed and floating platforms, topsides and substructures, onshore facilities, and fixed and floating wind

turbines, cables and transformer platforms. Sarri joined DORIS around a year ago, bringing with him more than two decades of oil and gas experience. “These were the most exciting types of project for a structural engineer,” he recalls. “The projects were gigantic, and I wanted to work in an international environment with different cultures. “After 20 years working for EPC contractors Eiffage and Subsea 7 in

EME Outlook issue 33 | 13

DORIS Sarri also points to a breakthrough project in Myanmar, where the company has begun working on the FEED design competition of the SHWE phase three gas field in collaboration with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI). Awarded the contract by Posco International, the work involves designing a new large gas compression platform that will connect to the existing platform. “This is an important project for us for several reasons,” says Sarri. “Firstly, it is a gas project, and DORIS is committed to this growing gas and LNG market. Second, it is a compression platform on which DORIS can use its extensive experience gained from working on other gas depleting fields. “Thirdly, the project is in collaboration with our long-term partner HHI, with whom we already collaborated strongly in the FEED design competition and detailed engineering of the

Wind farm installation by night engineering, project management and sales and marketing roles, I decided to join DORIS in 2018. DORIS is a world-renowned engineering company in oil and gas and renewables, and during this period of change in the energy sector, it was the right time for me to participate to the evolution of the group.” Indeed, the Paris-based company has evolved into a global organisation that is present in 17 countries and employs more than 800 people, working with oil majors such as Total, Eni, Exxon and BP as well as independent and national operators like ADNOC and Sonangol.

BROADENING HORIZONS In the Middle East, DORIS Group has been active on a number of landmark projects. This includes pre-FEED and FEED work for several major developments at the North Oil Company Qatar’s Al Shaheen Oil Field off the country’s northeast coast, operated jointly by Qatar Petroleum and Total. 14 | EME Outlook issue 33

In Abu Dhabi, DORIS is currently involved with ADNOC and Contractor Tecnicas Reunidas in the FEED work of the first phase of expansion at the Upper Zakum Offshore Oilfield. The overall cost of the expansion is thought to be in the region of $8 billion, with ADNOC hoping to raise oil production capacity to four million barrels per day (BPD) by 2020 and five million BPD by 2030. “We hope and expect to be awarded more projects in both countries in the future, especially for offshore facilities or complex developments where DORIS’s added value would be most needed,” adds Sarri. “Such projects include brownfield sites, FEED design competitions, or challenging schemes in terms of costs or time schedule where we can apply our fit-for-purpose methodology, where our track records show massive double-digit reduction in CAPEX. “Generally, DORIS is interested in developing its presence in the region given the large volume of upstream facilities existing and to be designed.”

Christophe Sarri, Group CCO existing SHP platform for the same field and client, a few years ago.” As well as spreading its expertise far and wide geographically with new projects, DORIS is also turning its attention to renewable energy projects. Its business units ODE, DORIS Engineering and STAT Marine together provide all services required in the development of all wind farm facilities – fixed foundations, floaters, moorings, masts and turbines, cables and substations. “Today, in order to develop our renewables activities, we have opened offices in Taiwan, Japan, Germany and the US,” adds Sarri.

OIL & GAS “A pioneering spirit leads DORIS to be present in other areas of renewables, such as thermal energies (sea-water air conditioning, ocean thermal energy conversion) and carbon capture, utilisation and storage. We want to develop this business stream and double our activity in the renewables segment by 2023.”

FOCUSING ON THE FUTURE As Sarri suggests, DORIS’s innovative mentality has enabled it to grow as a global player over the course of its existence, and will be vital if it is to enjoy another 50 years at the top. Central to this is research and development. Each year, the company plans and finances R&D at a corporate

THREE SECRETS TO SUCCESS Asked why DORIS has been able to build itself up over more than 50 years, Sarri points to three key factors – people, synergy and a ‘Fit For Purpose’ methodology and tools: PEOPLE: “The quality of the engineering and the competency of its engineers stand DORIS apart,” the CCO says. “Most of our engineers have worked at DORIS for at least 15 years and they are fully committed to our success, and so fully committed to client success. This allows a strong reactivity and a collaborative spirit. Our teams have accumulated an incomparable level of experience.” SYNERGY: DORIS supports clients across development, execution and operation of projects, offering: design expertise; installation engineering; technical assistance; operation, inspection and maintenance; asset management and project management. Sarri adds: “These capabilities reinforce each other to provide our clients strong synergies and more global solutions, a team that can design and manage execution, and a design which accounts for operations, maintenance and inspection requirements.” FIT FOR PURPOSE METHODOLOGY: “This consists of reducing the redundant allowances we very often see in client specifications, and to review with our clients their needs,” explains Sarri. “So, we don’t ask ourselves ‘what can we reduce’ – we start with a white sheet of paper and ask ourselves together with the client, ‘what is really required’. CAPEX and OPEX are therefore significantly reduced.” 66- Moho Nord Moho Phase 1 bis - SPS

level in order to examine and address technical issues that will be at the core of engineering activities in the years to come, a process which requires vision from the leadership. “In the last few years, DORIS has developed, for example, a new concept for a circular FPSO for Gulf of Mexico applications, a floating structure for offshore wind with excellent stability characteristics, ensuring increased uptime of the turbine,” Sarri reveals. “Today, DORIS R&D is centred around green hydrogen and carbon capture and sequestration projects.” Digitisation is another key priority for the company moving forwards, both from a product and operational standpoint. Sarri continues: “We want to intensify our development in digitalisation. This will reinforce the link between our activities, from engineering to operation and maintenance, and therefore it will increase our value proposition to our clients.” The other major focus area for 2020 is the LNG market. Sarri has identified this field as ripe for growth, the CCO eager to reinforce DORIS’s position by supporting clients from conceptual, FEED, and detailed design through to operation and maintenance. He concludes by restating the DORIS value proposition: “The value brought by DORIS is more than competitiveness on hourly rates. “It is about major cost savings thanks to design optimisations. It is about reducing risks related to interfaces and planning. It is about having a safer project and a safer asset thanks to the right design. It is about working with a reliable partner.”

DORIS Tel: +33 1 44 06 10 00

EME Outlook issue 33 | 15



AUTOMOTIVE AUTOMATION Mobica’s Wolfram Ries and Stefan Marxreiter map out the prospects of autonomous vehicles – the benefits, the challenges and the current timeline Edited by: Jonathan Dyble


utonomous vehicles are living proof that the future is here. The sort of thing that we used to see in sci-fi films, driverless cars are well on their way to becoming the new normal of global highways as auto manufacturers the world over race to develop and pilot unique variations of unprecedented technologies. As a result, the industry is somewhat unsurprisingly expected to become highly lucrative in the relatively near-term. According to Frost & Sullivan, the global autonomous driving market is forecast to grow to $173 billion by 2030, fuelled by the multitude of technological nuts and bolts that have come to form driverless developments. Mobica is one company established as a crucial cog in the autonomous ecosystem. A global software services company partnering with the world’s leading automotive OEMs and Tier 1 players, it is at the heart of defining key standards that are integral to the successful roadmap of the connected car. Answering our questions, the company’s VP of Automotive Sales Wolfram Ries and COO Stefan Marxreiter reveal how the business is embracing this role and what to expect from the autonomous vehicle space over the coming months.

16 | EME Outlook issue 33

EME Outlook (EMEO): What was it that first interested you in becoming involved in the vehicle software space? Wolfram Ries (WR): My experience in the development of automotive technologies spans over 20 years. In this time, I have held various senior sales and business development roles for numerous international companies, delivering complex hardware and software solutions, consulting and services. Having always been fascinated by state-ofthe-art technology, such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), my focus for the past decade has been on automotive projects. At Mobica, I support the growth of our automotive software offering, particularly around in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), digital cockpits, telematics and navigation. Stefan Marxreiter (SM): As Chief Operating Officer at Mobica, I bring more than 25 years’ experience of building, transforming and leading large engineering teams within global organisations. Prior to joining Mobica, I held various senior director roles at automotive and services sector organisations and served as a board director at the GENIVI Alliance – where I was instrumental in driving forward the open technology standard for the connected car.


EME Outlook issue 33 | 17

TOPICAL FOCUS EMEO: Why is it such an exciting industry to be involved in right now? SM: While we might romanticise the heritage of the motor car – the elegance of a classic chassis or the precision engineering of the combustion engine – transportation is entering a new era. We must recognise that software now plays a crucial role in all vehicles and that the data this generates is pushing the industry in a new direction. WR: The landscape of automotive innovation is constantly evolving – especially with the trend of autonomous

SM: We’re also seeing vehicles and road users share information with each other to identify not just where there is congestion, but also provide warnings on where road conditions are hazardous. In many cases, this data – alongside onboard threat detection technology – is doing more than just relaying information back to the driver. It is allowing vehicles to actively intervene and take decisions out of the driver’s hands when there is a perceived risk. This technology is not just looking to identify external threats on the road ahead. Increasingly, we’re also


driving, the launch of 5G and continuous enhancements to IoT technology. EMEO: Are there any case studies that spring to mind that showcase the vast capabilities of autonomous technologies? WR: Huge steps have been made in providing vehicles with ADAS systems that are helping to protect passengers, pedestrians and other road users. These systems rely on a full spectrum of technologies such as lidar, radar, cameras, sensors, GPS, mapping and machine learning. Together, these solutions create a highly complex computing environment, where information needs to be rapidly processed. 18 | EME Outlook issue 33

seeing regulators wanting sensors and cameras installed inside the vehicle to monitor the behaviour of the driver and determine if they are too tired, or not in the right state to control the vehicle. EMEO: Likewise, can you detail any flagship projects that you’ve been working on at Mobica? WR: At Mobica, we are particularly focusing on human-machine interfaces (HMI), navigation, ADAS, and electrification. We are also looking at the bus systems that connect the disparate elements within the car together. The development of ADAS, and the move towards further autonomy, is dramatically increasing data flow and the amount of processing required within the vehicle. Automated driving significantly increases connectivity to sensors and the real-time compute required to support the functional safety and security features. SM: With the path the industry is taking seemingly set, we envision that we will soon be handling technologies such as vehicle-centralised E/E (electrical/electronic) architecture, vehicle computer and zone ECUs (engine control units), vehicle cloud computing and flexible vehicle architectures. However, we will have to do so without



losing performance in smart camera solutions (recognition), lidar, radar, and V2X (vehicle to everything connectivity).

scooters, and autonomous vehicles would slot right into this usage model.

EMEO: Is Europe ahead of the curve in relation to autonomous vehicle development?

WR: As for when driverless vehicles could be successfully deployed onto the road, the answer would depend on who you asked. Level five driving automation could be possible in anywhere between the next two to 10 years. SM: The major obstacle for automakers at present is alliances and investment. This is crucial to reaching the point where self-driving vehicles are accepted by end-users and the relevant regulatory bodies.

WR: While European automakers are still focused on expensive SUVs, there are a plethora of Chinese firms focused at more affordable price points. China, specifically, is a very different market for the incumbent automakers, with a new generation of brands that are ready to seize an international opportunity in electrification and autonomous applications. The current incumbents are concerned that these companies will challenge their position in the market. SM: There is also a mobility revolution taking place where we may see younger generations of consumers become averse to private ownership of vehicles. Laws are changing to accommodate ridesharing for cars, bikes, and

EMEO: When can we expect to see driverless vehicles on our roads?

EMEO: Similarly, how are you expecting the general public to react to their introduction? Are you anticipating a level of uncertainty? SM: Autonomous vehicles will need the trust of the end-users – they will need to feel comfortable that these vehicles will provide safe transportation in all circumstances. There is

currently a lack of common safety standards, however, particularly when it comes to the combination of manual and self-driving cars on the road. This could lead to unpredictable situations and a disconnected system. WR: Another common worry is the aspect of security when it comes to private data, protection against hacking and computer viruses – overcoming this and insuring against it will be vital. EMEO: Looking long-term, what are the major benefits that we will gain from autonomous vehicles compared to manual vehicles? WR: With autonomous vehicles comes increased road safety – it’s been estimated that self-driving cars will reduce traffic deaths by 90 percent, saving 30,000 lives per year in the US alone. We would also expect reduced traffic congestion, more lane capacity, less CO2 emissions and last but not least, more efficient parking. SM: Through autonomous vehicles we gain the gift of time – no longer requiring your full concentration, you could be free to relax, speak with your loved ones or prepare what you need for the working day ahead. EME Outlook issue 33 | 19



A soulful city stretching from the sea to the volcano, Naples offers a wealth of cultural attractions, from catacombs to churches Writer: Dani Redd | Project Manager: Matt Cole-Wilkin

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aples is Italy at its most soulful. It’s city of castles and cupolas, with so many historic attractions it’s known as an ‘open air museum.’ As the birthplace of pizza, it’s also renowned for its food scene. Scratch under the surface and you’ll discover hip neighbourhoods, a thriving arts scene and an unpretentious atmosphere. It’s easy to see why Naples is one of Italy’s most captivating cities.

BUSINESS TRAVEL GUIDE There’s so much do in this sun-kissed city, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Head to the UNESCO-designated historic centre, which is the largest in Europe. Check out the vast Piazza del Plebiscito, a square surrounded by ornate, pastel-coloured buildings such as the Royal Palace. Sip an espresso at an al fresco café in the chic Vomero neighbourhood. Stop for a slice of Neapolitan pizza at one of the city’s 800-plus pizzerias.

The city is perched on the Gulf of Naples, meaning several vantage points in the city offer sweeping sea views. The east of the city nudges up against Mount Vesuvius – its looming silhouette dominates the horizon. Naples is ideally

placed for day trips to nearby Pompeii, and has ferry connections to nearby islands, such as idyllic Capri. You’ll love exploring this city’s hidden corners and stunning natural surroundings.

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A both innovative and traditional large-scale programme, including less popular pieces and the great repertoire, featured by rigid directorial readings alongside non-traditional interpretations, starring world-renown directors and promising young performers. This is the Teatro di San Carlo 2019/20 Season. In such a wide spectrum of proposals, which shows San Carlo’s creative and productive ferment (fifteen operas, for a total of seventy-six plays, five dance productions for each curtain-up to curtain-down, twenty-two concerts for thirty exhibitions of both symphonic and chamber music, for a grand total of 132 performances), it is easy to find in the 2019/2020 Season, beside the disquieting and shady Cajkovskij’s Dama di Picche (The Queen of Spades), the opening opera conducted by San Carlo’s musical director Juraj Valcuha, the more traditional Tosca and Norma, before moving on to the contemporary music played by Ludovico Einaudi who is introducing his new opera, Winter Journey, included in Colm Toibin’s libretto and produced by Teatro San Carlo in coproduction with Palermo’s Teatro Massimo. But then the programme

takes you back to an all-time masterpiece, Mozart’s Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte ), and jumping ahead two hundred years, to L’amour des trois oranges a masterful parody of Sergej Prokof’ev’s nineteenth-century melodrama. Again there is the musical theatre of the eighteenth-century with La Serva Padrona by Giovanni Pasiello orchestrated by Ottorino Respighi, Il Maestro di Cappella by Domenico Cimarosa and between them I Puritani, a work which shows the influence of the romantic aesthetics on the writing of Vincenzo Bellini. After the historic production of Aida, the curtain rises on Giacomo Puccini’s La Rondine. After Bizet’s Carmen, the musical genre is changing. It is the turn of the operetta with Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow), Franz Lehar’s masterpiece in which you can listen to worthy melodic pages combined with a refined use of the orchestra. Then you go back to a more austere, Maometto II, conducted by Diego Fasolis, one of the more serious operas written by Gioachino Rossi in Naples, and performed here precisely two hundred years ago. The programme closes with La Traviata, in the extremely qualified production with


© Luciano Romano

© Luciano Romano

the direction of Lorenzo Amato, the scenography by Ezio Frigerio and the costumes of Franca Squarciapino. The Concert Season, which, thanks to the Orchestra and the Choir of the Teatro di San Carlo, is hosting some of the most renowned theatrical companies on the international musical scene and their most popular directors: Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Daniele Gatti and Juraj Valcuha. It is of a high standard and extremely varied as regards the choice of interpreters and programmes. Furthermore, a real jewel further enriches this fierce and fascinating Symphonic Season: the American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato comes to the Teatro di San Carlo with a concert which includes the most precious gems of the baroque melodrama, from Monteverdi, to Gluck, Handel and Purcell. As regards the Ballet Season, there will be a perfect balance between the classical repertoire, including some ballets such as Lo Schiaccianoci (The Nutcracker), Don Quijote and Cenerentola (Cinderella) and the contemporary dance trends with the productions Amadè and Come un respiro / Bolero.

© Thilo Beu


Castel Nuovo

The Business End NAPLES IS ITALY’S third largest city after Milan, and is southern Italy’s industrial centre. Traditional industries include winemaking, textiles and food processing. Newer industries include electronics manufacturing, shipbuilding and petrol refineries. Apple has launched a new Developer Academy at the University of San Giovanni a Teduccio, a contract which has been renewed until 2021. One app they have presented, Lyra, helps the hearing impairment recognise sounds by translating them into visual signals. In recent decades there has been a reduction of jobs in the industrial sector, and there is a high unemployment rate (11 percent in 2017). However, one boost to the city’s business came in the form of a new central business district, designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, and completed in 1995. 24 | EME Outlook issue 33

The centre represents one of the most extensive city-building projects in recent decades, revitalising a derelict area. With its glass skyscrapers and manicured boulevards, it’s an appealing area with the infrastructure necessary for business conferences. Tourism is now one of the largest sectors of Naples’ economy, with the hotel trade sector comprising 3.7 percent of the city’s GDP. In 2017, around 3.7 million tourists headed to Naples, making it one of the most visited destinations in southern Italy. This is thanks to its large amount of cultural attractions, and proximity to other tourist sites such as Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii and Capri. However, owing to the private organisation Convention Bureau Napoli, Naples is also rapidly gaining prominence as a MICE destination.


Languages: Italian Area: 119 km2 Population (2018): 2,198,000 GDP (2011): $83.6 billion Currency: Euro Time zone: Central European Standard Time Dialling code: +39 Internet TLD: .it Climate: Mediterranean Highest recorded temperature: 37.2°C


In Focus: Unusual meeting venues ONE OF THE key attractions of Naples as a business travel destination is its unconventional meeting venues. The city centre is a UNESCO-designated site, and is packed with historic churches, museums and even underground chambers where you can organise conferences. Giovanna Lucherini, Managing Director of Convention Bureau Napoli, among many historical buildings, recommends Compleso Monumentale Donnaregina - Museo Diocesano Napoli as a meeting venue. “Two original churches, the medieval one and the 17th century one with baroque style, are unique in the panorama of the Neapolitan historical centre. In

one venue, you can have two different centuries represented, and this is something you can really play with.� The vaulted ceilings, paintings and precious liturgical objects on display make the museum a unique place to hold an event. Another unconventional venue is the Catacombs of San Gennaro. These underground tunnels date from the second century AD, and are attached to the Basilica of San Gennaro, an elegant building built in the fifth century. With its capacity of 350, it is the perfect place to host conferences or gala dinners. The Catacombs can also be viewed as part of a cultural tour for conference delegates.

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Convention Bureau Napoli THE CONVENTION BUREAU Napoli was born four years ago, thanks to some entrepreneurs in the city who decided to create a network to enhance the promotion of Naples as a MICE destination. The organisation’s founders include some major hotels, the international airport, caterers, professional congress organisers and many more. We spoke to Giovanna Lucherini, the Managing Director, about how the bureau markets Naples as a business destination, and why the city makes such a good MICE venue. EME Outlook (EMEO): Can you tell me a little bit about the history of the convention bureau? Giovanna Lucherini (GL): We started from the very beginning, so we were a real start-up. We had to work a lot on

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the promotion of Naples abroad as a business and MICE destination, as the city wasn’t so clear on where it stood in relation to the rest of Italy, and its own importance. This region is better known for other attractions, such as the Amalfi Coast or Pompeii. EMEO: How do you market Naples as a business travel destination? GL: We had to do some important work through different channels. First, we had to create the product of Naples from the MICE point of view. One of the key features of Naples as a product is its unconventional meeting and conference venues. Besides hotels and main conference centres, we decided to promote the historical buildings, churches and underground galleries and catacombs unique to the city. Naples is one of the clearest examples

where history can be traced through its “layers”: a territory which runs from the sea all the way up to the volcano, so there are so many tunnels, different landscapes and historical attractions here. We had a slogan – “In Naples, you can do anything but skiing.” Then we had to market Naples through social and magazines in Italy. But we also had to promote outside of Italy, especially to those markets connected to Naples by direct flights. The airport has increased the amount of direct flights, which has really helped our marketing. We also took advantage of the high-speed trains, many of which have direct connections to the city. EMEO: Can you tell us a little bit more about the services you offer? GL: We provide a range of advisory and support services, all free of charge. For

BUSINESS TRAVEL GUIDE a start, we help you research suitable meeting venues and accommodation for your events. We can connect you with local institutions and help you coordinate inspection visits. We also help organise relevant cultural and leisure programmes for delegates. We can also help you with the bidding process – planning the application and collaborating with the presentation. EMEO: What are your organisation’s plans for the next couple of years? GL: This year we are focussing on bidding for events. In the previous couple of years, we won bids for events when we were up against places like Istanbul, Rome and London, which represented a big victory for us. We are keen to do more of this. We need to be more representative of the mass market, so we wish to increase the number of our members and partners in different categories. We hope that the public institutions

“WE NEED TO BE MORE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE MASS MARKET, SO WE WISH TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF OUR MEMBERS AND PARTNERS IN DIFFERENT CATEGORIES. WE HOPE THAT THE PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS WILL REACT APPROPRIATELY” will react appropriately. In Italy it can be quite difficult to form synergies with the public sector, which is a challenge for private organisations like ours. EMEO: How do you see Naples developing as a business travel hub over the next couple of years?

GL: By increasing the number of passengers and increasing its visibility as a destination in international markets. Thanks to the airport we have new connections to the Far East and the United States. Many Italian immigrants come from this area. It’s important that they can reach home after many generations and be the ambassadors for their native country. EMEO: Are you optimistic about the future of business travel in Naples? GL: Yes, even though the professionals and all the stakeholders need to work with our vision for the future, not the present reality. They need to be more conscious that there is a lot to do to have a guarantee for the future. This will only work with the support of our public institutions. I am optimistic, but it’s only with public support and working together that will we be able to achieve our goals.

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Outlook Recommends “Naples is raw, high-octane energy, a place of soul-stirring art and panoramas, spontaneous conversations and unexpected, inimitable elegance. Welcome to Italy’s most unlikely masterpiece” – Lonely Planet


Teatro del Fondo

Fondazione Teatro di San Carlo Next to Piazza del Plebiscito you’ll find Teatro di San Carlo, the world’s oldest opera theatre. It was built in 1737, lovingly designed by Giovanni Antonio Medrano with a gilded amphitheatre and high, frescoed ceilings. ‘The eyes are dazzled, the soul kidnapped,’ French author Stendhal said of the theatre. These days, the theatre has a packed annual programme of concerts, plays and ballets. It also has an education and training programme, which includes everything from primary school visits to internship programmes and workshops. The theatre also hosts a ballet school and a children’s choir.

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Teatro Bellini





The National Archaeological Museum Micalo Hotel

Antica Pizzeria Port d’Alba

Catacombs of San Gennaro

Grand Hotel Vesuvio in Naples

Romeo Hotel Naples

Sorbillo Madre · museo d’arte contemporanea Donnaregina

Transatlantico Napoli

Certosa e museo di san martino EME Outlook issue 33 | 29


Transport Links NAPLES IS EASILY accessible by air. Naples International Airport is one of Italy’s busiest, with a footfall of over 9.9 million passengers last year. It operates flights to around 106 destinations worldwide, mostly international, and to major European transport hubs. In 2019, 42 airline companies offered regular scheduled services, including KLM, Norwegian and British Airways. Naples is also well-connected to other Italian cities by high-speed rail. The main station, Napoli Centrale, has 25 tracks and serves approximately 137,000 passengers a day. There are frequent connections to the capital, Rome – a journey which takes an hour and 15 minutes.

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Getting around within the city is easy too. There are several transport options: bus, tram, metro and funicular railway. Line 1 is the most frequently used Metro line by visitors, connecting Napoli Centrale to the historic centre and with a stop by the port. Buses are also popular transport options – you can pick up a map and timetable from the Tourist Information Office. The four funicular railways are not an experience to be missed. They take you uphill to the chic Vomero district, where you’ll be rewarded by panoramic views of city and ocean. The main line – Funiculare Centrale – is one of the longest in the world, and leaves from Via Toledo.


Landmark Attractions CASTEL NUOVO “The Castel Nuovo (or Maschio Angioino) is one of the most famous and important symbols of the city of Naples. It’s majestic architecture, facing the deep blue Mediterranean Sea, has been part of the history of Naples over the last eight centuries, silently witnessing the constant succession of men who have made the history of the city great” – Leisure Italy


“Art treasures from the Pompeii and Herculaneum excavations, including the best mosaics and frescoes, and the giant Farnese sculptures from ancient Rome are the top highlights in the magnificent National Museum of Archaeology in Naples, Italy” – European Traveller

CIMITERO DELLE FONTANELLE “Like many ossuaries in Europe, the Cimitero Fontanelle began as a secondary burial ground when the churchyards and crypts began to overflow. Unlike other ossuaries, the skulls of the anonymous dead were lovingly cared for, named, and then asked for prophecies of winning lotto numbers” – Atlas Obscura

PIAZZA DEL PLEBISCITO “For Continental grandeur, it’s hard to beat Piazza del Plebiscito. Whichever way you look, the view is show-stopping. To the northwest, vine-covered slopes lead up to Castel Sant’Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino; to the east, the pink-hued Palazzo Reale shows off its oldest façade” – Lonely Planet

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BORDEAUX An elegant city with a great gastronomic scene, world class wines and a fantastic urban energy – what’s not to love about Bordeaux? Writer: Dani Redd | Project Manager: Krisha Canlas


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n elegant city nestled into a landscape of sun-kissed vineyards, Bordeaux is a feast for the eyes and the senses. Most parts of the city are a UNESCOdesignated site, making it the world’s largest urban heritage centre. Picture broad, tree-lined avenues and elegant 18th-century facades, ornate fountains and honey-coloured chateaux. Marvel over the Opéra National de BordeauxGrand Théâtre, a neoclassical edifice of

towering columns. But Bordeaux has a modern side too. Local architects are revitalising the city in new and innovative ways. La Cité du Vin is the world’s largest wine museum, contained within a bold curved structure of glass and iridescent aluminium panels. The city has an unrivalled gastronomic scene, thanks to an abundance of delicious local ingredients. It’s renowned for everything from

entrecôtes to cannelés – caramelised brioche-style pastries. Its reputation for delicious fresh oysters stretches back to the days of Pliny the Elder. And a trip to Bordeaux wouldn’t be complete without sampling a glass of full-bodied local claret. Bordeaux is an exciting city with unmistakable joie de vivre. Business travellers will be captivated by its traditional surroundings and energetic atmosphere.

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The Business End BORDEAUX IS at the heart of renowned vineyards, including the fertile Médoc and Saint-Emilion. As a result, its economy is centred around the trade of wines – in 2015 there were 7,375 producers in the region. Most years, close to 900 million bottles of wine are produced. The city also has a well-developed tertiary sector and is an important industrial employer, especially in the automotive, chemical and biotechnological industries. Ubisoft, Hermès and Deezer have headquarters in Bordeaux. Tourism is also of great benefit to the city’s economy. In 2018, 6.1 million

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overnight stays were recorded in the city, an increase of 19 percent on 2017. As a port city, Bordeaux is serviced by cruise ships as well as by air – there were 26,200 cruise tourists in 2018, for example. Bordeaux is a well-established MICE hub and popular business tourism destination. It hosts more than 100 conferences a year, making it a major player on the international business travel scene. This success is due to the city’s exceptional R&D centres and fantastic transport infrastructure, which will continue to expand and develop in the future.


Languages: French Area: 49.36 km2 (city) Population (2019): 783,081 GDP (2014): $36.4 billion Currency: Euro Time zone: Central European Dialling code: +33 Climate: Oceanic Highest recorded temperature: 41.2˚C

ophorus dmc Meetings & Events in Regional France – Made Easy Incentive Programs – Team Building activities – PCO Social Programs – Meetings – Seminars Corporate Events –  Gala Dinner –  CEO Meeting – Destination management Services – Themed Parties – Museum Events – Venues sourcing

Thanks to our perfect knowledge of the tourism offer and strong network of carefully chosen local partners, our agency has been developing and implementing, since 2005, unique programs for the business clientele. Mainly oriented towards wine tourism and the design of events in prestigious venues, our expertise in these areas as well as the seriousness of our team will bring you confidence and serenity from the design to the realization of your event.

Request a proposal +33 556 152 609 – Cécile Brichet, MICE Department –


In Focus: Bordeaux Exhibition Centre BORDEAUX EXHIBITION Centre bills itself as a place where anything is possible. It has an enviable location in the city centre, on the shores of Bordeaux Lake. This vast complex occupies 84,000 square metres, and is designed for optimal modularity, with three exhibition halls and a new hall, Palais 2 l’Atlantique. The venue also offers around 120,000 metres of outdoor space, making it the perfect

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spot for organising events such as markets and fairs. This means you have the flexibility to customise your event. Palais 2 l’Atlantique has a total surface area of 15,500 square metres, including a reception area, 12 meeting rooms and a vast main hall. This area can be transformed into a conference centre with tiered seating or be made into a series of smaller event spaces with a system of partitions.

Events that have been held recently at the centre include SAE Aerotech Congress, the Aquitaine Agricultural Show, and Vinexpo, a wine expo. The centre offers a team of passionate event organisers to help you create a bespoke event. They can accommodate a diversity of requests relating to set up, catering and spaces. If you’re planning on hosting an event in France, the Bordeaux Exhibition Centre comes highly recommended.


Cousin & Compagnie, since 1993, Biodynamic, Natural and Bordeaux Fine Wines’ old vintages specialist, welcomes you on their : • Taylor made tastings

• Intimistic Wine Cruises • Exclusive wine dinners

In hidden places of the secret Bordeaux… Cousin & Compagnie, 2 rue du Pas-Saint-Georges, 33000 Bordeaux 05 56 01 20 23 –

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Outlook Recommends “An intoxicating cocktail of 18th-century savoir-faire, millennial hi-tech and urban street life, France’s sixth largest city is among Europe’s most exciting and gutsy players” – Lonely Planet


Rustic Vines Tours

Grape Escapes

Ophorus If you’re looking to explore the wine growing region beyond the city limits, book a tour with Ophorus. The company leads small group and bespoke private tours to the St Emilion and Medoc regions, where the world’s best red wines are produced. Tours include wine tastings, winery visits and sightseeing excursions to local villages. The tours are fully adapted and family-friendly, so children are more than welcome. The company also organises sightseeing tours. Their most popular excursion is to the Arcachon Bay. It takes in Dune du Pyla, Europe’s tallest dune, and a trip to a seafood restaurant in Arcachon town or Cap Ferret.

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Bordeaux Wine Trip

Bordeaux à la Carte




Le Boutique Hotel Bordeaux

Château Hôtel Grattequina

Cousin et Compagnie


Château de la Couronne



Villa Reale

Cave Briau

Cave de La Course EME Outlook issue 33 | 39


Bordeaux Convention Bureau We are becoming increasingly committed to organising responsible events. We strive to become an eco-responsible destination in the years to come, a remit extending beyond our events industry. EMEO: How would you say Bordeaux has developed in recent years as a business travel hub and what are the key reasons behind its growing appeal?

THE BORDEAUX Convention Bureau was founded 25 years ago, with a visionary ambition of promoting the city and its surrounding regions as a destination for conventions, seminars, trade fairs and incentives. It currently acts as an interface between local professionals in the business tourism sector, and events organisers, proposed venues and other service providers. It also prepares applications to position the city for national and international conferences. We sat down with Amélie Déchénais, the Manager of the Bordeaux Convention Bureau, to discuss Bordeaux’s potential as a business travel destination. Top: Cyclists crossing Pont de Pierre Bridge

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EME Outlook (EMEO): Since inception, how has the Bordeaux Convention Bureau developed and progressed in terms of its key objectives and the messages it tries to get across? Amélie Déchénais (AD): Our primary role is to get national and international events to come to Bordeaux which wouldn’t normally do so. We have to stand out, attract and innovate so that those clients choose us as their destination! We have developed a business strategy for congresses and major professional events. It consists of bringing together institutions and major players in sectors across the city in order to boost our bids to host events, and ensure a high quality, harmonious welcome. We attach great importance to allowing burgeoning sectors – aeronautics, geosciences, robotics, neurosciences and many more – to flourish on our territory by hosting events or conventions.

AD: Voted the best city in the world by Lonely Planet in 2017, Bordeaux is now internationally recognised as a major business destination. Each year, it welcomes more and professional events. Last year, more than 120 congresses were organised in the metropole, 57 of which were international. This added up to a total of nearly 290,000 congress days – an increase of 40 percent on 2018! Bordeaux is an epicentre for innovation. We have more than 60 sectors of excellence. What’s more, we are the city with highest job creation rates in the digital sector, and the metropolis with the highest business growth rate in France. Several reasons explain this growing interest for our city. One is our fantastic transport system and flight connections. The other is our business infrastructure, including a new congress and exhibition hall with a capacity of 6,000, and more than 16,600 rooms in 220 hotels. EMEO: Why, in your opinion, should someone visit Bordeaux? AD: Bordeaux has some fantastic attractions, including the largest UNESCO-designated urban area in

BUSINESS TRAVEL GUIDE A dinner next to the Garonne is definitely a must-do, at Les Chantiers de la Garonne for instance. A dinner in a wine property is also recommended. EMEO: What trends are transforming the tourism industry in Bordeaux at present? How are you responding to these trends? the world. But nature is at your fingertips with a walk or cruise along the Garonne River. The city is in constant renewal: development of the quays, renovation of the right bank, new districts springing up. To the north, the Bassins à Flot are bringing life back to the old Bordeaux docks. To the south, Bordeaux Euratlantique is gradually becoming the economic heart of the city. The MECA (the Aquitaine ‘economy and culture’ exhibition space), was just inaugurated there in June 2019 to welcome cultural events designed for a business audience. If you wish to escape from the city, you can enjoy a day out at the vineyards, tasting the superb Bordeaux wines. We are also close to the forest and the coast. The Bay of Arcachon, the Arguin sandbars, the Pyla dune, and the cabins on stilts guarantee a real change of scenery. EMEO: Are there any specific attractions, landmarks or places to eat and drink that you would recommend? AD: Bordeaux is the gateway to the southwest and the epitome of the sweetness of life. Wine, cannelés, Aquitaine caviar, oysters... our specialties make Bordeaux a true symbol of the French way of life. Our typical French markets, such as the Halles Bacalan or the Capucins can offer you a glimpse. A tasting in a wine bar could also nicely end your day.

AD: The tourism industry is more attentive than ever to its sustainable development. The Bordeaux Convention Bureau aims to be a powerful driver of this transition, improving the experience for business travellers. Following the next G7 summit in August, Bordeaux has also been chosen with eight other French cities to take part in a pilot programme which aims to extend the existing ISO 20121 certification for sustainable events to sustainable destinations. Various actors of the Bordeaux business tourism sector are endeavouring to be more low impact. For example, Bordeaux Events proposes a carbon footprint for events, while Vatel Hotel is certified ecologically, partly for its rooftop solar panels. EMEO: How do you see Bordeaux developing as a business travel hub over the next year or two? AD: We just inaugurated a brand-new exhibition and convention hall, the Palais 2 l’Atlantique. Bordeaux now has the second largest Exhibition Centre in France, outside Paris. It has a capacity of 6,000 and 50,000 square metres of exhibition space, bolstering

Bordeaux’s capacity to compete with other major cities for conferences, conventions and trade fairs. Our business infrastructure is continuing to develop. There will be new convention centres and 750 new hotel rooms available by 2021, as well as a new tram line between the airport and city centre by the same date. The Metropole has a clear strategy to make Bordeaux an essential, perfectly adapted hub for business tourism. EMEO: Are there any plans or projects in the pipeline that you wish to highlight? AD: The Bordeaux Convention Bureau just launched the observatory for business tourism. Almost 40 major operators in Bordeaux’s business tourism sector are involved, including convention centres, accommodation providers and venues for large-scale events, national research centres and much more. This observatory aims to improve the Bordeaux metropolitan area’s attractiveness in the professional events sector. We are also developing a welcome pack to ensure a high-quality welcome of our clients. It will include public transport tickets, information about local events and accommodation lists. EMEO: Are you optimistic about the future of the tourism industry in Bordeaux? AD: Of course! It’s fascinating to work in a constantly growing and innovative city such as Bordeaux. You should come and visit us! Bordeaux Convention Bureau Tel: +33 (0)5 56 52 53 11

Palais 2 l’Atlantique

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Transport Links AS AMÉLIE Déchénais, the manager of the Bordeaux Convention Bureau says, “it is easier than ever to get here, thanks to one of the fastest trafficgrowing airports in France”. Bordeaux Airport currently serves 109 direct destinations. In 2018 it saw 6.8 million travellers. Bordeaux is also connected to other cities in France and Europe by high 42 | EME Outlook issue 33

speed rail services (the TGV). Over 20 trains per day run between Bordeaux and Paris, a journey which takes two hours. Brussels can also be reached in four hours – there are 15 trains a day. The city has an efficient and userfriendly transport system, Transports Bordeaux Métropole (TBM). It consists of three tram lines and 80 bus lines, allowing you to visit all

major landmarks. Plenty of taxis are available. But public transport isn’t the only way to see the city. Try renting a bicycle or taking a river cruise along the glassy waters of the Garonne River, which bisects the city. “By bike, bus, motorbike sidecar, Citroën 2CV... we offer plenty of creative possibilities to discover our region!” Déchénais says.


Landmark Attractions LA CITÉ DU VIN


“The complex world of wine is explored in depth at ground-breaking La Cité du Vin, a stunning piece of contemporary architecture resembling a wine decanter on the banks of the River Garonne. The curvaceous gold building glitters in the sun and its 3,000 square metres of exhibits are equally sensory and sensational” – Lonely Planet

“Place de la Bourse is one of the most impressive architectural sights you can see in Bordeaux. It faces the Garonne River and features a wide-open plaza with a central fountain and reflecting pool” – Culture Passport



“Marché des Capucins, also known as the “belly of Bordeaux”, is the largest market in Bordeaux. You will find bakers, snack bars, restaurants, caterers, cheese, florists, wine merchants, oystergrowers, fishmongers but also organic regional products as well as food from all over the globe, fruit and vegetables, and olives” – European Best Destinations

“One of Bordeaux’s more ancient edifices, this UNESCO World Heritage site features a Romanesque wall from as far back as 1096. It’s also where 13-year-old Eleanor of Aquitaine married her first husband, King Louis VII, in 1137, and where fodder was stored during the French Revolution” – AFAR

EME Outlook issue 33 | 43



With its east-meets-west aesthetic, artistic neighbourhoods and stunning natural surroundings, Helsinki is a destination that impresses on many levels Writer: Dani Redd | Project Manager: Matt Cole-Wilkin

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elsinki is a city with many faces. A city of dark winters and summers of midnight sun. An urban metropolis surrounded by dramatic scenery. Finland has always been a country where east meets west, thanks to its position between Russia and Europe. Helsinki embodies this meeting of cultures, with its Russian orthodox cathedral, neoclassical architecture and Scandinavian design aesthetics. When it comes to art and design,

Helsinki is the capital of cool. Think designer boutiques and galleries, as well as the innovative Design Museum. This aesthetic sense also extends to the architecture scene – the city boasts some cutting-edge buildings, such as the glass panelled Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. Helsinki also has a dynamic wining and dining scene, with chefs reinventing local ingredients and processes to establish a New Nordic cuisine. What’s more, nature is never too

far away. Helsinki is located on the Baltic Sea, and during hot summers residents take to the water to go swimming and stand-up paddle-boarding, among other water-based activities. A ferry service links Helsinki to the small surrounding islands, and wilderness areas like Nuuksio National Park are just a short drive away. Whether you’re a culture buff, a foodie or a nature lover, you’ll find something about Helsinki that appeals to you. PHOTO: JUSSI HELLSTEN

EME Outlook issue 33 | 45


The Business End FINLAND HAS A highly industrialised economy, based predominantly on free enterprise and private ownership. The capital, Helsinki, accounts for 35 percent of the country’s total GDP and 30 percent of its

total employment. Finland is also a key actor in the concept of the circular economy. Looking beyond the current ‘take, make, waste’ industrial model, a circular economy aims to decouple economic activity

from resource consumption, design waste out of the system and make society-wide benefits. Tourism adds a value of €4.6 billion to the Finnish economy every year. In 2017, 6.7 million foreign tourists visited the country. Helsinki is a particularly popular destination, registering 5.3 million overnight stays in 2017. As Laura Aalto, CEO of Helsinki Marketing explains: “The positive economic situation in many of our key markets has benefitted the global tourism industry and enabled both Helsinki and Finland to post record tourism figures.” Pictured: Helsinki Cathedral and the City Hall PHOTO: OMAR EL MRABT


Languages: Finnish, Swedish Area: 186 km2 Population (2019): 1,292,232 GDP (2016): $93.73 billion Currency: Euro Time zone: Eastern European Dialling code: +358 Internet TLD: .fi Climate: Continental Highest recorded temperature: 31.1˚C

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Helsinki Christmas market PHOTO: JUSSI HELLSTEN

In Focus: MyHelsinki LOCAL INHABITANTS BELIEVE that Helsinki isn’t a city which can be captured in one phrase, as it has so many contrasting elements. Rather than having a couple of landmark attractions, there are as many ways to experience it as there are people. In response, the city has evolved its marketing to highlight the unique experiences both locals and visitors enjoy in Helsinki through a new opensource digital platform, All content on the platform has been compiled by locals, based on genuine recommendations. No paid brand endorsements or sponsored content is allowed. One key feature is MyHelsinki lists, a map

of favourite places in Helsinki, which anyone can add to or share on social media. MyHelsinki has also recently jointly developed a WeChat mini program with MaaS Global and Chinese internet service giant Tencent. There are over a billion internet users in China, many of whom use WeChat. Chinese independent travellers can now use the WeChat mobile service to review local recommendations about the best places to shop, eat and sleep in Helsinki, plan routes and pay for transportation. This program is the first of its kind in the world – it epitomises Helsinki’s approach to embracing new

technologies and opening up the city to tourists. For further information on the MyHelsinki platform, and to see what locals have to say about various sights in their city, visit: EME Outlook issue 33 | 47


Outlook Recommends “Shaped by the Baltic, swinging between extremes of dark winters and midsummer sun, and defined by its east-meets-west geography – the Finnish capital is a one-off” – Lonely Planet


Original Sokos Hotel Presidentti

Hotel F6

Hotel Lilla Roberts

This hotel showcases Finnishness in an innovative way. The rooms, designed by Paola Suhonen, offer playful twists on the theme – Spend the night in a Fairytale Forest or Winter Storm room. Meanwhile, the hotel’s restaurant Bistro Manu serves delicious meals made with Finnish ingredients. The hotel also boasts conference facilities, a sauna complex and a pool.

Hotel St. George Helsinki 48 | EME Outlook issue 33




Story Restaurant

Alppipuisto Park


Sibelius Park


Esplanade Park








Lรถyly Helsinki

Sauna Hermanni


Kulttuurisauna Public Sauna Kuu









Helsinki Marketing HELSINKI MARKETING HAS taken many different shapes throughout the years. Initially established in 2001, as part of the tourism office, it was formerly known as Visit Helsinki. The changed name, introduced in 2017, reflects the company’s scope of operation. We interviewed Leena Lassila, Head of Global Sales, about Helsinki Marketing’s role with regards to its overall offering in the business travel community. EME Outlook (EMEO): Since inception, how has Helsinki Marketing developed and progressed in terms of its key objectives and the messages it tries to get across?

EMEO: How would you say Helsinki has developed in recent years as a business travel hub and what are the key reasons behind its growing appeal?

Leena Lassila, Head of Global Sales, Helsinki Marketing

world’s megacities. Our open data makes the information available for everyone who is interested and thus gives everyone the chance to come up with new solutions and business ideas. Lack of bureaucracy and effective funding culture have their roles in our success too.

LL: Helsinki has attracted a lot of attention as a very functional city for congresses and meetings. The infrastructure is in very good shape and has been growing significantly in the past years. A major draw for business travel is also the flight connections to and from Asia. The startup scene in Helsinki is superb, and with events like Slush and Nordic Business Forum, the investors and local companies have great networking channels. Helsinki is like a test lab for the

EMEO: Why, in your opinion, should someone visit Helsinki?


Leena Lassila (LL): Helsinki Marketing is a marketing company owned by the City of Helsinki. The scope of operations covers marketing activities related to tourism, congresses, events and business promotion, application procedures for major events and congresses, as well as tourist information services. The focus has gotten a lot clearer since our inception; to make Helsinki

better known, attractive not only to visit and host events, but also for people to live and work. Our vision is to be the world’s most functional city, a place for good life and a place for solutions for the future. Of course, the aim is also to grow the destination as a city, but the focus is more on sustainable growth.

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LL: Helsinki is a very relaxed destination and like Finns in general, very much in touch with nature. The vast coastline and rich archipelago are unique. It’s also a very cultural city. Next year will see the first edition of Helsinki Biennial; an international art event that will bring outstanding contemporary art to maritime Helsinki. Helsinki is also a very compact city where everything you need and want to see and experience is really within your grasp. The food culture is flourishing and is becoming a reason to visit on its own. Most importantly though, Helsinki is a city where things work. Whether you are here with an event or just want to experience local life, you can count on things to run smoothly. We want to make it easy to experience Helsinki and as we are the gateway between Asia and Europe, we want to offer an easy way to extend your stay during the stopover.





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HELSINKI see sustainability as an important issue and this we have taken into heart of our operations.

Oodi - central library’s main entrance EMEO: Are there any specific attractions, landmarks or places to eat and drink that you would recommend? LL: Finland is known for its sauna culture and that you can enjoy in Helsinki. Public saunas like Löyly and Allas Sea Pool are attracting a lot of attention from visitors and media alike. Overall, Helsinki is not a very monument and attraction focused city. Sure enough we have plenty of places to visit, but we prefer our visitors to experience Helsinki like a local. The architecture, culture, archipelago, parks are all around you, so we hope that our visitors enjoy the whole experience of the city.

The service was launched in summer 2019 and more and more venues – restaurants, café’s, shops and places to visit are joining the service. Helsinki’s aim is to be carbon neutral by 2035 and these are some of the steps that will help in getting there. We were the first European city to report to UN on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Helsinki is conducting a constant platform for feedback for its residents and we keep analyzing the responses. So far for example the residents aren’t worried about overtourism. They do

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LL: Helsinki continues to develop quite fast. By the end of 2021 we should have around 3,500 additional hotel rooms in the city, which helps us to attract bigger congresses and corporate events. The value of scientific congresses goes beyond its financial effects. By inviting congresses here in Helsinki, we help the scientific community to be able to connect with colleagues all around the world. The venues are constantly improving their offerings and services. Sustainability is a fundamental aspect of their agenda. For example, the two biggest venues in Helsinki have had solar panels installed on their roofs and are producing their own electricity. The venues and hotels overall are diverse and unique. New plans will continue along the same path. EMEO: Are there any plans or projects in the pipeline that you wish to highlight? LL: A lot is currently going on in the region. There are plans for additional multipurpose spaces, new hotels and much more. There are new areas of Helsinki being created as we speak and there are interesting plans in those areas, but not everything is yet finalised. EMEO: Are you optimistic about the future of the tourism industry in Helsinki?

EMEO: What trends are transforming the tourism industry in Helsinki at present? How are you responding to these trends? LL: Sustainability has been on everyone’s lips for several years already. Helsinki has taken steps to answer the growing demand to have sustainability at the core of our city marketing plan. Our Think Sustainably service helps both locals and visitors to find sustainable options for things to see and do.


EMEO: How do you see Helsinki developing as a business travel hub over the next year to two years?

LL: Very optimistic. Helsinki is a growing destination, not only in terms of population growth but with the quality of tourism. As stated before, we aren’t a destination for mass tourism and aim for sustainable growth.


Helsinki Marketing Tel: +358 9 3101 3300


Welcome to enter a world of modern Finnish tales in the very heart of Helsinki. Our new room themes Sisu, Midsummer, Fairytale Forest, Tranquility and Winter Storm are waiting for you at Original Sokos Hotel Presidentti. You are warmly welcome to be inspired.


We wanted to create a personal experience where the Finnish atmosphere and spirit fill the entire hotel. Paola Suhonen

Founder & Designer of IVANA Helsinki

Original Sokos Hotel Presidentti | Eteläinen Rautatiekatu 4, 00100 Helsinki, Finland| Tel. +358 20 1234 608 | sokoshotelpresidentti


Transport Links HELSINKI HAS FANTASTIC connections to the country and the rest of the world. Its international airport handled 21 million passengers in 2018 and is consistently voted one of the world’s best airports. It is the main hub for Finnair, the national carrier of Finland, which provides direct connections to Asia, America and Europe as well as within the capital. Finland has an excellent rail network, with many routes going via Helsinki. The Ministry of Transport and Communications has launched plans to establish the Turku One Hour Train Project Company, which will reduce journey time between Helsinki and Turku to 60 minutes. The public transport system within Helsinki is very comprehensive. With just one ticket, you have the trams, trains and buses at your disposal. You can even take local ferries to places


54 | EME Outlook issue 33

such as Suomenlinna. Helsinki also has a pioneering app, Whim, a Mobility as a Service app (MaaS), which gives its users all city transport services in one step, letting them journey where and when they want with public transport, taxis, bikes, cars, and other options, all under a single subscription. Alongside its excellent connections, Helsinki is also a compact city that can be easily accessed on foot.




The new Kalasatama city area is an experimental innovation platform to co-create smart urban infrastructure and service, highlighted by numerous charging points in the area


Landmark Attractions NUUKSIO NATIONAL PARK

“In the middle of this hubbub in the heart of Helsinki, you will find Kamppi Chapel of Silence — a bizarre-looking, curved structure built to provide you with a period of heavenly silence that aids introspection and retrospection” – Medium

“Easy walking or cross-country ski trails through wooded Ice–Age– chiselled valleys that are a habitat for elk, lynx and nocturnal flying squirrels” – Lonely Planet




OLD MARKET HALL “The 19th-century Old Market Hall reopened in 2014 after an impressive renovation. Inside the handsome brick building, browse dozens of wooden stalls —greengrocers peddling potatoes and local cranberries, fishmongers selling seasonal fish roes” – NY Times

EME Outlook issue 33 | 55


“Built in the second half of the 18th century by Sweden on a group of islands located at the entrance of Helsinki’s harbour, this fortress is an especially interesting example of European military architecture of the time” – UNESCO



Tell us your story and we’ll tell the world. EME OUTLOOK is a digital and print product aimed at boardroom and hands-on decision-makers across a wide range of industries in Europe and the Middle East regions. With content compiled by our experienced editorial team, complemented by an in-house design and production team ensuring delivery to the highest standards, we look to promote the latest in engaging news, industry trends and success stories from the length and breadth of Europe and the Middle East. Reaching a combined audience of more than 395,000 people, EME Outlook covers a full range of industrial sectors: agriculture, construction, energy & utilities, finance, food & drink, healthcare, manufacturing, mining & resources, oil & gas, retail, shipping & logistics, technology and travel & tourism. In joining the leading industry heavyweights already enjoying the exposure we can provide, you can benefit from FREE coverage across both digital and print platforms, a FREE marketing brochure, extensive social media saturation, enhanced B2B networking opportunities, and a readymade forum to attract new investment and to grow your business. To get involved, please contact Outlook Publishing’s Managing Director, Ben Weaver, who can provide further details on how to feature your company, for FREE, in one of our upcoming editions.


EME w w w. e m e o u t l o o k m a g . c o m


Marketi ng Oppo rtunity



Issue 33

One United Properties continues to execute award-winning projects which have not only made their mark on the Romanian capital, but also positively impacted communities within the city Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Ryan Gray


A Cypriot stalwart built on a client-first approach to construction

country’s construction sector is a good indicator of its overall economic health. In 2008-09 the global financial crisis struck economies all over the world, and the effects of the crash are still being felt 10 years on as governments continue to cut back and investors remain wary of taking on high levels of risk. Romania, as with Europe as a whole, saw its construction sector contract following the events of a decade ago. Activity dropped steeply in the immediate aftermath, a pattern which continued for several years as the evolution of new development prospects faced many challenges. However, since 2013 the market has been recovering. According to research carried out by the European Commission, there were 89,943 enterprises and 608,715 people engaged in the broad construction sector in Romania in 2016, respective increases of 7.6 percent and 2.9 percent since 2010. In terms of building production, the period 2010 to 2016 saw activity grow by 21.4 percent, while civil engineering production increased by 9.7 percent. Profitability also strengthened, with


An emblem for Oman’s economic diversification

BUILDING FOR BUCHAREST How One United Properties continues to apply the Midas touch to residential and mixed-use developments across the Romanian capital

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One United Properties is a Leading Green Developer of residential and mixed-use real estate. The company was established in 2011, although the founders have been building residences together since 2006 and have invested in real estate since 2000. It is an innovative company, dedicated to accelerating the adoption of building practices that result in energyefficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings.

turnover across the construction sector growing by 19.8 percent to reach €30.6 billion in 2016. For Andrei Diaconescu and Victor Căpitanu, Managing Partners and Founders at Bucharest-based developer One United Properties (OUP), it is an exciting time to be involved in what is an ever-evolving industry. “The construction sector currently thrives on the impetus provided by this phase of the business cycle,” says Diaconescu. “The sector is still highly fragmented and as such competition is intense. However, competition also tends to be localised. Bucharest itself is a €50 billion economy, so it provides interesting opportunities across the entire spec-


EME Outlook issue 33 | 4

Mobica’s Stefan Marxreiter and Wolfram Ries discuss the ins and outs of the autonomous vehicle market


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BUILDING FOR BUCHAREST One United Properties continues to execute award-winning projects which have not only made their mark on the Romanian capital, but also positively impacted communities within the city Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Ryan Gray


country’s construction sector is a good indicator of its overall economic health. In 2008-09 the global financial crisis struck economies all over the world, and the effects of the crash are still being felt 10 years on as governments continue to cut back and investors remain wary of taking on high levels of risk. Romania, as with Europe as a whole, saw its construction sector contract following the events of a decade ago. Activity dropped steeply in the immediate aftermath, a pattern which continued for several years as the evolution of new development prospects faced many challenges. However, since 2013 the market has been recovering. According to research carried out by the European Commission, there were 89,943 enterprises and 608,715 people engaged in the broad construction sector in Romania in 2016, respective increases of 7.6 percent and 2.9 percent since 2010. In terms of building production, the period 2010 to 2016 saw activity grow by 21.4 percent, while civil engineering production increased by 9.7 percent. Profitability also strengthened, with

One United Properties is a Leading Green Developer of residential and mixed-use real estate. The company was established in 2011, although the founders have been building residences together since 2006 and have invested in real estate since 2000. It is an innovative company, dedicated to accelerating the adoption of building practices that result in energyefficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings.

turnover across the construction sector growing by 19.8 percent to reach €30.6 billion in 2016. For Andrei Diaconescu and Victor Căpitanu, Managing Partners and Founders at Bucharest-based developer One United Properties (OUP), it is an exciting time to be involved in what is an ever-evolving industry. “The construction sector currently thrives on the impetus provided by this phase of the business cycle,” says Diaconescu. “The sector is still highly fragmented and as such competition is intense. However, competition also tends to be localised. Bucharest itself is a €50 billion economy, so it provides interesting opportunities across the entire specEME Outlook issue 33 | 59

ONE UNITED PROPERTIES trum of the construction industry.” Căpitanu adds: “The country and its capital are still developing at an amazing pace, notwithstanding the spectacular growth witnessed so far – Romania has not had a recession since 2009. As the economy is currently operating at full employment, supply of labour becomes a problem and it is a challenge, both for One United Properties and in fact the entire economy.” While the skills conundrum presents a headache for companies like One United, it is an issue far more desirable than the dearth of industry activity seen a decade ago. And the overall positive picture is continuing to paint itself in 2019. Construction activity in Romania increased 34.2 percent in August 2019 compared to the same month in the previous year, with July seeing a record 41 percent year on year growth in output. Regarding the value of ongoing and upcoming work, the country’s pipeline looks promising. The period 2019 to 2023 is forecast to see an average annual growth of 3.37 percent, with projects worth $25 million or more

combining to be worth $103.1 billion as of May 2019. Infrastructure and residential construction are predicted to drive the revival of the Romanian construction sector in the future, with the European Commission issuing a growth forecast at an annual rate of 3.8 percent in 2019 and 5.4 percent in 2020. One United specialises in the residential and mixed-use space. Set up in 2011 by Diaconescu and Căpitanu, the company has emerged as the leading green developer, dedicated to accelerating the adoption of building practices that result in energy-efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings. As well as operating as a real estate developer, the firm also has an in-house interior design and furniture company (multi-award-winning Lemon Interior Design), an architecture studio and engineering capabilities in the form of X Architecture & Engineering. But why did the Managing Partners decide to go into business when the going was tough for Romania’s construction industry in 2011?

Alukönigstahl Alukönigstahl is a supplier of the highest-quality aluminium-, steel- and plastic systems as well as components for the realisation of contemporary, energy-efficient architecture and supports sustainable building designs. The distribution of famous brands protects a qualitatively high-quality assortment which is submitted to a constant optimisation and advanced adaptation to architecture trends and construction specifications. Alukönigstahl supports its partners with extensive service competence in all phases of a building project. The enterprise disposes of advisory teams which develop new products as well as offering decisive facilities for the choice of the optimum system components for a specific building project. Alukönigstahl has operated in Romania since 1995 and cooperates closely with the most experienced partners of façades, windows and doors construction in the Romanian market. These partnerships have existed for decades and are based on mutual trust. In addition, the company is for more than 60 years the exclusive dealer with two leading system manufacturers: Schüco international KG, a world leader in aluminum and solar systems and expert for systems software, and Jansen AG, a specialist in steel profile systems. This cooperation and specific product development has helped Alukönigstahl secure its position as a leader in technology and innovation. The reference list of the company includes the most important office, residential, retail, and hotel projects all over Romania. Here there are some of the projects: Sky Towers, Orhideea Towers, Bucharest Business Gardens, The Bridge, Blue Rose Office Park, 102 The Address, Ana Tower in Bucharest, The Office, Binarium , Avantcity , Scala Center, Regina Maria Hospital in Cluj, UBC -Openville, Vox Technology Park, Issho Offices and Residence in Timisoara.

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ONE UNITED PROPERTIES “It was the effervescence of the transition period in Romania and our youth that made us believe everything was possible,” recalls Diaconescu. “We were fascinated by the tumultuous pace of transformation in our city and in the country, and as we were assisting clients of the bank where we started our career with their financing transactions, we got equally excited about entrepreneurship. “And while that bank became very successful and the largest independent Romanian investment banking boutique, we eventually settled on our passion for real estate.”

ONE FLOREASCA CITY: A LANDMARK DEVELOPMENT The duo never looked back. Indeed, One United is one of the very few residential developers which has grown during the market’s downturn period, a feat which can be attributed to its ability to identify and efficiently develop the right products for Romania’s upper and mid-upper residential segments. Its first project, One Floreasca Lake, actually predates the formal creation of the company, the land permits being granted in 2009 before construction of the first phase began in 2011.


WHAT, IN YOUR OPINION, MAKES A GOOD BUSINESS LEADER? Victor Căpitanu (left) and Andrei Diaconescu (right): “A good business leader is a visionary. They have the ability to inspire others to believe in his or her vision. A good business leader understands the world we live in and is responsible about the environment. A good business leader is a person who abides by the highest ethical and moral standards in business, and by so doing builds trust of their partners of all kinds.”

The second phase was finished in 2015, the development today standing as a residential compound with 68 apartments overlooking the water. And it is here, in the north of Bucharest, where One United’s most prestigious project to date is unfolding. Overlooking Floreasca Lake is Floreasca City, a landmark mixeduse development housing an office building (One Tower), three blocks of high-end designed apartments (One Mircea Eliade) and a renovated old Ford factory which will be transformed into a modern retail space for French multinational Auchan. 62 | EME Outlook issue 33

Building Insiders

BK TECHNIK is a Romanian company established in 2002, specialised in the provision of comprehensive services in the field of building installations (electrical, mechanical, plumbing), from their initial design stage to implementation and further to technical maintenance. We aim to understand each of our clients’ needs, so that our personalised services assist them to reach their goals. We measure our success by the satisfaction of our clients, long term partnerships, successive projects

and growing demand of our services on the market. Our competitive advantage is the expertise we have in multiple construction categories: Retail, Residential, Office, Medical, Logistic and refurbishments, followed by a consistent and cost-savings vision in maintaining the construction - technical maintenance. We have been operating in international environments and we are able to cope with the specific demands of various markets that result from cultural differences. Value engineering is a part of our service provision and is present in all project stages, ranging from design

preparation to implementation and execution, including the bid, and optimisation proposals in the case of technical maintenance. We started our partnership with ONE UNITED PROPERTIES in 2016, in one of their first projects on the market (One Herastrau Park), we have continued with One Herastrau Plaza and, now, being part of One Herastrau Towers project. We thank them for their trust, and we guarantee them our support and involvement in achieving their targets for the projects to come!



Mr. Vlad Niculescu – Technical and Operational Manager Mr. Cristian Gherghinoiu – Finance Manager

Calea Floreasca nr. 169 (IPA building), et. 2, cam. 2, sector 1, 014459 Bucharest Romania T +40 21 315 56 22 | F +40 21 315 56 25 | E


BUILT ON PARTNERSHIPS Developments such as those taking place in Floreasca rely not only on the expertise and execution ability of One United as a developer, but also the company’s expansive network of contractors and suppliers. Recognising the value of these relationships, Diaconescu says: “Just as we would like our partners to trust and rely on us, it is of utmost importance that we too are able to trust and rely on our suppliers in order to be successful. “Trust built over years of partnership and long-lasting relationships are key to our establishing of business relations. We tend to be very loyal to our suppliers and we believe in longterm relationships.”

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“One Floreasca City is probably the largest mixed-use project under construction in the City of Bucharest at the moment,” comments Capitanu. “The development enjoys iconic architectural design, with three residential towers and one office tower. The structure of the building itself is one of a kind in Romania and we look forward to the completion date when our project will again become part of Bucharest’s skyline. “Both the office tower and the residential towers have received green pre-certifications – the office is LEED Platinum v4 pre-certified and the residential towers are pre-certified by the Romanian Green Building Council.” One Tower will provide 24,000 square metres of office spaces, all AAA class endowed with the latest technologies. Every floor will comprise a 1,450-square-metre surface and benefit from natural light and an efficient compartmentalisation of space. The sustainable theme continues in the land surrounding the buildings – the entire complex will span 2.8 hectares, with around a third of this being designated as green space. Diaconescu adds: “We have taken great care in creating an ecosystem that cares for the community. We will be improving the road infrastructure surrounding the project by expanding the main roads, creating additional accesses, and in general rejuvenating a part of the city that has otherwise been neglected for too many years.”

AWARD-WINNING The scheme is also being recognised internationally. At the International Property Awards Gala held on October 24 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, One United received four distinctions relating to its Floreasca City development. As well as winning the Mixed-use Development Romania Award, the project also scooped the Best Sustainable Residential Development Romania 5 Stars Award.

Baumit Baumit is one of Europe’s biggest construction materials producers with a dedicated target of improving interior living conditions and energy efficency. Indoor air quality becomes more and more important. And building materials have a significant impact on quality. That is why Baumit launched the project “HealthyLiving” to learn about the impact of materials on the well-being and health of its inhabitants. The method of construction and quality of used materials have a principal impact on human health and quality of living and all this has been carefully researched at our Viva Research Park, Europe’s largest research facility for comparative building material studies. Its main objective is to accurately measure and evaluate the impact of different construction materials on living comfort. An important role in ensuring comfortable living and a healthy climate in the house is played by thermal insulation. Good insulation ensures a balanced interior climate and improves the overall living comfort. An uninsulated brick house needs 2.5 times more energy in comparison to an insulated one. In other words, in an insulated house you need only 40 percent of the actual energy costs. Baumit Open System ensures a highly permeable thermal insulation system, optimal indoor climate for a comfortable living. In regards to interiors, the company’s lime-based plaster Baumit Klima significantly helps to regulate the interior air humidity, and reduces the level of occurrence of organisms harmful to our health. This all depends on the material’s capability to absorb residual humidity, and return it in case of insufficient humidity.


KONE Romania OPENNING A DOOR TO THE HOME OF THE FUTURE The KONE Residential Flow solution brings new levels of convenience for home owners, residents, and also facility managers by using mobile and cloud technologies to connect building doors, elevators, information channels, and intercom systems via an easy-to-use smartphone application. This new solution is designed to solve the exact same everyday challenges that the survey respondents indicated they were facing. The solution is available for both new and existing buildings, and covers access control, visitor management, and information provision. There are three different packages available: KONE Access, which controls building doors and automatically calls an elevator to take the user to their home floor, eliminating the need to carry or use physical keys. KONE Visit, which includes a connected intercom system that allows residents to greet visitors and grant them access using their smartphone.

The remaining two accolades focus on the residential element of the scheme, One Mircea Eliade. Made up of 247 apartments across the three towers, residents will not only enjoy a contemporary home, but also stunning views, a concept food hall, restaurants, and gym with a pool. On receiving the awards, Beatrice Dumitrașcu, VP Residential Sales at One United Properties, commented: “Since the very first real estate projects developed under One United Properties brand, our company has come up with unique, modern concepts designed to change the face of Bucharest – buildings that are suitable 66 | EME Outlook issue 33

for any western metropolis and which, at the same time, respect high standards of quality and sustainability. “That is why in past years we have been extremely pleased to notice that among the many awards our company has received, those for sustainable projects play an important part. And now, to be in London together with the most important European players in the field is for sure a great honour and a recognition of our daily efforts and involvement. “We are happy and grateful to have received the five-star awards at the International Property Awards Gala and, on behalf of the entire team, I can

KONE Information, which facility managers can use to send relevant building-related information direct to residents’ smartphones, or to info screens in the elevators or lobby. WHY CHOOSE THE KONE SMART PEOPLE FLOW CONSULTING? • Professional support during renovation and new building design • Your building becomes more functional, easier to navigate, and adaptable for the future • An improved user experience that considers the latest building trends • Smart planning and monitoring thoughtout building’s life cycle


KONE vision is to make cities better place to live. KONE is a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry. We offer innovative and sustainable new equipment solutions, ensure the safety and availability of equipment in operation and offer modernization solutions for aging equipment. The company has been founded in Finland in 1910. It has over 57 000 employees and over 450 000 customers all over the world. On August 2008 KONE Corporation has founded its own company in Romania named KONE ASCENSORUL. We are proud to have excellent solutions that can improve the feeling of smooth, comfortable, enjoyable, reliable and safe People Flow. The team of KONE ASCENSORUL is constantly developing as we offer innovative solutions, answering the customer needs.

reliable. Our vision is to deliver the best People Flow® experience, by providing Ease, Effectiveness and Experiences to users and customers over the full life-cycle of the buildings. Our strategy guides us towards our vision.”

Keeping your building moving.

“Every day, around 200,000 people move into cities across the globe. At KONE, our mission is to improve the flow of urban life. We understand People Flow in and between buildings, and we aim to make people’s journeys safe, convenient and

Property owners and developers are under increasing pressure to ensure that tenants can move around buildings as quickly and comfortably as possible while simultaneously providing improved security and access control. KONE’s comprehensive and flexible People Flow Intelligence solutions are designed to meet these demands. They are based on industry-leading technology that can be adapted according to your changing needs, which enables efficient building management, and adds real value to your property. KONE People Flow Intelligence comprises solutions for access and destination control, as well as information communication and equipment monitoring.



• • • •

• • • •

Smooth people flow and improved security Easy to adapt Simplified planning, installation, and operation Freedom of choice

Information and advertisements Rapid information channel Improved passenger guidance Stylish design matches KONE signalization equipment



• Easy remote monitoring, configuration, and management of elevators and escalators • Accurate real-time data available instantly • Comprehensive reporting, including archiving of performance data • Remote shutdown of equipment enables energy savings

• • • •

KONE ASCENSORUL S.A. 9-11 Fabrica de Chibrituri street, floor 2-3, disctrict 5 RO-050182 Bucharest, Romania

Tel. +4021 311 4601, +4021 311 4602 Fax +4021 311 4603

Industry-leading traffic handling performance Increased comfort and convenience User-friendly and attractive user interfaces Smooth, non-disruptive modernization

ONE UNITED PROPERTIES say they represent an international appreciation of our work.” X Architecture & Engineering was also recognised at the ceremony in London. Not only did it receive the Mixed-use Architecture Romania Award Winner for One Floreasca City, the One United division also took home the Residential High-rise Architecture Romania Award for One Herăstrău Park. The latter is a high-end residential compound with two 52-metre-high towers and 106 apartments, totalling 28,000 square metres of space, all within two to three minutes’ walking distance to Herăstrău Park and only steps from Floreasca Lake. Along with One Floreasca City and One Floreasca Lake, it is among several regeneration schemes helping to revitalise the entire Floreasca part of Bucharest. One of the most beautiful and old areas in Bucharest, it has been the subject of many redevelopments,

including green zones and the marketplace. Completing the group-wide success in the UK capital was Lemon Interior Design, which won three awards for its work on Private Residence One, Lake Loft and Skyline projects. Another landmark recognition came in 2018, when One United Properties was awarded Residential Developer of the Year at the Europa Property SEE Awards. “We are proud that our work is recognised independently by such visible awards like Residential Developer of the Year,” says Căpitanu. “But equally important to us is the streak of awards – every single one of our properties has been recognised for achievement in one or many forms. This keeps us motivated to continuously improve ourselves and ensure we deliver outstanding quality and value to our clients, to our city and the communities in which we work.”

Schindler Romania Schindler manufactures, installs, services and modernises elevators, escalators and moving walks for almost every type of building requirement worldwide. The company specialises in the latesttechnology engineering, as well as mechanical and microprocessor technology products designed and rigorously tested for safety, comfort, efficiency and reliability. Inspired by the vision of being the best service provider in the industry for its customers, Schindler will continue in the future to develop highly innovative and user-friendly mobility solutions and to deliver these to the world market. Schindler products can be found in many well-known buildings throughout the globe, including office buildings, airports, shopping centres/ retail establishments and specialty buildings. Schindler moves more than one billion people a day. And not just vertically – the company connects people in many ways, contributing to mobility in the urban world and making everyday life easier. With its products and services, Schindler shapes the way people live today – and will live in the future. Schindler‘s sustainability strategy focuses on six areas chosen to generate the greatest possible impact.

Can We Elevate You?

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Schindler Ahead Smart Urban Mobility Increasing urbanization requires reliable, secure and efficient mobility solutions. With digitization, urban mobility becomes smart. The Internet of Things Artificial Intelligence and personalized apps change the way we live and move. Schindler moves over one billion people every day. With the introduction of Schindler Ahead, equipment reliability, uptime, and safety will significantly be improved and there will be an all-new superior passenger experience. At Schindler we power digital urban mobility.

Connecting the dots.

Digital solution.

Imagine a platform where all involved parties are connected and necessary information is shared in realtime. Schindler Ahead connects equipment, customers and passengers with Schindler’s Contact Centers and technicians via its digital closed-loop platform. Connecting the dots on the Schindler Ahead platform, customers and passengers will benefit from enhanced uptime, deeper insights and superior convenience.

Cube Machine intelligence

App Store Instant access

With the CUBE your equipment becomes smart and connected. Relevant machine data like door movement or lifecycle utilization are collected, pre-analyzed and transmitted to the Cloud Platform. And more, the CUBE runs apps, streams multimedia content and even handles emergency voice calls with the highest level of Cyber Security.

A variety of apps for customers and passengers. Available today. Access relevant information in real-time, gain comprehensive insights or experience improved comfort and convenience. On your smartphone or via Internet Portal. Personalized and customizable to your needs.

Cloud Platform Real-time insights

Future Readiness Over-the-air (OTA) updates

Our Cloud Platform is the engine for Big Data analytics and Artificial Intelligence. In combination with the leading GE Predix solution we gain powerful insights through advanced analytics and machine learning. Data turn into actionable outcome like Predictive Maintenance.

Urban mobility is a journey. Make use of Schindler Ahead’s powerful solutions today and be ready for the latest innovations. Overthe-air (OTA) updates from the App Store to the CUBE allow you to always stay up to date without having a service technician to come on-site. So you can benefit from Schindler’s continuous investment in enhancing and shaping smart urban mobility solutions.

Schindler Ahead. Made for today. Ready for the future.


Tel: 021-3367058


Fax: 021-3373659

ONE UNITED PROPERTIES SUSTAINABILITY AT HEART As Capitanu states, the ongoing string of recognition for every project is no coincidence. It is testament to the working practices of One United and its dedicated team of knowledgeable people who are determined to deliver projects on time and on budget, and to exceed client expectation. Indeed, for Diaconescu, there are two further aspects that set the company apart from its competitors. “First, our brand has over time become synonymous to building outstanding projects in unique locations,” he explains. “Our buildings have positively impacted the local community, and some have already become part of Bucharest’s skyline. In a way we are proud to think of ourselves as creators of landmarks.”

Second is an unwavering commitment to deliver sustainable and environmentally responsible developments. “We have realised very early that we have an obligation to care for our environment,” Diaconescu continues. “This is why every single one of our buildings is certified by the Romanian Green Building Council, a process that not only looks at the finished product, but at the entire chain of events which culminates in the finished product, from suppliers of materials, to how it is put into construction. “Recently our office development One Tower, part of One Floreasca City, was pre-certified LEED Platinum v4, which is the strictest environmental standard in the industry. We believe this environmental commitment is an important factor in why our projects

ROMANIAN GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL: KEY OBJECTIVES To promote market transformation and facilitate the implementation of the next generation of high-performing green constructions, the Romania Green Building Council:​​ • Facilitates the availability of the most up to date and highest quality training to create the necessary pool of national green building experts;​​ • Supports the development of appropriate regulatory conditions that promote sustainable constructions while ensuring attractive returns on investment;​​ • Develops and implements a national green building standards and certification system;​​ • Supports the development of best in class in-country green construction in an effort to position Romania as a sustainable construction leader in the region;​ • Builds an inclusive organisation by facilitating collaboration between all relevant players in order to eliminate systemic barriers and promote a truly sustainable built environment;​ • Promotes domestic, regional and international collaboration to share knowledge and encourage innovation;​ • Researches, compiles and disseminates best practices for the region and encourages their adoption and implementation.

KESZ KÉSZ – OVER THREE DECADES OF EXPERIENCE KÉSZ is one of Central and Eastern Europe’s leading construction companies, with a successful history of business development and construction expertise of 36 years. The Group’s tagline is “We build on knowledge” and this is because they see knowledge as the most important driver and cohesion force of their existence and success. Due to the market independence that KÉSZ Group has achieved over the years, its own resources, its broad portfolio of services and its successful international expansion, the company takes pride in its outstanding success and dynamic growth in competitive market conditions. KÉSZ guide every business venture by core values: knowledge – stability – motivation – complexity – innovation – versatility.

KÉSZ CONSTRUCTII ROMANIA – QUALITY, CREDIBILITY AND TRANSPARENCY The spirit and knowledge of KÉSZ have helped the expansion of its business outside domestic borders, with subsidiaries across Europe in Serbia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Germany. Its portfolio encompasses countless large scale projects in Romania, some of its most innovative being Nymphaea Aquapark in Oradea, the Kaercher Factory in Curtea de Arges, Penny Logistic Centre in Bacau and One Herăstrău Park, Trade Center Oradea, Galeriile Comerciale Aurora Retail Park Oradea, Systronics Arad, and ONE Charles de Gaulle Bucuresti. The company’s first investment to date in Romania is Hexagon Office development in Cluj Napoca, a state-of–the-art and innovative class “A” office building that offers to its occupiers 21.601 sqm GLA. KÉSZ Constructii Romania promises an experience of quality.

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WE BUILD ON KNOWLEDGE Engineering & Technologies

400495 Cluj Napoca, Calea Turzii nr. 178K T: 0040-364-080100 | 0040-264-443269 E:


Grohe Grohe is proud to stand as a reliable partner for One United, and we are keen to offer strong solutions to all of our customers, who we treat as partners. “Just as we would like our partners to trust and rely on us, it is of utmost importance that we too are able to trust and rely on our suppliers in order to be successful. Trust built over years of partnership and longlasting relationships are key to our establishing of business relations. We tend to be very loyal to our suppliers and we believe in long-term relationships.” - Andrei Diaconescu, Managing Partner and Founder, One United Properties

have won more recognition than the projects of any other competitor.” Diaconescu eludes to collaboration with the Romanian Green Building Council, an organisation which One United has proactively been a longtime supporter of. Set up in 2008, it was the first of its kind in south-eastern Europe and operates with a mandate to promote a transformation toward an efficient and competitive marketplace for green technologies, expertise, and materials to create the next generation of high-performance green buildings. Essential tasks to date have been to disseminate relevant information, provide training, set standards and introduce certification for green building, while also advocating appropriate regulatory conditions. “We have realised very early on that we simply have to care about the environment, and we want our legacy to include setting the standard amongst Romanian builders for a responsible 72 | EME Outlook issue 33

and considerate construction industry,” Capitanu adds. “One United was among the first in the industry in Romania to join the Council and embrace a green philosophy, as we want our business partners to be inspired by our actions and be proud of associating themselves with partners that care for the environment. “We also want to give comfort to our clients that the place they will end up calling home has been built in a responsible manner, and it ensures their

children will enjoy as rich an environment as we did when growing up.”

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE Future generations also form the heart of the company’s District One initiative. This programme represents a new focus designed to reach a broader segment of clients, chiefly expanding the company’s client base to younger professionals living in the Romanian capital city.


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One Verdi Park

TWO NEW PROJECTS FOR 2020 > ONE VERDI PARK To be built on the Barbu Văcărescu Boulevard in Bucharest, One Verdi Park is a multifunctional development that will consist of two 75-metre towers (one office and one residential) with commercial space at ground level. Capitanu adds: “With the latest trend for revitalising former industrial platforms of Bucharest, we also noticed the tenants’ concern for improving the quality of the working environment. Thus, we developed the concept of One Verdi Park, which is part of the company’s strategy to develop multifunctional projects.”

> ONE COTROCENI PARK Set to sprawl over 5.8 hectares, One Cotroceni Park aims to offer a new dimension to the work-live-shop concept in Bucharest. Around 10 percent of the space will be occupied by retail outlets, while the site will cater to 10,000 workers and residents. Located on Progresului

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Street, opposite the future Academia Militară metro station, and in the immediate vicinity of such land marks as Cotroceni Palace (the Residence of the President of Romania), Botanical Gardens, the Military Academy and the Bucharest Polytechnical University, One Cotroceni Park promises to revitalise a former industrial area in the middle of the city and will be the largest city rejuvenation project in Bucharest. The project is unique in many respects vis-à-vis other office projects built in Bucharest. First, at around 80,000 square metres GLA (BOMA) it is the largest single-asset, Grade A office building in Bucharest. Second, floorplates are as large as 8,000-plus square metres GLA (combined for the two buildings), which makes them the largest floor plates in the city, a distinct advantage for our tenants who can locate entire teams in one vibrant workplace together. Third, “your park in your office” – large terraces within some of the floors, offer ample green working space for the employees. Fourth, the building will be LEED and WELL certified, demonstrating OUP’s commitment to care for the environment and for the people working in our properties. Construction is set to begin in 2020.



One Cotroceni Park

Bucureşti Sectorul 1, Str. VERBINELOR, Nr. 1-3 Email:

For Diaconescu, this is not only a way to serve a wider portion of the local community, but also to help diversify and ultimately futureproof the business for years to come. “We have identified a structural deficit of quality residential offering in Bucharest, and also a rising affluent young earners group, which we would like to care for,” he says. “Preferences for choosing locations have changed significantly with the new generations, and while it used to be true that a family has one home for one or two generations, now we see families owning and living in two to three homes during a generation.

“The combination of structural deficit for quality homes combined with the emergence of a highly affluent segment has led to us coming in with a new offering for our customers.” Appealing to a younger demographic will form an important part of One United Properties’s strategy as it moves towards the end of 2019, a year which has seen it hand over landmark developments in the form of One Herăstrău Plaza and One Charles de Gaulle. The latter is just two minutes from Herăstrău Park, made up of 33 dwellings across two buildings certified by the Romanian Green Building Council

and recognised by the European Commission as a good practice model. Outlining the company’s plans for 2020, Capitanu concludes the conversation in confident fashion. “We look forward to entering 2020 with exciting new plans and a new phase for our company,” he says. “We look forward to starting construction at our new mixed-use project One Verdi Park and our flagship office project One Cotroceni Park. Our existing projects are moving ahead as planned and we eagerly anticipate our completion dates – ensuring timely and quality completions are just as important priorities for us as our new projects.”

ONE UNITED PROPERTIES Tel: +40 31 225 10 00 +40 726 000 02

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The Complete Constructor Cyfield Group is Cyprus’s most vertically integrated construction company, its enormous pool of machine and human assets enabling it to execute all project types with the client front and centre Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Ryan Gray

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yprus is bouncing back after a turbulent post-economic crash period. The country’s economy is growing at around four percent a year, almost twice the EU average, a trend driven in no small part by a vibrant property market which expanded by six percent in 2018. Indeed, it is estimated that some €8 billion of large-scale construction projects are seeking investors from all around the world. For companies such as Cyfield Group, the present day represents a time of tremendous opportunity. “The economy is now booming again with an increase in the level of construction and industry in all the cities,” comments George Chrysochos, the firm’s CEO.


EME Outlook issue 33 | 77

CYFIELD GROUP “Our group, having foreseen the change that would ensue following the crisis, designed and produced a new generation of real estate creating completely new projects satisfying current and future needs of more sophisticated investors. “These new projects are modern high-rise buildings, villas and luxury apartments in prime locations offering great views, latest technology, high grade specification and are environmentally friendly. Because of this increase many foreign investors have come back to the island, investing in properties as well as other sectors in the economy – and this momentum is expected to continue for a number of years.” George Chrysochos is a second-generation CEO of his family’s business, inspired to continue the hard work of his parents having been brought up with the firm ever since it

was founded in 1990. Today, Cyfield Group is also completing projects in nearby Greece and in Egypt, its expertise spanning the full spectrum of works, from all kinds of infrastructure and residential to commercial and office builds.

FULLY INTEGRATED, CLIENTDRIVEN The fact it is able to deliver a full spectrum of construction projects owes itself to a fully integrated structure with enormous in-house resources and expertise, what Chrysochos believes stands it apart from others in the field. “The excellent reputation that Cyfield Group enjoys in the market derives from the innovation of its designs, the quality of its construction, the reliability in the delivery of the projects and the transfer of title deeds, as well as its strong financial base,” the CEO adds.


CYFIELD GROUP Established in 1990, Cyfield Group specialises in land development, construction and energy projects, designing, building and marketing quality properties in prime locations across Cyprus, Greece and Egypt. Its contracting division undertakes large schemes such as motorways, dams, bridges, sewerage systems and environmental developments, the company recently branching out into the energy sector with Cyprus’s first private electricity plant. Cyfield employs approximately 600 people, its main client being the Cypriot government, for whom it has become a reliable partner over its near 30-year existence. “Despite the group’s size, it remains a family business, taking a personal interest in each project,” explains Chrysochos. “When dealing with clients, whether they are private individuals, companies or local and government authorities, our approach is always marked by a personal touch in terms of communication and cooperation with each one.” MISSION: To evolve as a leading and pioneering organisation in the southeast Mediterranean. VISION: To build valuable, respectful and long-lasting relationships with our clients, collaborators, personnel and in the community in which we develop, live and work.

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Elval Colour Elval Colour is a leading European coated aluminium and composite panel manufacturer that produces and sells a full range of building envelope products of superior quality using the latest technology. A customer-centric approach accompanies the production and product delivery. More than 98 percent of sales are exported to a total of 70 countries. Elval Colour manufactures and trades a wide range of products and applications, such as etalbond® FR and etalbond® A2 aluminium composite panels for façade, etalbond® and etalbond® d3 d2 d1 for corporate ID, signage and digital printing, Ydoral® and orofe® aluminium coils, sheets and stripes for rain gutters and roofing and Agraphon®, Arypon® special coating systems. In Elval Colour, we are very proud of our fruitful cooperation with globally recognised general building contractor Cyfield Group in a leading project in Cyprus, the 360 Nicosia. Specifically, we offer value added services by assisting in appropriate product specification and selection to best suit the needs of the project, application and design. The 360 Nicosia, the tallest building in Cyprus is dressed with etalbond®A2, the non-combustible aluminium composite panel that allows the freedom of design, combined with superior technological attributes. etalbond®A2 aluminum composite panel, because of its mineral filled core, is rated A2 for incombustibility, s1 for lowest possible smoke emission and d0 for no droplets when the panel is exposed to fire, according to the strictest European Norm EN13501-1. etalbond®A2 can also be utilised successfully wherever fire protection is necessary such as in high-rise buildings, buildings with high visitation/occupancy and buildings of high sensitivity. Elval Colour focuses on research and development as this enables it to improve its products’ technological and quality properties at all times.

The most advanced aluminium composite panel, with non-combustible core for your building façade etalbond® A2 has been tested according to EN 13501-1 and has received a classification of A2 s1 d0 as a panel. It holds many national certifications as part of a façade system and it is ideal for high rise and high sensitivity buildings. etalbond® A2 is designed to be low weight, rigid and perfectly flat, available in many different highly durable colours. 3rd Km Inofyta Peripheral Rd., 32011, Saint Thomas, Viotia, Greece, tel: +30 22620 53564, fax: +30 22620 53581 • email: | follow us:

CYFIELD GROUP “We are vertically integrated which gives us an advantage in terms of cost, quality and turnaround times. This allows us to execute on time, on budget and to the highest standards in a client-first way.” Central to this capability is an unrivalled fleet of machinery, the largest of any operator in Cyprus. From milling machines, excavators and quarry machines to earthworks dumpers and pre-cast concrete equipment, Cyfield can draw on a formidable arsenal of assets collectively worth tens of millions of euros. The last two years alone have seen the company invest €10 million, with another €7 million set to be spent by the early part of 2020. Its busy workshop ensures such equipment is kept in running order, a vital component of the Cyfield setup which keeps downtime to a minimum, further evidence of its client-centric approach to doing business. This relies on skilled engineers,

which prompts Chrysochos to outline the importance of finding and developing skills across the entire organisation. “Because the company and the industry are so busy, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find skilled and experienced personnel – buildings, engineers and other technical people,” the CEO adds. “We have had to find talent from other countries, which can present a challenge as they do not always stay here for the long term. “Once employees are with us, however, we do our best to make sure they stay. We run training programmes and have courses in all sorts of topics, form construction methodologies and machinery controls to contract law. “As a construction company, we have to be very agile and be ready for spikes in demand – for example, two years ago high-rise projects were not happening in Cyprus, and now they are popping up like mushrooms. This means we must develop and build up


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CYFIELD GROUP the necessary skills quickly, whether it be high-rise or energy, which is our next big focus.” While its people and equipment enable Cyfield to operate as a fully integrated enterprise, Chrysochos also acknowledges the importance of a reliable partner and supplier network. “We are rooted in the construction industry in Cyprus and therefore have deep ties with our partners,” he continues. “While we are vertically integrated and manage a lot in house, we still rely on others to succeed. From banks and insurance companies to subcontractors and equipment suppliers, it is vital to work with the right partners in order to deliver projects successfully. We value skills, quality and loyalty above price.”

BUILDING FOR CYPRUS This approach to business has resulted in 30 years of designing and executing landmark projects across Cyprus. The most iconic of these, according to Chrysochos, is set for completion in late 2019 and located in the capital city, Nicosia, on its most prestigious street. Simply named 360 due to its unmatched views, it is a residential development surrounded by the old town and commercial business district standing at 34 storeys high, the landscape visible for miles in all directions. It is the tallest building in Nicosia. “360 offers a new standard of living and creates a completely new lifestyle,” says Chrysochos. “Some characteristics of the building include smart technology, top quality materials, 24-hour concierge service, security and maintenance, and a whole spa floor with swimming pool, gym and residents club. “Our presence in Nicosia is strong with a large range of villas and urban apartments, all with high quality materials and designs and energy efficiency. Being the capital, and financial and educational centre of Cyprus, the city offers the best and ideal location for 82 | EME Outlook issue 33

investment and the rental needs are expressed by local demand.” Over in Limassol on the south coast, Cyfield has embarked on an altogether different project – the construction of the Limassol Arena, a 15,000-seater football stadium. A project very much in the spotlight thanks to the country’s love of the sport, it is a government-backed scheme costing €33 million euros, due for handover during 2022. “It may be smaller than some of the mega stadiums in Europe, but for Cyprus this is a significant stadium,” Chrysochos says. “It will be fully covered and meet UEFA category four standards, meaning it can host important matches. There will also be a big VIP focus, with around 800 VIP seats set aside.” Nearby is another exciting development and a key strategic shift for Cyfield in the form of the Power Energy Cyprus (PEC) gas power plant in Mari-Vassilikos. The PEC station is expected to be fully operational by March 2022 and will have a capacity of 260 MW. Now fully underway, several key milestones have already been hit, including earthworks and preparation, dykes for diesel tanks with capacity of 8,000 tonnes, and perimeter fencing. As the EPC contractor on the project, Cyfield has also invited three OEMs (General Electric, Siemens and Ansaldo Energia) to tender for the power island equipment procurement and detail engineering. The plant will operate with a new combined cycle technology, with two or three natural gas turbines and one steam turbine. “Power plants are the most complex and sophisticated construction projects,” the CEO explains. “So, we have decided, as ambassadors of development and innovation, to change the economic map on our island, and to become the first private company to produce and market electricity to consumers in Cyprus, through our new efficient power plant.”

SMSP Hometech Ltd SMSP Hometech LTD was founded in 2008 and is an authorised representative agent of Fassa Bortolo S.r.l., one of the leading producer companies of building materials in Europe. Meeting each customer’s individual needs and providing them with a plethora of solutions through a vast range of products is the company’s primary goal and philosophy. We greatly appreciate Cyfield Group’s ongoing trust in our services and are proud to have supplied the products used for the construction of many of their buildings, including 360 Nicosia. We would also like to extend our gratitude towards Fassa Bortolo S.r.l., whose name and products we distribute.


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• Security Systems • Energy Monitoring & Systems • Maintenance Service

EME Outlook issue 33 | 83



ACTIVITY ABROAD As well as serving its home market in Cyprus, Cyfield Group is active in Egypt and Greece, establishing itself as a reliable operator in both countries.

EGYPT: A big breakthrough came in 2014 when the Egyptian government awarded the company the construction of the Ras Al Ghareb Motorway, a 92-kilometre multi-lane road from al Minya (on the River Nile) towards the Red Sea which was part of a national project to upgrade the country’s infrastructure. Despite facing challenges, Cyfield delivered the project successfully and has since won tenders for a road project in

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Marsa Alam – the construction of a 22-kilometre dual carriage way – including earthworks, pavement layers, health and safety and environmental aspects – on the Red Sea. “Through these successful ventures we have made many friends in Egypt who have also invested in our projects in Cyprus and Greece,” Chrysochos adds. GREECE: Here, loyalty has been rewarded after a painful few years for the country’s building industry. Chrysochos explains: “The past eight years have been extremely challenging with pretty much zero construction activity going on, both in the public and private space. This caused many companies to leave Greece, but we

decided to stay as we had some smaller projects we were doing in order to stay afloat. The last one to two years have seen the industry rise again, mostly in the area of buildings, and at the moment we are constructing around 10 residential developments – the fact we stayed when times were tough has given us an advantage in that we are established in the country.”


Strong on its foundations TELEPHONE: 00357 22570153 FAX 00357 22570156 E-MAIL:

The station’s performance will be much higher than the existing one, leading to a significant reduction in the cost of electricity and supplying as much as one third of Cyprus’s electricity needs. “In addition to lowering costs, it will also have multiple benefits for the environment,” Chrysochos continues. “Station emissions will meet European 2020 targets, limiting NOx and SOx emissions below 50 parts per million. “The expected carbon dioxide emissions are estimated to be 50 percent lower than the average current emissions of electricity production in our country. This again has a monetary impact, as the country will save on the hefty fines and tariffs it is paying for CO2 allowances.” PEC will also create new employment positions for 300 people during construction and operation. In the area of renewable energy, Cyfield has also been an active

participant, the company engaged in photovoltaic power plant projects since 2015.

LOOKING AHEAD Expanding capabilities in the area of energy generation is a key priority for Cyfield as Chrysochos and his leadership team gear up for the future. Although plans are afoot to grow its presence in Greece and Egypt, its core focus will remain on Cyprus, the home market representing a sustainable and safe path forwards, especially given the country’s economic revival in recent years. Indeed, the company is ready to deliver on any construction challenge, from high-rise to highway, the CEO full of confidence as he concludes the conversation by reinforcing Cyfield’s commitments to clients and outlining the bright prospects that lie ahead for his country. “No matter what we do and where

we invest, we will never deviate from our core values and stay true to serving our society and the environment we work in, with the utmost respect to our people and all our stakeholders. “Cyprus is one of the safest countries in the world. It is also famous for its hospitality and beauty. It is a European country with a friendly Mediterranean outlook where all visitors are treated with kindness and respect. Its robust and growing economy provides investors with sustainable returns. “Investing in Cyprus has never been easier or safer.”

CYFIELD GROUP Tel: +357-22427230

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amily businesses are the lifeblood of the global economy. Some 85 percent of startups are established with family money, while the majority (70-90 percent) of the world’s GDP is believed to be generated by businesses that are majority owned by a single family’s members. Further still, family firms are shown to outperform nonfamily enterprises by 6.65 percent globally (in relation to

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Family firm Transilvania Constructii has set its sights on expanding its network of industrial parks around Romania, this having successfully completed a number of projects in its home region of Cluj-Napoca Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Ryan Gray

return on assets) and as much as eight percent in Europe. In Romania, Cluj-based Transilvania Constructii has been the endeavour of the Timofte family for several decades. Set up in the 1950s when it was then known as Trustul de Constructii Cluj, the property investment and development enterprise was privatised in the 1990s before Andrei Timofte became CEO in 2011.


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“Working FOR & WITH …” Over the years, collaborating with different investment companies, like Transilvania Constructii, we managed to build thousands of square meters of production halls and warehouses. Among others the main facade of the D38 warehouse in 2015, the renovation of H1 warehouse facades in 2016, the construction of the steel structures and facades of TRC Park Jucu C1 and C2 warehouses in 2016-2017, the renovation of several existing warehouses and the building of internal partitions and office steel structures in 2017-2018, the construction of the steel structures necessary for Novis Plaza office building in 2018-2019, the construction of steel structures and facades of D39 warehouse in 2019. We couldn’t have achieved all this together, if at the first common work of the two companies, the Investor wouldn’t have given credit to the Builder. After this, there was no need for anything else, “just” know-how, good collaboration with the other construction and installation firms working on the buildings, the realization of expected quality and to keep the deadlines. Compliance with these “simple” expectations, we managed to build a good work relationship with the investors and learn from each other during the mutual work. The efforts and trials in overcoming the obstacles, of which we were exposed during the constructions, confirmed the professional relationship between the companies. In my opinion, this long term cooperation led to the fact, that a firm which worked in the beginning FOR investors turned into a company working FOR & WITH …

“With will, know-how and hard work everything is possible”


CLOSE COLLABORATIONS EVERY real estate developer relies on contractors and other partners to execute projects successfully. FOR Transilvania Constructii, this is no different, as Timofte explains: “In any real estate endeavour, it is important to have a network of suppliers and contractors. “THAT is why, in our company, there is a dedicated procurement and contracts department which deals with situations regarding construction materials, facility equipment, architects and so on. “THIS department receives requests from the development team, and they will actively search and vet potential contractors. Over the years, using an assertive approach to potential partnerships, we have developed a close network of contractors with which we work constantly.”

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“I was lucky to have entrepreneurial parents,” he says. “I really learned a lot from them, and I started working when I was about 18. Transilvania Constructii is a family business and early on I knew I wanted to continue my parents’ hard work. What I like about it is that it is a dynamic and challenging business that allows me to create new projects and help contribute to the development of a city or an area.” The area in question, at least for now, is Cluj-Napoca. Here the company is determined to contribute to a market

with potential and high yielding development opportunities in commercial property and residential buildings. “Cluj is booming at the moment,” Timofte continues, “and I believe this trend will continue because it offers a good quality of life, great education and a qualified workforce.” Although the CEO does point to a few challenges such as rising bureaucracy, finding and keeping skills and increased competition, Transilvania Constructii is operating in a local and national market that is beginning to bounce back strongly from a tough couple of years. Indeed, construction output in Romania increased 34.2 percent in August 2019 compared to the same month in the previous year, with July seeing a record 41 percent year on year growth in overall work volume. In terms of output value, the period 2019 to 2023 is forecast to see an average annual growth of 3.37 percent, the nation’s pipeline of projects worth $25 million or more standing at $103.1 billion as of May 2019. “I believe Romania is now a much more mature market for both the construction and development sector,” Timofte says. “Compared to the Central Eastern Europe region, Romania has some of the best returns for commercial real estate, attracting foreign direct investment and local investment.”

Words from the Founder - Szabo Szabolcs During my years at university, I already started to work at a steel structure manufacturer and building company. So, I soon realised that I like it and that I wanted to work with steel. I started to work at the tendering department, but after a while I was attracted to the construction site work, so I switched because I wanted to learn that too.

methods to be competitive. Our stable relationship with the construction material manufacturers and distributors helps us in this endeavour.

Sustainability As a construction company, we need to rely on the capabilities of our employes and equipments. We are also, like other builders, struggling with the shortage of the skilled workforce. Nowadays it is difficult to find skilled and reliable wokers – it is almost impossible, so our principle is to keep and train our employees. After that, to the existing hard core of employees, we can attach new workers, who will have already have people from whom they can learn the profession. That’s how we can build new worker groups, slowly, but surely. We not only build buildings – we also need to build ourselves, our environment and our company.

After two years of office and three years of on-site construction as employee, I decided to cut my axe into a big tree, at a young age, and I started the construction company called SZILKER. As the first work of the company, we had the opportunity to build a steel structure for a big multinational company in Cluj-Napoca. This happened more than 10 years ago.

A man of words and company of facts “We have to construct the buildings in the way the client wants, because he is the one, who will live, work or produce in it.”

In this challenging work, we are trying to help ourselves with continuous improvements, as well as acquiring new, bigger and more efficient machines.

This simple principle is governing our daily work, because I think it is not enough just to build a building technically well – it must meet the client’s expectations in every way. The constant contact with clients, during the works, contribute to finding appropriate solutions. By working in this way from our first construction work until today, our clients are trusting us and calling us continuously for further works.

Looking ahead We do not know what the future brings, but we are confident and aware of the direction we want to go. The company’s future plans include the expansion of our services and starting the production of the most used accessories by us. I am sure that, with strong will, knowhow and hard work, all of it is possible.

Competitivity Generally, clients are wanting three things from the builder: to be the cheapest, the quickest and the highest quality. Given that these three conditions cannot simultaneously be met, in order to meet clients’ requests, we interpret these expectations as follows: acceptable price for both sides, requested deadline and from the two previous conditions, the possible best quality. The construction market is very active and waving. As a result, we always have to compete with smaller or larger building companies. To be able to overcome them, we need to know exactly both our capabilities and our limits as well. The professional experience and knowhow accumulated over the years are our biggest advantage. The fact that each building has its peculiarities means we need to find the right materials and construction

T +40 745 354 622



TRANSILVANIA CONSTRUCTII CONSTRUCTING CLUJ The company’s own developments reflect the CEO’s observations. Today, Transilvania Constructii owns and manages commercial property, ranging from light industrial warehouses to large logistic hubs, as well as office space. As mentioned, these developments focus on the Cluj-Napoca region, the company currently working on a handful of major projects. The first of these is Novis Plaza, a commercial office complex offering state-of-

A FAMILY VISION ASKED what stands Transilvania Constructii apart in the field of property development in Romania, Timofte cites flexibility towards customer needs and the ability to bring value to their businesses. THIS is encapsulated by the company’s strategy and mission, stated as follows: “TRANSILVANIA Constructii’s main strategy is to carefully mix investment and development activity to increase company value. “OUR purpose is to achieve a steady income stream that covers all our costs and generate high yields from all our investments and developments. “IN order to accomplish this, we follow a cautious and disciplined procedure in selecting properties. Our main focus is on industrial estates. We are constantly extending and modernising our properties to ensure a low vacancy rate. “TENANTS’ needs are most important – that is why we work closely with our tenants to suit their needs of expanding, relocating and re-gearing leases.” 92 | EME Outlook issue 33

the-art working spaces for local businesses. “Recently, we completed Building B of Novis Plaza, which provides around 7,000 square metres of rentable space,” explains Timofte. “At present, Novis Plaza is composed of Building A and B, with a total amount of rentable office space measuring over 14,000 square metres. The general theme of the building is to increase the productivity and creativity of the employees through a mix of facilities dedicated to their wellbeing.” Such facilities include a gym, lounge, games room, oasis terrace, meditation area and e-bikes, the site also fitted with 300 parking spaces, a restaurant and conference centre. Transilvania Constructii’s other main projects focus on the industrial and logistical space in the form of three industrial parks, two of which are situated around Cluj. TRC Park Jucu offers high-quality warehousing, office and parking facilities, the commercial centre proving to be a hit ever since it opened, enjoying a 100 percent occupancy through its first phase. “We are currently expanding TRC Park Jucu with approximately 40,000 square metres of space,” adds Timofte. “This is one of the most important investments made by our company in the Transylvania area, part of the logistics parks network developed under the TRC Parks brand, with the slogan ‘warehouses that work for you’. “The logistics park offers its clients several services and facilities, including class A offices and warehouses, parking spaces for small trucks and cars, 24-seven security with a surveillance camera system, a fully fenced perimeter, outdoor LED lighting, HVAC system, and many others.” TRC Park Jucu is also extremely well located, close to other business hubs, public transport links and Cluj’s international airport. TRC Park Transilvania was the first logistic and industrial project devel-

oped by Transilvania Constructii in the Cluj-Napoca region, again accessible from the city centre and very close to the airport. Opening in 2002, it currently houses over 90 tenants with various requirements – from cold storage and retail to logistics and transportation.

EXPANDING EAST Away from Cluj, the TRC brand has expanded into Bacau, near the border with Moldova. “Our project in Bacau is a premium industrial park with class A warehouses on a seven-hectare land plot,” says Timofte. “It is located in a strategic area in the region near Moldova, perfect for distribution and logistics. It is a greenfield development valued at around €15 million in an underdeveloped area, so we are a pioneer industrial developer here.” Indeed, the eastern region represents a key focus area for the company as it seeks to expand beyond its home territory, the CEO looking to maintain high occupancy rates across the firm’s entire portfolio and increase rent roll by 20 percent in the near future.


Transilvania Constructii has predominantly focussed its projects on Cluj, although the company is now looking to expand in other parts of Romania It is an ambitious target, and one which will not be met without overcoming challenges, especially in the area of skills. “The construction market is facing a huge difficulty in keeping a qualified workforce due to pressure on salaries and worker migration to Western Europe,” Timofte explains. “Because our real estate portfolio is expanding, the need for property management skills has become a challenge. “To respond to this, we have recently implemented a property management strategy. Along with this strategy, we

are actively seeking training and development opportunities for our property managers so they can be up to date with current trends and necessary skills.” Such skills development will be vital in ensuring Timofte and Transilvania Constructii hit their target to successfully develop 40,000 square metres of industrial space in 2020. And given the positive direction Romania’s construction industry appears to be heading in, the CEO concludes about future prospects. He says: “I am optimistic that the

positive trend in the industrial market in Romania will continue. My view is that rents will increase in prime locations from major cities, and yields have the potential to align to the wider Central Eastern European region.”


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Bright People Right Solutions An agile, ever-evolving business, Horizon Gulf has been able to capitalise on the booming prospects provided by Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s rapid economic development with its first-class solutions Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: Ryan Gray


uxurious, prosperous, booming. There are many ways in which Dubai can be described, the city standing as something of an alien metropolis set against the backdrop of the Middle Eastern desert. While much of the United Arab Emirates economic success relies upon the region’s rich oil reserves (crude oil exports accounting for almost $400 billion of the country’s GDP), Dubai instead built its wealth from maritime activities, attracting merchants the world over. Resultantly, the city – previously a modest fishing town in the early 20th century – has become an emblem of global modernity, now home to the continent’s busiest cargo port, the world’s largest economic zone (Jefza), and some of the most iconic architecture around, from floating buildings to the 823-metre-tall Burj Khalifa. “Dubai is famous for its real estate, tourism and innovation,” states local citizen Hazem Fraij. “It’s the world’s known business hub. The leaders of this great

“Our international culture cultivates passionate, talented problem-solvers who deliver within industry-leading teamwork and responsiveness. We provide the right solutions by achieving a deep understanding of our client’s businesses and needs. Our client’s challenges are treated with urgency and respect, and we work relentlessly to meet or exceed their expectations” Hazem Fraij

nation continually strive to develop better living standards for its people, and owed to continual improvement processes there are an abundant array of opportunities.” Indeed, as his comments would suggest, business is buoyant for Fraij. Heading up Horizon Gulf Electromechanical Services LLC as its CEO, this positive regional and wider national climate continues to propel prosperity. Yet this upward trajectory is not new to the company. Established in 1983 as an air conditioning installation and maintenance contracting firm, lucrative developments offered by both Dubai and Abu Dhabi faciliated its transformation into becoming a building services engineering contractor – a niche that it has since thrived in, owed to an agile mindset. “Right now, we execute a range of services including HVAC, plumbing and drainage, firefighting, electrical, fire alarm and low-current systems, and building automation and monitoring systems,” Fraij states. EME Outlook issue 33 | 95

HORIZON GULF ELECTROMECHANICAL SERVICES “We remain adaptable. Continuous review and development allow us to keep pace with the ever-changing demands of the contracting market.”

PROVEN BY PROJECTS Much like any successful engineering company, Horizon’s portfolio provides the best evidence of its reputable offering. To date, the business has performed installations across a vast array of structures, be it villas, hospitals, hotels, palaces, colleges, shopping malls, and residential and office buildings. But for Fraij, one project in particular springs to mind. “Al Jalila Children’s Hospital, the first dedicated children’s hospital in the United Arab Emirates, is one that we’re very proud of,” he states. An ultramodern, 200-bed paediatric hospital standing as the driving force behind tertiary and quaternary care in the region, Horizon Gulf oversaw the supply and installation of all mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP)

HORIZON GULF’S IDEALS Horizon Gulf Electromechanical LLC is a dynamic building services engineering contractor that has grown from simple beginnings into an advanced organisation offering services based on a firm belief that its quality, integrity, honesty and client centric focus set it apart. The company’s culture and desire to provide the highest standards of quality are manifested in its successful certification to Quality Management System – ISO 9001:2015; Environment Management System – ISO 14001:2015; and Occupational Health & Safety Management System – ISO 45001:2018.

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works prior to the facility’s inauguration on November 1, 2016. “The state-of-the-art paediatric medical centre was created under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to affirm his belief that all children should have an equal opportunity for success in life, and the treatment of children suffering from illness or disease should not be subject to geographical chance. “It leverages smart technology and design, houses the first robotic pharmacy in Dubai and a fully automated laboratory, as well as fostering clinical innovations and astute learning and development programmes within its cutting-edge research facilities.” The company is well acquainted with developments of this size and stature, the business also having completed work on iconic buildings such as U-Bora Towers and Shangri-la Hotel in Dubai, as well as Shining Towers and Danet Tower in Abu Dhabi. And owed to the thorough level of excellence completed on each and every job, the company’s pipeline looks equally impressive, powered by its esteemed reputation. “One which stands out is the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority Headquarters Project which is going to be the world’s largest and smartest government building, with zero carbon emissions,” Fraij continues, eluding

Al Jalila Children’s Hospital, Dubai

Debbas For more than a century, Debbas Group has been delivering innovative lighting solutions and services to help designers, architects and engineers create human spaces with greater emotional value to owners and developers. What started in 1910 as a small commercial space in the heart of Beirut soon became a technology and services company, operating out of 22 offices in 12 countries across three continents. Today, Debbas is a renowned international lighting integrator capable of delivering complex projects across the globe. Our team of 500 professionals have executed more than 3,000 projects in over 30 markets.

to this specific project as one of high anticipation. A 20-storey office tower located in Al Jaddaf, Dubai, Horizon Gulf has been employed to deliver 16,500 square metres of photovoltaic solar panels that will enable the building’s self-sufficiency. “These panels will produce 3,500 KWh and provide power to an auditorium with 700 seats, fitness centre,



Debbas Electric LLC Dubai Design District, Building 2, office 112, P.O.Box 30571, Dubai, UAE T +971 4 335 0006 F +971 4 335 32543

outdoor jogging track, 1,500 parking spaces, retail space and associated facilities,” the CEO adds.


Dragon Mart, Dubai

Sharjah City Centre, Sharjah

Indeed, working on a vast array of different projects requires a variety of diversified expertise – something that the business can claim to have cultivated within its expansive workforce. Training is one way in which this is achieved, the organisation placing emphasis on its adept human resource department which oversees effective processes related to training, hiring and talent retention plans. Further, it is hoped that the latter of these three elements will soon become bolstered by Horizon Gulf’s new Dubai headquarters, currently under development, which will accommodate employees and various divisions of the business in one place. “We are proud to take this step as we consider our employees as our assets,” the Chief Exec declares. EME Outlook issue 33 | 97



CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Can you outline the company’s corporate social responsibility practices? HAZEM FRAIJ: “Horizon Gulf understands the expectations of external parties in the community in which we live. “We have collaborated with UAE’s leading environmental NGO, Emirates Wildlife Society, which is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. “Emirates Wildlife Society works in association with WWF, one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with offices in 100 countries. The association is commonly known as EWS-WWF. “Within this, we became involved in an event related to Save the Ocean, of which Horizon Gulf is a proud supporter.”

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“It’s our priority and policy to provide our employees with the best work environment possible. We at Horizon Gulf are looking forward to the completion of this project which will offer improved collaboration and ergonomics.” Workforce-related investments are not the sole priority of Horizon Gulf when it comes to expanding expertise, however. Additionally, the company opts to seize alternate opportunities, investing in certain prospects which have the capacity to both enhance and diversify

its primary MEP business. Here, the company’s standing as an authorised entity for fire safety supply, installation and maintenance works, and plans to open an in-house duct workshop are two prime examples. “Existing local authority regulations related to fire safety products/materials supply and installation and maintenance in projects are watertight,” Fraij reveals in relation to the former. “Due to this there are limited authorized companies in the market whom we used to outsource this scope of work. We understood the market

CONSTRUCTION “I AM HAPPY ABOUT THE DIRECTION OF THE BUILDING ENGINEERING SERVICES INDUSTRY... DUBAI EXPO 2020 IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER, PROVIDING A LOT OF SCOPE FOR SECTORS SUCH AS OURS” increasing revenue and obtaining new projects are primary ambitions in the eyes of Fraij, who also points to the greater management of overheads, supervision and a general improvement of operations and productivity as other key focus areas. And while the firm strives for continual improvement and new factors of differentiation, the market equally provides reason for bullish optimism – the topic of the CEO’s concluding statements. “I am happy about the direction of the building engineering services industry,” he states. “Dubai Expo 2020 is just around the corner, providing a lot of scope for sectors such as ours. “See, any business is a risk. The key is to adapt and evolve as per market conditions. If we effectively follow the basic principles of management and proper risk management, consolidate our short- and long-term planning, and select our clients and suppliers with research and studies, I see no reason for failure. “I’m confident we will always remain relevant in the market.”

Horizon Gulf has played an important role in the development of some of the UAE’s most striking landmarks

requirements and demand and have created an in-house fire safety division to cater this scope of work. “Meanwhile, in the case of the workshop, building materials related to HVAC works are always in high demand in this region, and this facility will serve to cater to both existing and upcoming projects.”

INTERNAL CONFIDENCE, EXTERNAL OPTIMISM These enterprising pursuits, combined with Horizon Gulf’s expert team, sound reputation and professional leadership and cultures, stand the business in good stead to maintain its prosperous outlook for years to come. Looking at the next 12 months,


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A Lebanese

LEGACY A.R. Hourie has been a mainstay in Lebanon’s construction industry for several decades, the firm involved in crucial infrastructure projects and a number of other high-end buildings Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Ryan Gray

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CONSTRUCTION I like to be in the action when the action is at a start,” muses Ramzi Salman, CEO of Lebanese construction firm A.R. Hourie. An industry veteran with decades of experience spanning his home country and the United States, where he was a contractor for eight years, Salman knows better than most the nuances of Lebanon’s building sector. Indeed, his hands-on approach and attention to detail have reverberated through the company he now leads, helping it to navigate the challenging periods and thrive when times are bright. And the present day, in Salman’s eyes, reflects the latter. “If you asked me about the industry here two years ago my answer would certainly have been pessimistic,” he says. “However, the picture now is different. Lebanon is receiving major financial contributions to rebuild its infrastructure, and so there is going to be an influx of projects which we are starting to see emerge” Infrastructure is where the company began carving its stellar reputation, A.R. Hourie almost exclusively executing these kinds of projects when Salman first joined. He recalls: “I spent eight years as a contractor in the US before coming back to Lebanon to join the company’s founder A. R. Hourie in 1994, when the country was undergoing a big afterwar reconstruction programme. “The company was at a point where it needed uplifting or else it would have struggled to survive. When I came back, I opened up the building construction division, adding to the infrastructure and road building expertise that it had been based on previously. “This opened up many opportunities and projects, especially with company headquarters and hospitals, although we continued to work on many important infrastructure developments such as the expansion of the Port of Beirut.” EME Outlook issue 33 | 101

A.R. HOURIE HIGH-END EXPERTISE Salman assumed leadership of A.R. Hourie in 2010 following the passing of A. R. Hourie next to whom he worked for 16 years rebuilding the company and has been determined to honour his legacy ever since. Such endeavours are best showcased by a string of landmark developments such as the Souks of Beirut designed by Raphael Moneo, the Zaytouna Bay designed by Steven Holl, and the latest department store designed by Zaha Hadid, the CMC Hospital

affiliated to Johns Hopkins as well as major headquarters for various banks completed in Lebanon’s capital city, Beirut, the most recent of which being a standout build for First National Bank. This is one of several HQ office projects handed over in recent years for leading financial institutions in the country. “First National Bank is a particularly special example,” Salman says proudly. “This was designed by a prominent architect in Lebanon by the name of Raed Abillamaa and is very much an avant-garde structure.


BKERZAY ECO VILLAGE Completed in 2017, the Bkerzay eco village development is a project that fills Salman with a particular degree of pride. The village is based in the heart of the Chouf region and is an eco-friendly conservation project which aims to preserve the natural beauty of the area. “It is a purpose-built village in the mountains, like an eco-lodge, fitted with hospitality dwellings, two restaurants, a spa and several swimming pools,” Salman adds. “It is also fully green and certified, working on solar power and supporting local craft activities such as artistic pottery, the production of soap, olive oil and honey. “The area is fully preserved with hiking trails and has been very well received – the New York Times recently reported on it and we have international clientele hosting corporate events there. It is what I would define as ecotourism.”

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Derviche Haddad PPB Structures Derviche Haddad has a reputation for quality, reliability and engineering excellence. As part of the international CCL group it provides a complete design, supply and on-site technical assistance services for clients. From feasibility and concept design, through value engineering and detailed structural design to site supervision and construction, Derviche Haddad blends fresh, innovative thinking with the latest ideas and techniques to devise practical, realistic and cost-effective solutions designed to meet the specific needs of the client. Specialisms include: • • • • • • •

Slab solutions Post-tensioning Repair and strengthening Structural bearings Industrial flooring Geotechnical Precast

“The components used are also very high-end and not what you would describe as classic building materials – for example, the tiling inside is made using aggregates that give an industrial appearance. The façade is something special, and the project is sustainable with all the building information management systems in place to monitor things like energy usage.” The project consists of eight basements, a ground floor with landscaped area and 12 floors, with a total built-up area of 18,000 square metres. First National Bank resembles Salman and A.R. Hourie’s strategy to target high-end developments designed by leading architects, as was the case with recent projects for shipping company CMA-CGM, among others. That it is able to do this is thanks to an unrivalled pool of talent that the organisation employs, a deliberate mixture of bright young engineers and industry stalwarts who have been able to pass down their expertise and expe-


STRUCTURAL SOLUTIONS rience gained over many years. “Lebanon is blessed with a high level of education and we are able to find very proficient people in the field of engineering and construction, especially given that the environment has become tougher in recent times across the whole region,” Salman explains. “Our workforce is a mixture of young graduates and experienced heads who have been with us between 20 and 40 years – most are between 25 and 35, and this makes for a very dynamic group. We insist on having a wide mix of people, both in terms of age and also cultures and backgrounds. “While we are a growing company, I want us to retain a family feel to our working environment. I like to call us a small big company in Lebanon.”

DIVERSIFIED Salman’s liking for high-end projects is not to suggest that A.R. Hourie is not still a key player when it comes to infrastructure, however.


A CCL Group Company

The companyAR continues to Insert work78x97mm.indd on outside of Beirut. Diab Magazine 1 9/20/19 15:58 “We recently signed up to this some of the country’s most important developments, not least in the form of development, which involves doubling the circuit of the road over a 10.5-kiloessential roadbuilding activities. metre passage,” Salman continues. For example, the past 10 years have “It is fully financed by the Euroseen it construct a crucial section of pean Investment Bank and is a very the highly anticipated Pan Arab Highway, in particular an eight-lane, 17 kilo- challenging proposition, involving side lanes, overpasses and bridges, metre stretch of motorway between and even the possibility of creating an Namliyeh Bridge in the Bekaa and the upper deck for public transportation. vicinity of the Syrian border. It is a 50-50 joint venture with fellow It should be completed in 30 months and will deliver great benefits as the A1 Lebanese contractor CET, the work expected to be valued at around $300 is currently very congested.” Another interesting project has million once completed. involved streetscaping in the historical “I think it could run for another two part of Beirut, which is mainly the area to five years because there are zones of the project that needed soil consoli- around the parliament building and dation, which required an international the souks. Here, A.R. Hourie has helped to regenerate the area and give it a consultant coming in to study the extent of the work that needed doing,” new lease of life. The country’s national library has Salman adds. “This requires financing also been transformed; the old Ottoand could take time.” man building being converted into Another vital highway project is the a state-of-the-art facility in a project A1 road, dubbed the Jounieh highway financed by the state of Qatar. the heaviest traffic road in Lebanon, EME Outlook issue 33 | 103


Beirut North Souks Department Store


Le Yacht Club, Zaitunay Bay

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Outside of Lebanon, A.R. continues to build on the inroads made since it decided to spread further afield in 2015. This was a time when the home market suffered a steep and rapid decline, a period which necessitated the move into international markets (Dubai, Ivory Coast and Cyprus) in order to spread risk across a wider portfolio. In Dubai, A.R. Hourie has AED 220 million ($60 million) of work in the pipeline, much of this being in the area of high-end residential developments and light commercial projects such as fuel retail stations and small community malls. Beyond this it has contracts secured for a school project and company headquarters.


Lebanese National Library

Pan Arab Highway, Mdeirej-Chtaura-Taanayel “We have also taken our first project in the Ivory Coast,” adds Salman. “This was financed by the World Bank and involves the clean-up of a lake in San-Pedro – we expect this will be delivered in January 2020. In Abidjan, we have just been awarded a project to build a water channel of 28 metres in width which is valued at around $30 million and will begin before the end of 2019.

“Our next big move will come in Cyprus, where there is a lot of demand for high-rise buildings. We were just awarded a 30-story tower on the front corniche of Limassol” By spreading risk across different markets, Salman and A.R. Hourie are safeguarding the future of the business for decades to come, and although triggered at a time when the Lebanese market was suffering, the

turnaround in fortunes over the past two years leaves the CEO all the more optimistic about the future. He concludes: “Despite the great economical difficulties that Lebanon is going through, I feel bullish about the next five to six years. Even thought the competition is very tough, we are able to compete on the foreign markets and have a long legacy and reputation to draw on. “The private sector is more difficult, but we will continue to bid for highend projects and believe our reputation will allow us to take our share of these developments over the next few years. We deliver projects on time, on budget and with very few snags.”

A.R. HOURIE Tel: +961 1 619 619

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Aerial view of the Cargo City project in Budapest

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Can-do Contracting With an eye for competitive contracting and a nous for operational excellence, Synergy Construct’s operations spanning Romania, Hungary and Georgia are on the rise. Savas Günata, Managing Partner, tells its story Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: Ryan Gray


he European Union has experienced a host of adaptations during its prolonged 70-year evolution. But its primary purpose remains the same today as the one laid out during the aftermath of the Second World War – to turn Europe into a creative force of collaboration in order to promote peace and inclusion, economic, scientific and economic development, and environmental protection. Indeed, modern grievances with the EU have been well cited during the turbulent Brexit period, be it a perceived lack of transparency of the organisation or the astronomical costs involved with membership. Its advantages, however, are equally prominent, with many countries having benefitted in everything from greater consistency in human rights and improved food standards to enhanced continental competition and collective protection. Indeed, Romania is one such country that has harnessed the fruits of the EU, even prior to its admission in 2007, and Synergy Construct is a perfect example as to why. “Having spent much of my career as a civil engineering professional, myself











and my colleague Huseyin Karali set up Synergy Construct in Romania in 2001,” explains Savaş Günata, Co-Managing Partner of the organisation. “The country at this time was seeking acceptance into both NATO and the European Union, and because of this foreign direct investment (FDI) exploded.” Indeed, the statistics back up Günata’s claims. Between 2000 and 2004, FDI into Romania grew 600 percent, reaching $13.6 billion, and by 2006 it accounted for roughly 30 percent of national GDP. “I guess you could say we were in the right place at the right time,” he muses, pointing to the surge in infrastructural opportunities that came with this surging economy – opportunities that the company was ideally positioned to capitalise upon. Starting out from scratch as a fitouts contractor, Synergy Construct rode Romania’s economic tailwinds (national GDP growth reaching 8.4 percent by 2004) and quickly consolidated a sound reputation, transitioning into a multifaceted entity providing sustainable building solutions throughout the commercial, industrial and public sectors. EME Outlook issue 33 | 107


“By 2008, our annual turnover had reached €120 million in the Romanian market, making Synergy one of the top three such contractors in the country during that time,” Günata adds, pointing to the firm’s undoubted pedigree and astronomical growth. Indeed, like many businesses around the world, the global financial crisis of 2008 placed a strain on the enterprise during the early stages of this century’s second decade. More recent times, however, have facilitated an upturn in fortunes, the company on track to return to the same lofty heights it reached in the pre-crash era with global revenues forecast at €110 million this year. “Our pipeline comprises of approximately €140 million worth of projects, and we’re on track to see 25 to 30 percent growth during 2020,” Günata 108 | EME Outlook issue 33

Savas Günata, Managing Partner

affirms. “There’s certainly reason for optimism.”

INTERNATIONAL INSPIRATION Much of Synergy’s current success derives from cross-border expansions, the firm having capitalised on new opportunities in Georgia and more recently Hungary. Having attempted to established itself in Libya roughly 11 months prior to the outbreak of the 2011 civil war, the firm was forced to withdraw before setting its sites on other ambitions in Ukraine, acting as the partner for the HVCV works on the country’s new airport, and Georgia, working on an energy-related EPC project being carried out by Siemens. “In regard to the latter, we were invited for the civil works tender and won,” Günata states. “Since then, we’ve maintained our presence in

Georgia and last year expanded into Hungary, acknowledging the country’s demands for experienced contractors. Securing its first project, the business launched a local subsidiary in the form of Synergy Hungary Kft – an entity that has gone from strength to strength in the 18 months since its inception. “We’re anticipating this division will account for more than half our annual revenue for 2019,” the Managing Partner reveals, “owed to contracts including the Cargo City Project Forwarder Facility that we’re working on at Budapest Airport.” This entails the design and construction of a warehouse with an office mezzanine and three-storey office block, the facility (roughly spanning 12,000 square metres in total) set to help absorb the 39 percent increase in cargo traffic that the airport has experienced in recent years. “This will be delivered by the year’s end,” Günata continues. “Further, we’ve also been working with thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions in Tiszaújváros, Hungary, assisting on the delivery of a €1.2 billion polyether polyol production plant for national oil and gas giant MOL. “We’ve been employed to undertake the construction side of the EPC works in what will become a crucial oil and gas facility for the country. It’s been quite a challenge dealing with the strict milestones and conditions of this project, but overcoming these has only served to improve our standards in relation to quality assurance and quality control.” Accompanying these two flagship developments, Synergy has also been working with Enayati on the design and construction of the Revera Medical City – set to become Romania’s largest private medical centre at 35,000 square metres in total – and recently secured repeat business with Procter & Gamble off the back of the completion of an 8,000 square metre production facility in Bucharest back in 2010.


SYNERGY’S SPONSORSHIP PROGRAMMES Social responsibility is a crucial part of Synergy Construct’s operations, the company having recently sponsored female tennis star Mihaela Buzarnescu, taking a leading role in supporting her continued development. “The sponsorship has to date spanned the Miami Open and Dubai ITF in 2019, as well as Wimbledon,” explains Günata, “and we’ll continue to support her into next year’s competitions including Wimbledon again.”

all about air We successfully operate on the Romanian market of air conditioning and ventilation systems, becoming with our customers and suppliers backing, one of the market leaders in the field. Pericle Papahagi Street, No. 10-14, Bucharest. Tel/fax: +4021 345 41 10/ 62 | E-mail:

In addition, the company supports numerous orphanages across Romania, helping to provide disadvantaged children with a better start in life than they otherwise would have had.

“It is this diverse selection of references that differentiates us,” the Managing Partner declares. “We have a very wide remit – except for motorways and tunnels, we’re able to undertake almost any EPC project in a host of European countries.”

MAINTAINING MOMENTUM ON MULTIPLE FRONTS Owed to this expansive pipeline, Synergy’s upward trajectory is assured. In order to maintain the curve, the firm is investing in both state-of-theart equipment and its human resource base, enhancing its existing capabilities and productive capacity in order to cater to any further demands. Such is most evident in Hungary – a country where the firm has experienced unprecedented growth. “Given the fact that we weren’t even in Hungary two years ago, we’ve understandably faced a multitude of challenges,” Günata affirms. “We’ve recently been working on structural

optimisations, however, and beginning 2020 will roll out a significant HR investment policy. “We’ve recently held talks with the University of Civil Engineering in Budapest in line with this – we hope to develop relations with educational institutions to provide us with the opportunity to help nurture some of the country’s best talent in the near future.” These efforts form just one major part of Synergy’s three-pronged strategy for the future, the company also casting a close eye over oil and gas and energy-related EPC contracts in new markets. “We recognise that it’s a major challenge to establish presence in new markets; that it requires a lot of patience, investment and energy,” Günata continues. “But we feel this space is particularly promising, and we’re hoping for it to become an even more exciting part of our future through 2020.

“Thirdly, we’ll be looking to develop more of our own projects in Romania. We’re currently working on some highend residential buildings in northern Bucharest, but it’s an area we’re looking to pursue more actively and aggressively in the near-term.” Cultivating new ambitions on multiple fronts, Synergy’s diversified approach is likely to prove fruitful in enabling the firm to achieve its overriding goal of meeting 25-30 percent growth, not just for 2020, but for each following year. Only time will tell of course, but right now, the future looks bright for the business.

SYNERGY CONSTRUCT Tel: +36202652749

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Brighter For BuroHappold Engineering Middle East MD Andrea Scotti, collaboration, connectivity and creativity are crucial to the success of modern, innovative undertakings in today’s built environment


Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: Ryan Gray I have been captivated by the construction industry for as long as I can remember. “Large infrastructure projects such as major bridges and dams have always fascinated me because of their intrinsic conceptual simplicity and their large scale and impact. “What I’ve found to be interesting, however, is that the more I studied and practiced engineering, the more I realised that the technical aspects of all projects are at the same time the most complicated and least complex element of overall efforts. “All engineering challenges are fantastically complicated. Yet, for me, the real complexities lie in the interdependencies between several different aspects of the design, planning, use, and impact of any project.” Leaving full time higher education with two master’s degrees and a notable respect for the vast multitude of niche verticals comprising the built environment, Andrea Scotti embarked on an ambitious career in 2004, securing his first job with international, integrated engineering consultancy BuroHappold Engineering. Looking back 15 years later, it’s safe to say that this calling has proven to be something of a perfect fit.


BUROHAPPOLD ENGINEERING BuroHappold Engineering was launched in Bath, UK, in 1976, the business built on the back of the vision of well-respected engineering and lecturer Ted Happold and his fellow founding partners. Starting out in a modest UKbased office thereafter, the company has since grown to be an international, integrated engineering consultancy, providing a range of engineering design, professional consultancy and advisory services. Today, the company’s footprint spans 23 locations worldwide, its growth propelled and upheld by its 60 partners and 1,700 employees that include some of the world’s leading consulting engineers.

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ATTURAIF LIVING MUSEUM PROJECT LOCATION: Ad-Diriyah, Saudi Arabia CLIENT: Arriyadh Development Authority DETAILS: Restoration of 58-acres of ruins to the UNESCO site of cultural significance, including the construction of 14 new museums and 20 outdoor multimedia shows

Now positioned as the organisation’s Middle East Managing Director, Scotti’s own expertise as a development enabler match up with BuroHappold’s pragmatic approach to solving the most complex challenges of the built environment, the company flexibly delivering value to its client’s time and time again via an emphasis on ownership. “BuroHappold is a partnership. Not many other organisations in the industry are like us,” Scotti explains. “This structure ensures that every development we are involved with and every relationship we have is ultimately led by an owner of the company – an element that brings a markedly different approach to everything we do. “For us, it is personal. We really make sure that everything hinges on close working relationships within our teams and with our clients and collaborators.”

A PROVEN PORTFOLIO A philosophy that’s become entwined with a broad reach spanning Asia, India, the Middle East, Europe, the UK and United States, the enterprise has successfully nurtured an ideal balance between global pre-eminence and local knowledge within each of the markets that it operates. The firm’s emphasis on connectivity underpins this two-pronged approach, recognising the merits of collaboration, cooperation and communication between its network of branches. “We’re spread globally but are still agile enough to be fully connected with each other,” Scotti affirms. “There is virtually no project that is delivered by a single office in isolation from the rest of the practice. We have managed to maintain a really impressive internal, informal harmony that allows us to always deploy the best resources and knowhow available to any project around the world.” Indeed, there are countless developments which showcase the successes of BuroHappold’s modus operandi, Scotti himself calling upon a select few 112 | EME Outlook issue 33


Andrea Scotti, Middle East Managing Director

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highlights in the Middle East including the company’s involvement in the Atturaif Living Museum Project. Once the seat of governance of the House of Saud, Atturaif was abandoned in 1818 when the Ottomans seized the city, the historic political epicentre gradually deteriorating over the next near-two centuries. In 2007, however, BuroHappold was appointed to lead an integrated team of architects, engineers, restoration consultants, quantity surveyors and contractors to revive the 58-acre site – an undertaking which it achieved with the highest levels of client satisfaction. Outlining the company’s diverse expertise, Scotti also goes on to point to its role in the design and delivery of the Museum of the Future in Dubai – a structure that has quickly become one of the continent’s most iconic buildings – as well as the part it played in the completion of similarly infamous Louvre Abu Dhabi, Future Riyadh and

Tuwaiq Palace. “There’s so much to choose from,” he states, before citing similar optimism about the firm’s future project pipeline. “It has never been more exciting. We’re eyeing up everything from paradigm-defining cultural work in the UAE to planning and consulting work in Saudi Arabia and a number of other opportunities in Kuwait.”

DIVERSITY-DRIVEN COLLABORATION Indeed, BuroHappold’s own expertise as a development enablement specialist have been and will continue to be paramount in each and every one of its project successes. Yet so too have its partners, contractors, vendors and suppliers, the company rarely understating the importance of these entities and their individual skillsets. “They are of key importance to what

we do,” Scotti declares. “In order to develop cradle-to-grave solutions for any client, we really rely on a web of trusted collaborators whom we can call upon for the right opportunities. As I have said before, developments are generally very complex and only a cooperative and flexible effort between planners, consultants, engineers, contractors, economists, lawyers and so on can tackle such complexities. “We would definitely miss a large component of the added value in what we deliver without those partners and collaborators.” Similar respect is also paid to the firm’s 1,700-strong workforce. Readily positioned as a champion of transformation across a vast range of segments within the built environment, Scotti pays homage to both the firm’s expert team itself and the firm’s overriding emphasis on diversity as two key facets of its long-term success. EME Outlook issue 33 | 113





DETAILS: Development and delivery of the structure’s iconic torus shape, leveraging a collaborative BIM environment to develop bespoke scripts and optimise its structural integrity

“Our company was founded on Ted Happold’s idea that “the best work is done by the most diverse group of talents who can still work together”, and we are really making sure that this is delivered in all of our teams,” he affirms, pointing to his Middle East team as a prime example. “We invest heavily in the progression of our employees and have several development programmes supporting the wellbeing of our people, ensuring no one is ever isolated.”

reveals. “Likewise, we actively engage with the communities in which we operate through charitable outreach programmes.” In the case of the latter, BuroHappold’s Share Our Skills initiative is one that is particularly inspirational. Empowering its employees to carry out charitable work during regular working hours, the company is able to facilitate numerous activities across both international communities in Africa, Asia and South America and those nearby to its local offices. “Our Los Angeles team works with the likes of Homeboy Inc, Los Angeles Eco Village and Our Foods to address numerous sustainable development issues such as criminal justice, affordable housing, and sustainable food supplies, for example,” Scotti states. “Further, the company also has a long history of supporting the Happold Foundation – a charity dedicated to using engineering skills and experience to make a positive impact on people’s lives – and contributes two


TUWAIQ PALACE OCATION: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia CLIENT: Arriyadh Development Authority DETAILS: Design and delivery of the building’s architectural concept, comprising a central building that anchors five tents within its curves, each housing luxurious accommodation facilities and amenities

These admirable, responsible attitudes are not limited to the company’s internal operations, the firm able to say the same about its societal efforts as its employee practices in the way of wellbeing. “We embrace mutual responsibility and understand that a sustainable future is pivotal to the economic and social impact of our work,” Scotti 114 | EME Outlook issue 33




A NEW ERA Looking to the future, these corporate social investment initiatives are expected to grow thanks to the wider trajectory of the whole business. Right now, BuroHappold is flourishing, further reflected by its increasing emphasis on the application of technology. “Here, we are taking a relatively unique approach,” Scotti explains. “We’ve decided to invest in having 100 percent digital literacy across all levels of the company, pushing for everyone, from partners to consultants to technicians, to be able to manipulate and understand code. “We believe that only once this has been achieved will we be able to achieve a proper transformation in the way we interact with the rest of the industry.” Proactivity to this end will stand BuroHappold in good stead when it comes to capitalising on technology, a segment of the industry that the Middle East MD believes is poised to explode in the coming years. “It’s an exciting time,” he affirms. “Construction is deeply influenced by modularisation and rapid digital prototyping. Engineering and architecture are finally leveraging the power of collaborative digital platforms, facility management is being pushed by new technology into more coherent and predictive elements, the real estate market is ready for a complete shift to online secure transactions, and we have started harnessing data in everything we do – plan, design, build and operate.” Achieving digital literacy is just one of two key priorities for the company moving forward, however, the other being the pursuit of a renewed struc-


FUTURE RIYADH LOCATION: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia CLIENT: Riyadh Municipality DETAILS: The development of a plan to futureproof the socioeconomic development of Riyadh, examining factors such as emerging trends, spatial developments and residential aspirations to deliver improvements including enhanced air and water quality


percent of its net profits in Mumbai to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund which provides immediate relief to the families of those affected by natural disasters such as floods, cyclones and earthquakes.”

“AFTER A FEW YEARS OF EXTREME COMPETITIVE PRESSURE IN THE MIDDLE EAST, I AM NOW EXTREMELY CONFIDENT ABOUT THE DIRECTION OF THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY” tural model in an attempt to create a net-zero carbon culture, both internally on its operations and externally on its projects. All elements combined, the coming years will no doubt consist of a period of great change for the enterprise. Yet Scotti and his team remain optimistic, owed to the buoyant direction that the

industry is beginning to take. He concludes: “After a few years of extreme competitive pressure in the Middle East, I am now extremely confident about the direction of the construction industry. The right developments are now being planned by the right clients, with the right intent and the right funding. “It is quite refreshing to see, and more and more, quality of the final product is the key driver for decisions. Our industry has grown in its knowledge, practices and behaviours, and it’s good to witness this evolution and be part of its continuous improvement.”

BUROHAPPOLD ENGINEERING Tel: +971 (0) 4 518 4000

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FULFILLING A VISION Mazoon Dairy embodies technological innovation and economic diversification, positioned as a leading light for Oman’s Vision 2040 Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: Matthew Selby

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man’s admission to the World Trade Organisation almost two decades ago marked a crucial milestone in the country’s history; a fundamental symbol of national progression. Oman has been highly dependent on its extensive oil reserves in recent years. And, to an extent, this is still the case, the hydrocarbon sector contributing 35.5 percent of GDP in 2018. Yet a stark shift has begun to emerge since the latter part of the 20th century, emphasised by the Sultanate’s WTO admission, owed to the government’s emphasis on liberalising, privatising and modernising the country in numerous ways. Indeed, it has been a gradual process – such a monumental transition wasn’t ever going to happen overnight. But the country is heading in the right direction and will continue to pursue a similar roadmap of achieving development while upholding the country’s rich cultures and histories. Somewhat unsurprisingly, economic diversification is a critical part of this vision. Forming one of Vision 2040’s 13 priority areas, widespread progress has already been made, the country’s manufacturing, tourism, logistics, mining and agriculture industries all having taken major strides. And in the case of the latter, Mazoon Dairy stands as a perfect example. “Mazoon Dairy is a first of its kind project in Oman, both in terms of size and scale,” explains Dr Arjun Subramanian, the organisation’s CEO. “The company, set up using OMR100 million ($260 million) provided by the Oman Food Investments Holding Company and other investment funds, has a single-minded goal of supporting the Sultanate’s mission to build a national food security programme. “We aim to do this by bringing honest and quality dairy and juice EME Outlook issue 33 | 117


Aerial view of Mazoon Dairy’s facility in Oman products to the people of Oman, and today are close to fulfilling this vision as our technologically advanced, fully-integrated fairy company based in As’Sunainah takes shape.”

REPOSITIONING OMAN With such astronomical sums invested, it may come as no surprise that Mazoon Dairy’s esteemed site has become one of the most technologically advanced in the region. The dairy farm houses not only the cowherd (currently 3,500 strong), but equally a 50,000-square-metre fully-integrated centralised processing plant and dairy facility, equipped with a state-of-the-art automated milking parlour and chilling and storage facilities. “We’ve implemented stringent quality controls which require zero human intervention,” Subramanian adds. “Meanwhile, an integrated bottle production unit will also produce the required packaging materials inhouse to ensure that the quality of our produce is monitored and maintained from start to finish.” In every sense, Mazoon Dairy is set to completely transform Oman’s dairy industry. 120 | EME Outlook issue 33

MAZOON DAIRY’S MISSION Mazoon Dairy is the largest integrated dairy project in the Sultanate of Oman. As the flagship dairy business set up under the aegis of the National Food Security initiative, its objective is to support the Sultanate’s mission to build a national food security programme by: • Improving self-sufficiency in dairy production in the Sultanate of Oman. • Improving the per capita consumption of milk, focusing on the nutritional wellbeing of children. • Stimulating an environment for food manufacturing with high quality systems. • Developing skills in food manufacturing. • Generating local employment and SME opportunities. Mazoon recently launched its first dairy product in Oman in October 2019, barely 24 months after the stone laying ceremony in 2017. The nationwide launch was well-received and is in line with Oman’s strategy to achieve self-sufficiency in the food sector and produce farm fresh dairy available to customers a few hours after production. The factory has the capacity to produce one million litres of dairy products per day. Mazoon’s wide array of products include fresh milk, long life milk, flavoured milk, yoghurt, laban, ice cream, cheese and juices that will eventually reach consumers across the GCC region. The company is ISO 9001:2015, ISO 22000:2018, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2017 compliant, ensuring these high-quality products are comparable to global standards.


man based Al Adrak Trading & Contracting Company is in the news currently for delivery in record time of its prestigious Mazoon Dairy project. The project spread across a 16 SqKm greenfield houses the integrated facility for farms and world class central processing plant. Since inception in1986, with consistent hard work, dedication and an eye for the future, Al Adrak has been transformed into an award- winning, internationally recognized integrated engineering and construction services firm. Today with an orderbook that tops $1 billion globally and an operational footprint that covers the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, the company is well-positioned for strong growth domestically as well as internationally. Dr. Thomas Alexander, CED underpins his stellar growth story with a simple theory on ‘Responsibility’. “Being responsible to those you belong to is a simple but powerful statement to make, whether be it the customers, financial institutions, vendors, employees, family or the country we operate in. All these years I have kept the promise intact and which is why today Al Adrak is one of the most trusted and valued brand in the industry”. We have driven in deep to understand how the organization especially in the crude construction sector, has evolved so finely and posting consistent results, especially in a segment where majority of the players are in red. The answer lies in adopting its founder’s simple theory of being responsible and embracing latest technologies in construction and surprisingly in Information Technology. Al Adrak brings to the table unmatched competencies in civil, electrical, mechanical and infrastructural engineering across all sectors, backed by top-flight EPC and

project management expertise. Its forte lies in delivering end-to-end solutions that respond to the today’s client needs, especially quick delivery. Al Adrak’s Indian arm is currently delivering projects in the power and hospitality sector and its UAE arm is setting up the base at Dubai to offer turnkey construction solutions to the highly competitive market. Apart from diversifying into outside markets, the group has venture into real estate development projects in partnership with Government and private investment agencies as well. The flagship Housing Project in partnership with Ministry of Housing and Supreme council for Planning in Oman is set to transform the Housing Sector by providing world class design and facilities to the masses at an affordable range. Al Adrak group is focusing currently in the development of Hotels & Resorts, having on board a team having extensive experience with renowned hotel brands is developing such properties across the GCC and India with a basket of designers and operators on board. The project right from feasibility to detailed design and construction is handled by the Adrak group of companies, which shows its exposure to the industry and one stop service ensures cost effectiveness and a better engineering. Al Adrak is gradually positioning itself in the niche markets of technically challenging sectors like hotels, hospitals, data centers and smart housing complexes, holding true to its core values.

Post Box 1840, P.C.130, Al Azaiba, Sultanate of Oman


MAZOON DAIRY Right now, roughly 30 percent of dairy products consumed in Oman are locally produced. Yet this has the potential to increase these proportions drastically during the course of the next decade, and Mazoon Dairy has ambitions plans to contribute to this bold target. “By 2028, we’re hoping to drive national self-sufficiency up to 86 percent,” the CEO states, “expanding the size of our cowherd to 25,000 in the process. “We are honest, open, friendly and passionate about the future of this country. We are more than just a new consumer brand on the shelves. Our goal is to position Oman as a regional hub for high quality food products.”

COMBINING LOCAL KNOWLEDGE AND INTERNATIONAL EXPERTISE Subramanian is not blind to the sheer size of the job that the firm has tasked itself with. However, he remains entirely confident in the company’s ability to meet its targets, pointing to the close working relationships that it has formulated with key strategic partners and vendors as a key reason for this. Here, the Chief Exec references a contract signed with global packaging specialist Tetra Pak that will ensure the supply and installation of all its dairy processing equipment, as well as its work with Saudi Arabia’s ARTAT – an organisation facilitating the provision of livestock feed mixing equipment.

THE BRAND STORY Mazoon Dairy’s brand is built on proudly Omani principles, telling a passionate story of national growth and development. This has been reflected in its visual identity that aims to showcase a vibrant, progressive and dynamic society. The goal is to transfer knowledge of what is needed to live a healthy and active life, leveraging expertise to create a powerful brand synonymous with wholesome and fresh dairy products. The company also provides fertile ground for budding dairy farming, production and sales professionals to explore a new challenging working world as a result. This responsibility is taken seriously, its 400-plus staff, considered to be crucial assets to the business, providing with coherent opportunities to help them prosper and grow.

Technica When Dr. Arjun was presenting his dream project of building a complete dairy to cater for the needs of Oman, we could feel the passion behind the dream. Dr. Arjun has been working on his dream project for five years, and finally it has come to reality. Technica is proud and honoured to have contributed to the achievement and the success of this dream project. Technica’s contribution extended to all the packaging lines and the full automation of the factory. 1. Crate and pallet washing and distribution. Crates coming from the market are de-palletised by robot and fed to a washer; crates are inspected and distributed automatically to the point of use in the factory. This way Mazoon will ensure high quality crates for packaging with no defects and will eliminate the traffic of forklifts and labour inside the plant. 2. Complete bottling lines for milk and juice. The bottling lines are fully automated with no operators required on the line till the warehouse. This way Mazoon ensures a hygienic environment and zero contamination of the product while reducing the operating costs. 3. Complete cup lines for yogurt. Technica supplied the new innovative compact packer, (3 in 1). This compact packer packs the cups in trays, the trays in crates and the crates on pallet in a single, low-cost machine. Mazoon will thus increase the OEE of the plant and reduce its investment. Mazoon requested a state-of-the-art, fully automated lines, and this is what Technica installed at the Mazoon dairy plant.

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Teknoice Mazoon Dairy’s production includes a full range of ice cream products: Teknoice – thanks to its strong and long experience – has been able to provide all the necessary equipment. From cups filling to stick products, Omani people have now the chance to find on the shelves a big variety of ice creams. The cooperation between the two leading companies ensures quality and efficiency: this allows Mazoon Dairy to grow constantly, with Teknoice able to offer tailored solutions to any new need or market request.

“The former agreement includes milk reception and storages, tanks, homogenisation and pasteurisation machines, as well as refrigeration and other utility requirements,” he explains. “Meanwhile, our work with ARTAT will ensure we receive high-quality feed that improves and increases the performance of livestock and production efficiency.” Standing as two of the firm’s flagship partnerships with international players, Mazoon equally places great emphasis on involving the broader Omani business community, also considering local firms as being of huge importance to its success. “We want to be a catalyst for generating business growth and prosperity for hundreds of Omani businesses and suppliers and create partnership opportunities for Omani companies,” Subramanian affirms. In the way of its employment practices, a similar approach is taken. Here, the firm opts to maintain diversity across its workforce by balancing its commitment to improving the future of the region with the international expertise required to get off to a flying start. Subramanian continues: “Currently, roughly half of all our 400 staff are Omani, and we plan to grow this in the coming months. “We believe it is our responsibili124 | EME Outlook issue 33

ty to create attractive employment opportunities for talented Omanis in the dairy sector and empower them to lead the country towards self-sufficiency.”

GATHERING MOMENTUM This belief in local business and people is also translated into Mazoon’s community-centred efforts, the organisation giving back to Omani society in a number of other ways. Initiatives under this remit include a strategic partnership with Sultan Qaboos University in which the firm uses facilities for the research and development of new products while engaging with staff and students, providing something of a win-win relationship. “We are engaged in encouraging an active lifestyle as well,” Subramanian reveals, “helping people of all ages, especially school children, to maintain their health by adding fresh dairy to their daily diets. “Waste to energy bio-gas systems and processing technologies that conserve water usage are also an area of interest for us at the moment, helping to reduce our carbon footprint and enhance our practices in the way of sustainability.” Encompassing everything from technological excellence to grassroots efforts, Mazoon Dairy is poised to not

only embrace but in many ways facilitate the vast changes that the country will experience in the coming years. Having just completed its grand entry into the market, Subramanian’s own excitement speaks volumes of the monumental role that the business will begin to play as its operations ramp up moving forward. “We’re optimistic that our locally-produced products will comparable to the best in the world,” he states. “With the momentum provided for national food security, Oman could soon find itself as a production and technology hub for quality food systems.”

MAZOON DAIRY Tel: +968 2251 6611





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Romania’s FMCG

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FOOD & DRINK Macromex has positioned itself to take advantage of the massive opportunity in front of Romania’s frozen food market, the company priding itself on innovation and quality across its operations Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Matthew Selby


rozen food is big business in Europe. Worth around $70 billion in 2018, the industry is forecast to grow by another $18.9 billion between 2019 and 2023, or four percent annually. Convenience, affordability and extended shelf lives are all major reasons why this FMCG category is worth tens of billions of dollars continent-wide, consumers and commercial operators turning to the freezer to supplement their fresh grocery purchases. However, in Romania, unlike the majority of nations in Central and Western Europe, the benefits associated with frozen food are yet to be fully exploited. Romanian consumers spend on average just €17 ($18.85) a year on frozen food, compared to €133 ($147) in the UK. In terms of per capita consumption, the 0.8 kilos of frozen produce eaten annually in Romania is among the lowest in Europe, well behind the likes of France (10.5 kilos), Hungary (7.4 kilos) and Slovakia (1.1 kilos). The opportunity to grow the segment is therefore enormous, and for frozen food leader Macromex, exciting times lie ahead. “The development of new segments is another opportunity,” comments Albert Davidoglu, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. “Non-dairy milk products, vegan products, frozen bread and pastry, and ready meals are among the areas we see room to grow. “Busy lifestyles mean people have less time for cooking, while groups such as millennials also value socialising with friends and convenience – these are all social demographic trends influencing our sector.” Davidoglu’s observations are made with 20 years of FMCG experience behind them. Having worked for Unilever for 13 of those years before joining Macromex in 2012, he has worked across numerous subcategories such as detergents, cosmetics and food, the industry offering him the opportunity to fulfil all his career ambitions and develop as a leader. EME Outlook issue 33 | 127

MACROMEX “I think this sector chose me,” he quips. “Being dynamic and always on the move, this way of working fits me very well, and Unilever gave me the opportunity to learn, to develop myself and to meet great leaders. “I decided to move on to a different path when I realised that I must develop my entrepreneurship skills, and moving to a Romanian business was the best way of doing this. Looking back, after seven years, I think it was one of the best decisions I have made.”

RAPID FREEZE Indeed, Davidoglu is helping to lead Macromex’s ambitious and rapid expansion strategy. Today it is a multifaceted business which delivers more than 50,000 tonnes of frozen (85 percent) and refrigerated (15 percent) products

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around Romania annually, equivalent to 120,000 pallets and 4.4 million kilometres of mileage covered by its 100-plus trucks. Its 22 product categories include frozen vegetables, meat, fish, ready meals, cheese and ice cream across 15 brands, its own being Edenia, Corso, La Strada, Azuris and Casa Gruia. These are produced and distributed by 490 employees out of its three major facilities – the Macromex HQ in Bucharest, distribution centre just outside of the Romanian capital and warehouse in Campia Tuzii, near Cluj, the latter site being home to the tallest frozen warehouse bay in Europe at 43 metres. “For 25 years, Macromex has been the industry leader for frozen food products,” Davidoglu says. “The expertise, the passion to always be one step ahead, the

professionalism of the entire team, the product quality, the courage to take risks and the quick response to market opportunities have led the company to a steady and sustained development.” For Davidoglu, the time has come to turbocharge this development journey. “Our objective is to double earnings by 2023 by quickly growing our key brands Edenia, Corso and La Strada,” he continues, “as well as growing our bakery and ice cream categories, and the hotel, restaurant and catering channel by improving customer service based on an investment of €15 million ($16.64 million) in new trucks, digitalisation and a new warehouse.” Edenia has been a particularly successful brand for Macromex in the past two years, with new products such as smoothies, pizza and an Asian food


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range all proving popular and targeted for further growth. In terms of geographic expansion, Davidoglu reveals that the company is already selling into nearby Central Eastern European countries such as Hungary, Bulgaria and Moldova, these markets served though own distribution and (or) logistics partners.

INVESTING IN QUALITY The secret to Macromex’s ongoing growth in fortunes, in Davidoglu’s view, is its power to turn new ideas into reality, using its vertical integration as a marketing and distribution company to its advantage. “Our mission is to offer consumers a superior experience by giving them access to innovative products of impeccable quality,” he says. “In everything we do we focus on innovation, constant quality and healthy living. “Our desire to offer the best has naturally resulted in the development

Albert Davidoglu, CEO, Macromex has 20 years of FMCG experience

of some very successful brands in Romania. The reputation and strength of these brands are proof that Macromex is today a benchmark in the industry. We measure our performance through our position and market share, through the reputation of our brands and those of our partners, but, most importantly, through the value we bring to our consumers’ lives.” Such benchmarking would not be possible without sustained investment in technology and people. The aforementioned distribution centre at Campia Tuzii, as well as standing at 43 metres in height, is fitted out with state-of-the-art pick by voice and warehouse management systems, digital solutions which enable it to handle 3,000 pallets a day across a temperature range of four to -24 degrees Celsius. The new warehouse mentioned by Davidoglu, Corso Distribution Centre, will replace the existing facility near EME Outlook issue 33 | 129



SHARING IN SUCCESS Macromex relies on a series of partnerships up and down its operations in order to function and succeed on a daily basis. From partner brands and ingredients suppliers to equipment experts and financial backers, Davidoglu is quick to recognise the important role they collectively play, highlighting how the business seeks to share its success with all involved in its supply chain. He comments: “We have long-term relationships with all our partners, and product and service providers. Once we decide to start a common business together, we make a commitment to deliver the agreed plan.”

Macromex’s HQ in Bucharest and will have a capacity of 10,000 pallets, an investment that will cost €12.8 million ($14.2 million) – a combination of inhouse funds and financing from Alpha Bank Romania. This will deliver what the CEO describes as important synergies within the organisation, thus improving operational efficiency and work productivity. “We have extended the technology and digitisation initiative to the other functions of the company too,” he adds. “Let me give you an example from sales. In the hotel, restaurant and catering channel one order costs €10, and there is a lot of carbon footprint 130 | EME Outlook issue 33

generated with this order as a sales agent has to visit each customer to physically deliver it. “Our aim is to double the business in this channel by 2023, so imagine that we are able to take orders with a €1 cost per order while growing the business. “How we can do this? By developing a web-based platform for B2B, where our customers will have 24-seven access to our portfolio, stocks and tailor-made offers. They can see the past orders, what other customers have ordered and enjoy an improved customer service experience.” On the people side of the business, Macromex is also heavily invested. It employs a young workforce, with

millennials soon set to account for 45 percent of its headcount. At the same time, more than a third of staff have been with the firm for more than six years, an indicator that the company has a healthy mixture of loyal, experienced personnel and younger recruits. Davidoglu recognises that finding appropriately skilled employees is a daily challenge, Macromex having to compete with other Romanian organisations to attract the brightest workers. He adds: “In the last few years we have launched key initiatives concerning people development, including 360-degree feedback, standards of leadership, a new HQ with modern working stations and discussion plac-


Macromex has a healthy balance between young enthusiasm and loyal experience within its workforce

es, and improving the clarity of our objectives and KPIs. “We have training programmes adapted to the needs of every person, from basic skills to leadership competences. We want our people to be responsible, to be committed, to take initiative and to have a sense of urgency. We believe in open feedback and communication and want every person in the company – from picker, truck driver, and sales agent to senior management – to feel appreciated and valued. “The company does not have millions of meetings where we talk and do not take decisions – rather, we have to keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive, to empower people and to give them

space to take action.” Looking ahead, continued investment in people is one of several key priorities highlighted by the CEO as Macromex heads towards 2020. With its bold expansion and investment plans in place, and a domestic market primed to further exploit the benefits of frozen food, the future looks bright.

MACROMEX Phone: +40 21 206 69 01

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CHARTING A NEW COURSE In a pursuit of environmental excellence, optimised operational efficiency and growth, Port of Oslo is epitomising the new role of ports via a flurry of innovative initiatives Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: Alistair Bailey

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EME Outlook issue 33 | 133



lobal trade is on the up. According to data from the World Bank, the value of exported goods as a share of global GDP rose from 19.3 percent in 1990 to 29.3 percent in 2017. In tandem with this rise, the role of ports has changed dramatically in recent decades. Cities that serve as major oceanic transit hubs have come to experience faster growth than their inland counterparts, owed to a rising economic dependence on sea trade that has seen ports become transformed into spatial clusters of innovation, research and development as they strive to meet a new calling. Indeed, Ingvar Mathisen, CEO and Port Director of Port of Oslo, is one individual well aware of this transition. “Ports and shipping is an exciting space to be involved in right now,” he states. “Whether its technological advancements, environment pressures, global political developments or the continued emphasis on improving efficiency and cost, a lot of change is happening.” For Mathisen, today’s seascape is in many ways entirely different to one that he found upon entering the industry almost a quarter of a century ago. Opting to fine tune his business acumen when undertaking higher education studies at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma in State of Washington in the USA and Nord University in Bodø, Norway, a career in the maritime industry was always his end goal. “The sector is almost in my genes, so to speak,” he reveals. “On my father’s side, all the men have become seafarers going way back. My father himself ended up working as the CEO of a shipping company, and I was able to hone my hereditary passion through a number of summer jobs at the business.” Picking up his first full time job back in 1994, working in a marketing capacity for international shipping entity Leif 134 | EME Outlook issue 33

Höegh & Co., the past three decades led Mathisen to numerous jobs and advisory roles across the globe, today heading up one of the world’s most innovative ports.

EMBRACING THE CHALLENGE In typically progressive Nordic fashion, Oslo is not only embracing but equally spearheading the vast swathes of changes sweeping across the maritime industry. Climate control plans targeting an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emission by 2030 have been adopted by the City Council, Executive Board of the City of Oslo and Port of Oslo itself, owed to the country’s and indeed region’s growing focus on addressing climate issues. Coupling this, however, are logistical challenges facing the port – challenges stemming from the strides being made by both Oslo and the industry alike – that are forcing it to take a proactive stance on all fronts. “Our location is one of our biggest assets,” Mathisen reveals. “Oslo is one of the Europe’s fastest growing metropolitan areas, and it’s just a six-kilometre round trip between the city centre and the port, meaning we can supply building materials, fuels and other key commodities with ease and with a low carbon footprint. “On the other hand, as the city grows, the area we’re able to work with shrinks. We’re expecting our 5,700-acre site to roughly half in the coming years, yet at the same time we’re looking to grow our overall cargo business by 50 percent and passenger throughput by 40 percent come 2034.” Simultaneously shrinking in size, expanding in capacity and becoming more environmentally friendly, it’s a critical time for the Port of Oslo, the organisation reacting accordingly via a distinct emphasis on innovation. It’s carbon capture agreement with Fortum Oslo Varme stands as a prime such example. A collaboration set to be initiated

Color Line Color Line is Norway’s largest and one of Europe’s leading companies in the field of short sea shipping. With regular and daily sailings between ports in Norway, Germany, Denmark and Sweden, Color Line is a key player in the development of a modern, environmentally friendly, and forward-looking seaborne transportation industry. The commitment of the authorities and the international community to bring down climate gas emissions lies at the heart of the business of the company. As part of the company’s sharpened focus on environmentally-friendly solutions, 2019 has been an extraordinary year for Color Line. In January, a newly acquired ro-ro vessel was put into service between Kiel and Oslo, moving cargo from road to sea and rail. In cooperation with Kombivekehr in Germany, transport owners can utilise intermodal solutions from Norway to cities in Europe and vice versa. In April, Color Line opened a shorebased power supply system in Kiel, making this first installation abroad. Color Line was the first company to introduce high-voltage shore-power supplies for its ships in Norway and has been a pioneer in establishing these facilities and uses shore-based power supplies in all the Norwegian ports at which the company’s ships call. In August, Color Line launched the world’s largest plug-in hybrid ship, M/S Color Hybrid. With a battery capacity of approximately 5MWh, the passenger and transport vessel can run on electricity for up to one hour at speeds of up to 12 kn.

COLOR LINE NORWAY–GERMANY Cargo and Intermodal Solutions

Color Line is Norway’s largest and one of Europe’s leading companies in the field of European short-sea shipping. The company operates four international services between seven ports in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

NORWAY–GERMANY Cruise and Transport

NORWAY–DENMARK Transport and Shopping

NORWAY–SWEDEN Transport and Shopping

Color Line aim to be at the forefront of the green transition. Color Line has invested in shore-based power supply systems in all the Norwegian port’s which the company’s ships call. In 2019, the company installed a similar system in Kiel, launched the world’s largest plug-in hybrid ship, and opened up a new cargo route which connect Norway to European cities by train and transport at sea.

PORT OF OSLO at the Klemetsrud waste-to-energy plant, the goal is to create a chain that will see CO2 captured from industrial processes converted into a liquid form, transported by ship to the west coast of Norway and then transported offshore by pipeline and stored within the seabed in empty oil wells. “Should all go well, the city can expect to deposit around 400,000 tonnes of liquid carbon in empty oil wells in the North Sea every year beginning 2025,” Mathisen states. “In doing so, we’ll be able to cut the city’s overall emissions by roughly 15 percent. “What’s great about this project is that nobody’s really done it on a global scale. Should it prove to be a success in Oslo, then it has the potential to have

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massive implications on the reduction of CO2 emissions worldwide.”

ABUNDANT INVESTMENT Indeed, it is anticipated that the carbon capture project will also facilitate the growth of a regional waste-to-energy circular economy, the ashes from the burners becoming a key material in development of roads in countries such as Denmark. “These ashes are becoming something of a commodity, providing the Port of Oslo with the opportunity to expand its export business where traditionally we’ve largely been an imports port,” Mathisen explains. The carbon capture storage project is just one of numerous examples of

innovation in practice at the transport hub, however. Equally, the port is in the final stages of developing an enhanced replacement for its Pelikan work boat, designed specifically to collect waste on the water’s surface both in and around the port. “The new version will be fully electric and harness sophisticated mapping technologies, improving efficiency and reducing environmental impact of cleanup operations,” the CEO adds. Owed to these ambitious efforts, it may come as no surprise that Port of Oslo is on track to become one of the world’s first zero-emission ports. Yet its strategic plan extends far beyond this, the firm also pursuing more traditional investments including the

SUPPLY CHAIN maintenance and rehabilitation of its facilities in order to prepare for surges in demand. Currently the port is in the process of expanding both its passenger and container terminals – necessary improvements considering it has developed capacity for six new container lines and grown roughly 14 percent each year for the past two years. “We’re also installing a new ship to shore gantry crane and other critical equipment to ensure that we can handle future growth,” Mathisen adds. “By accepting a wider range of cargo, we’re able to move it away from the roads while reducing emissions and congestion, resulting in a win-win situation for all stakeholders.”

CHAMPIONING CHANGE Investments are not only the way in which Port of Oslo has established an esteemed reputation, however, the Port Director also pointing to his workforce as key champions of its progressive approach. Having altered the direction of the company along with the direction put forth by the Port’s Board of Directors, Mathisen remains proud of the Port of Oslo team, eluding to their willingness to embrace the challenges that have been accompanied by its broad transition. “Of course, without dedicated and eager staff, we would be no closer to achieving our goals,” he affirms. “Port operations and development

are ultimately always the core business of the Port of Oslo. Without that, and those who empower it, any of our wider goals would just be like wishes. Our new vision is really something to strive towards: “Port of Oslo – the world’s most efficient and environmentally friendly city near port”. And the staff shall have a clear view of where we are going and are welcoming the changes.” Supporting its staff is understandably viewed as being of paramount importance to the organisation as a result. And by empowering its HR department internally and working with the City of Oslo externally, it has been able to do so with extensive training programmes and courses. Higher education is encouraged and

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PORT OF OSLO in many cases funded by the port itself, providing the platform for individuals to grasp innovations and opportunities arising across the industry. “We’ve seen many new skills and professions come to the fore of our operations in recent times,” Mathisen continues. “Drone technologies have been implemented of late, for example, used in everything from maintenance assistance and 3D modelling to the identification of potential hazards such as debris and oil spills.”


AN OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK Indeed, this recognition of the necessity of proactivity forms the basis of

EMPHASISING EMPOWERMENT Owed to an enviable culture, Port of Oslo has become a responsible organisation by its very nature. Here, Mathisen outlines some of its wider corporate social investment initiatives: “We have a fund provided by the Board of the Port of Oslo equating to NOK 3 million ($330,000) per year,” he states. “This is often used to support our customers in becoming more environmentally friendly, replacing diesel forklift trucks with electric alternatives, for example. “We also support various maritime orientated initiatives, providing activities for young people and allowing them to become acquainted with the industry and kickstart their career, particularly if they have been through times of hardship. “We recognise our responsibility and we take it very seriously.”

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many of Port of Oslo’s goals for the coming years. While environmental improvements and capacity expansions form a substantial part of the organisation’s long-term targets, the CEO acknowledges that there is a long a road ahead to reaching these objectives and a number of alternate near-term goals will take similar precedence. “Within our overall strategic plan, we have four strategic objectives,” he affirms. “Number one is to facilitate and empower a greater level of sea transportation, through enhancing the political policies with regards to sea transport, and reducing the environmental and congestion pressures that come from land-based freight. Number two is to


continue to have an effective and wellrun port. Number three is to ensure we promote our environmental agenda within sea transport more broadly. And number four is to continue to contribute to Oslo as an attractive city.” In accordance with these four objectives, the port has equally developed a number of key priorities in an attempt to meet its ambitions, the first of these being a three-pronged approach to the greater appreciation of market, business and customer orientation. “Improving our work processes and cultivating our business culture comes under this remit,” Mathisen continues. “We hope to continue to empower our people with technologies and give them more responsibility to take ownership of these new directions.”

This, combined with improved competencies, accelerated development and bolstered local and international stature, will dictate busy times ahead for Port of Oslo. Yet the sheer number initiatives underway speaks volumes of the organisation’s optimism – optimism cited by Mathisen in his concluding statements. He affirms: “In previous years, there have been times when we haven’t expanded, and in some cases contracted. But right now, we’re growing tremendously. “In 2017 we catered for roughly 207,000 twenty-foot equivalents (TEUs). Last year we had 238,000. And this year we’re on track to hit somewhere around the 270,000 mark. “Yet at the same time, this is not

a temporary surge. Rather, it stems from a structural change. Continental Europe is lacking tens of thousands of truck drivers, making land transport scarcer and more expensive and subsequently paving the way for the shipping industry to begin to come to the fore. “Shipping has become more competitive and, in many ways, it is the future – because the seaway is the environmentally friendly way.”

PORT OF OSLO Tel: +47 21 80 21 80

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MANUFACTURING From its humble Humpolec-based beginnings, Hranipex has risen to become a crucial distributor and progressive developer of furniture edges in the European value chain Writer: Jonathan Dyble Project Manager: Thomas Arnold


tarting a business can be one of the most exciting and important moments in the life of any budding entrepreneur. Turning an idea into a proven concept, however, is by no means an easy task. Just look at the statistics. Of the near-140,000 new businesses born around the world every day, roughly 90 percent of these are expected to fail, doomed to struggle with everything from talent shortages and poor timing to lacklustre demand and negative cashflows. Resultantly, its often hard for young startups to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Yet this makes the success stories all the more impressive, one such example being Hranipex. Starting out in Humpolec, Czechia – a humble town comprising just 10,800 people located 70 minutes’ drive southeast of Prague – it is a business that began with just three employees. Today, however, it has flourished into one of Europe’s leading manufacturers and distributors of furniture edges. “Hranipex is a great story of a Czech company that was built in a six square metre garage, only to become a multinational global player 26 years later,” Ondřej Krátký, the organisation’s Product and Marketing Manager affirms.


THE WHO’S, WHAT’S AND WHERE’S HRANIPEX is a traditional Czech manufacturer of furniture edges, supplying everything necessary for the perfect lining of cut boards. THANKS to its perfect edges, specialised glues and high-quality cleaners, any carpenter can design and make the furniture you desire – furniture which fulfils global quality standards and allows manufacturers to move towards professionalism. THROUGH its 12 branches around Europe and its export department, Hranipex delivers its services to more than 70 countries worldwide and employs more than 500 people. ORIGINALLY a family company, it continues to uphold its traditions and values established by its Founder. These include Czech quality, emphasis on perfect services, and a personal approach to customers.

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HRANIPEX can only be described as a fantastic experience.” For both men, embracing the edgebanding industry was a transition made easy by Hranipex. When it comes to employment, the company opts to acquire the very best talent, often supplementing experience with ambition, passion and enthusiasm, a relatively unique approach upheld by its internal training academy. “The training academy focuses on the smooth and full onboarding of new team members,” Zmátlo explains. “It can take a couple of months to fully educate new staff on our whole service and product ranges, so this facility is designed to set every individual up with the ability to fully serve our markets.” From the word go, staff members are provided with the platform to become champions of the Hranipex brand. In turn, the company is able to maintain its wider philosophy focused

Ondrej Krátký, the organisation’s Product and Marketing Manager

The organisation has maintained an impressive growth curve throughout this timeline, having nailed its niche as a one-stop shop for edges, specialised glues and cleaners required for the gluing of furniture components. And for Krátký, this prosperous trajectory was a major draw. “I previously operated in the building and industry segment, but working with furniture components has unveiled a lot of new insights,” he reveals. “I’m now closer to the design of the products, and the scale of the sector is something that really interests me.” Much of the same can be said for Petr Zmátlo – a former veteran of the ICT software solutions market now positioned as the Sales Director of Hranipex. “I was looking to alter my career path when the challenge to take over the United Kingdom branch presented itself,” he affirms. “I’ve since stepped into my current role helping to oversee our global operations, after what 142 | EME Outlook issue 33

“It can take a couple of months to fully educate new staff on our whole service and product ranges, so this facility is designed to set every individual up with the ability to fully serve our markets”

on consolidating the cornerstones of customer satisfaction (quality, speed, reliability, top service and a professional approach). Now operating 12 branches across Europe and exporting to 65 countries around the world, ensuring consistency in these values can be a challenge. Yet they remain underpinned by its esteemed workforce owed to these

25+ Cleaners 130+ Adhesives 1600+ ABS Decors Complex service



THE ADVANTEDGE ADVANTAGE Thanks to hot air edgebanding, furniture producers can achieve perfect results. Broadly speaking, the joint is invisible, and it creates a flawless design. Through AdvantEdge, Hranipex is championing this trend, making hot air processing more accessible to furniture producers than ever before.

ADVANTAGES • Fast delivery (within 24 hours of the stock collection). • Wide range of colours of the hot air layer to choose from (14 popular decors in high-gloss and matte finish on stock, with 1660 more decors on demand). • Small minimum order quantity (from 10 metres in length). Tested in 40 production facilities in Sweden, Finland, England, Slovakia, Poland, Austria and Germany since February 2019, the product was launched in September, having achieved perfect results on a consistent basis.

proactive employment and training practices. “In spite of our growing footprint, we are still family owned, and treat our customers and staff like family. We’re proud of our human approach and the knowhow of our people,” the Sales Director adds. Krátký echoes this: “Happy customers are key,” he says. “We’re personable and strive to deliver what our customers need when they need it.”

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AHEAD OF THE CURVE Innovative is not only descriptive of Hranipex’s track record on talent development, however. Rather, it is a word that defines the company which, in many ways, is spearheading progression through its recognition of the role of emerging technologies across the board. Research from the International Data Corporation has forecast global digital transformation expenditure to reach $1.18 trillion this year, with

discrete manufacturing ($221.6 billion) and process manufacturing ($124.5 billion) leading the way. Indeed, if the strategic focus of Hranipex is anything to go by, then it’s easy to see why. “A lot of new trends are emerging,” Krátký declares. “New technologies are taking the furniture industry to the next level, while the tastes of the end-customers are repeating or periodically changing. This provides a nice mixture between the traditional and the transformative.” The launch of AdvantEdge, the company’s new flagship product, is the most recent example of its willingness to embrace change. The result of fruitful, transparent collaboration between internal research, development and product departments, it offers a unique, highly accessible way of achieving hot air machine edgebanding, creating near-invisible joints and maintaining a flawless design in furniture production. “AdvantEdge offers an unforeseen flexibility and service in hot air solutions on the existing market,” Krátký affirms. “We think it will be a great asset for us through 2020 and beyond. The results so far have been fantastic.” Aligned with the company’s existing portfolio, AdvantEdge’s integration has been seamless, the firm able to create hot air layers from any design in its existing collection of 1,660 different edges. “This is definitely a game changer for the coming year,” Zmátlo adds. “The new technology we’ve developed allows us to provide hot air solutions for even the smallest of demands. “We’re confident it will assist our customers in improving their production.” Indeed, AdvantEdge is an exciting development, and in many ways an industry first. Yet Hranipex’s ability to deliver such a product should come as no surprise. Taking a trip inside any of the company’s facilities, be it production halls, warehouses or offices, you will find


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modern equipment, decor and amenities such as on-site gyms – all details that have been fine tuned in the aim of inspiring a technologically-motivated, personal approach, underpinned by openness and positive attitudes. “Innovation is crucial to the company’s success and AdvantEdge is just one point of reference,” Krátký reiterates. “We continue to put a lot of effort into preparing new products in the hope of delivering exciting news for our customers in the future. New products have to be spot on, and Hranipex has been very successful in responding 146 | EME Outlook issue 33

to trends to deliver these at the right place, at the right time, in the right way.”

CAPITALISING ON COOPERATION Progressive attitudes and an emphasis on employee excellence aside, the enterprise’s success can also be somewhat attributed to the role of its suppliers and partners. Keen to maintain rapid response times and service delivery, Hranipex’s own agility is only as effective as that of its supply chain network – a network built on long term relationships, trust and mutual benefit.

“Supply chain is critical for us,” Zmátlo adds. “Our customers frequently request special services and therefore all parts of our supply chain have to react both at speed and with precise accuracy.” In the eyes of the Sales Director and Product and Marketing Manager, partner loyalty and customer loyalty go hand in hand, both individuals highlighting their appreciation for the separate contributions of these parties alike in propelling Hranipex to ever greater heights. The bonds that the company creates do not stop here, however,


the business also closely allied with the communities in which it operates. To this end, social responsibility is of paramount importance. Krátký explains: “Taking our headquarters in Humpolec as one example, we support local schools for mentally and physically disabled children and sanctuaries for adults with mental illnesses. We also hold beneficial sporting events such as HraniRun where the money collected goes to the supporting of local organisations.” Similar efforts are undertaken across each of Hranipex’s 12 branches, set to expand in line with the compa-

ny’s wider trajectory moving forward. Speaking with both Krátký and Zmátlo, it is clear that the business’s future strategy remains simple, focused on providing the best services and the best products available on the market. And while innovations such as AdvantEdge will be crucial in consolidating the company’s reputation for excellence to this extent, the current climate is looking equally bright and should serve to further Hranipex’s ambitions ahead. It is for this reason that Zmátlo is able to conclude in a buoyant fashion. “Materials for furniture manufactur-

ing are key for furniture producers,” he states. “There is significant demand on housing needs for the entire population across the whole of Europe, and if you build houses, offices and flats, you need to equip them with furniture. “This in mind, I can safely say that I am optimistic about the future of this industry and our position within it.”


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KEEPING METALS PRECIOUS Safina has carved its own niche for maximising the value of precious and non-ferrous metal waste, its operations in the Czech Republic driven by innovation, sustainability and employee appreciation Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Thomas Arnold


n today’s world, sustainability is no longer a buzzword. Now widely accepted across business operating in almost all industries as an imperative, both environmentally and, increasingly from a financial standpoint, the concept of doing more with less has never been more important. Finding innovative ways of using what has been previously regarded as waste is one such way in which industrial companies are working towards their sustainability ambitions. “In our business, waste material has another meaning,” comments Vadim 148 | EME Outlook issue 33

Kartavtsev, CEO of Safina, a Czech enterprise specialising in the processing and manufacture of products from precious and non-ferrous metals. “In our case, waste material is one of our sources. In the precious metals business, metal management is a base and each gram of waste material goes to recycling and refining for the next cycle of production. Many who visit our production plant are surprised by the clearness of working spaces, and we explain to them that every day our employees clean tables and machines and collect even the smallest piece of precious metal.

“In short, we do not have waste – everything is raw material to us.” Safina took its name as a joint stock company in 1992, but its origins can be traced all the way back to the formation of G.H. Scheidsche Affinerie in Vienna in 1860. It has a long tradition in the complex processing and production of products from precious and non-ferrous metals, its goods sold to large and small clients in 44 countries around the world and through five stores in the Czech Republic, stores which are also used to buy scrap. The beating heart of the company is



About Safina From its base in Vestec, near Prague, Safina operates four major product lines: its hub in Vestec, near Prague, home to its production site, R&D activities and sales and management operations. Many of the company’s 180 employees work here across several production lines, producing a range of products such as base metal targets, chemicals, solders and brazing parts, platinum and dental alloys. It is a complex enterprise, and when asked what stands Safina apart, Kartavtsev cites a range of factors. “Asides from our flexibility and hard focus to meet customer needs?” he begins. “For me, it is our company ethics, responsibility, and care for our

Targets for coating of glass and functional surfaces PGM products for various industries, but mainly thermal sensoring and crystal glass production Industrial products for automotive and electronics industries Metal powders for additive and 3D manufacturing

As well as this, Safina offers a full range of metal recycling solutions, along with complete administrative and logistics services. Its recycling solutions covers the likes of used chemicals, industrial catalysts, industrial waste containing precious metals, end of life catalytic converters, electronic waste, jewellery scrap, medical and dental equipment, electroplating sludge and other residues and sweeps containing precious metal. Mission: “To bring excellent quality products and services at affordable prices, incrementally innovated according to actual and expected market needs in close cooperation with our clients.”

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SAFINA A.S. employees – we have a very strong sense of loyalty in the company and a mutual focus to drive sustainable growth. “Next to that is responsible waste management, cooperation with local and international universities, and being part of new product development within industry 4.0 and 3D printing, to list a couple of examples. “Safina is also a strong partner to big international companies in different clusters for new product development, so we are trying to help build the future as well.”

CONTINUOUS MODERNISATION In terms of Safina’s own future, Kartavtsev outlines many ways in which the company continues to modernise its operations, both in the way of plant equipment and process as well as research and development. The most significant investment made over the past two years has been in its refinery, which enables

greater economies of scale, and metal powder production capabilities. Kartavtsev adds: “Safina invested huge amounts to be able to supply customised powders, as well as to be able to scale the production of a product after it is qualified. “We tend to concentrate on products with higher added value, which is the only way for us to grow a sustainable business. Of course, we have a standard product we produce on a daily basis, and the level of quality reaches the top requirements of the market. There are not many competitors in the world that can achieve the same results. “And for some of our products, there are no competitors in the world!” As well as investing in product diversification, Safina has also been an eager adopter of lean principles. Areas such as stock and material turnover are routinely monitored by managers who sit in daily meetings, while product flows and payment

Aleš Herrmann, Chief Business Development Officer

Vadim Kartavtsev, CEO Above: 20qm Cu atomised powder for additive manufactuing. Flowability of the powder is crutial during the additive manufacturing process

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NANOVAL NANOVAL, a small familiy-owned company in Germany, has developed its own process to atomise metal to powder. Those powders are very spherical, very small and much smaller than the powders from conventional processes – and they are very narrow in particle size distribution, so that the powders have a high flowability. In the past 30 years, we have gained significant experience from the atomisation of more than 1,000 different alloys at our two Berlinbased plants. We sell both the atomising plants and the powders and can help you to establish your own powder production.



• Atomizing plants with unique splitting effect in a Laval nozzle • Fine, spherical powders with a narrow PSD (high yield) • Low gas consumption • New: Plants having a crucible or for crucible-free melting and atomizing


Nanoval GmbH & Co. KG Kienhorststrasse 61 – 65 D-13403 Berlin Phone: +49 30 3 22 90 22-0

Ag rotary tube produced by Cold Gas Spray Technology to achieve highest possible level of homogenity

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conditions have been adjusted so the company can provide just-in-time deliveries for customers. Quality control has been bolstered with the addition of two new managers, while the process of producing atomised powders has been revised in order to keep up with growing demand. Here, Safina has been able to increase output by 400 percent with the same number of operators working the line. In the area of R&D, Kartavtsev highlights the importance of staying on trend. “R&D is a must and continuous process for Safina’s people,” he says. “Pre152 | EME Outlook issue 33

cious metals have an irreplaceable role in today’s world, and we make sure we follow that market. As of today, with our partners, we mostly concentrate on different additive manufacturing processes and powders being used, and also spraying of functional layers. “Other examples of where we place our attention include special, high homogenous rotary targets, grain stabilised platinum and many other projects under strict NDAs. We also develop new chemical compounds for our European customers.”

POWERED BY PEOPLE A company clearly looking ahead to

the future, the fact its roots trace back 150 years should not be overlooked Indeed, Safina would not be where it is today without decades and decades of invaluable knowledge transfer between the industry pioneers who have been at the company during this time. For Kartavtsev, the sustainable future of the firm hinges on people. “In our field, where only a few companies produce what we produce, we have to take care of our people and make sure they are happy, to ensure their knowhow stays with Safina,” he explains. “We have employees that started with us as a first job and have spent


their whole working life with us. We are very proud of it and we want to keep this for the future as well. “We try to make the working environment a happy one – it is not only about salary in Safina, though the company does pay competitively. Rather, it is about what we do and what we build, and how our customers are happy with what we do.” Constant engagement with management is another way in which employees feel closer to the business. Kartavtsev continues: “There is very high level of trust and that joins people together. In today’s changing environment and especially in Czech Republic,

which has the lowest unemployment rate in EU since its existence, people have the priority. “We want our people to be part of our organisation, so communicate our company strategy to them – our goals, plans, and investments.” And this is where the CEO concludes the conversation. Optimistic about the direction of Safina and the role it can play in maximising the value of waste, Kartavtsev outlines a future defined by investment in people, product and process. He says: “A big priority for us is increasing our product portfolio in niche markets, not only within Europe,

but worldwide and new markets. High added value products are the easiest to export, and we are already quite strong in that. “And what I already mentioned – our objective is to work with our people, so we keep growing the knowhow and knowledge within Safina.”

SAFINA A.S. Tel: +420 241 024 111

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Driving Forward With a 73-year history built on a multitude of awards, innovations and advancements, BELAZ today stands as a crucial member of the Belarusian economy, its dump trucks and transport solutions found the world over Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: Ryan Gray


t is strange to think that merely 150 years ago, nothing even close to the modern-day car existed. Today, more than one billion passenger vehicles travel the roads and streets of our world, these now powered by electricity, hydrogen and autonomous technologies as well as human intelligence and petroleum in what is quickly becoming the new normal of the 21st century. It is not just day to day, A to B travel that has been transformed in the automotive space over this time period, however. Similarly monumental developments have swept across the industrial vehicle space as well. Take the 73-year history of global mining and construction transport equipment manufacturer BELAZ, for example. Launching its first D-298 water sprinkling truck back in 1950, followed by a 25-tonne truck in 1958, the company today manufactures dump trucks with payload capacities as large

as 450 tonnes. Indeed, this timeline is reflective of the company’s motto. “We build our success relying on the experience and knowledge of earlier generations, transferring best traditions to new models of our equipment,” BELAZ states on its website. And this motto is similarly echoed by a statement from Petr Parkhomchyk, the organisation’s General Director. “The reputation of BELAZ trademark reflects years of stable development. Steady efficiency growth, technology development, innovations implementation – only this approach helps to meet the demands on the market,” he states. The combined message? That progress is a critical part of the success of the auto manufacturing industry, regardless of the niche – a fact that BELAZ has come to recognise and embrace during the course of its lengthy history. EME Outlook issue 33 | 155

BELAZ DIVERSIFIED SERVICE Cultivating a sound approach accordingly, the company has established a reputation for consistency in delivering quality products and customer service, striving to be a lead player on the global market. Indeed, the firm’s footprint, organically grown through its emphasis on excellence, would suggest that this ambition has been somewhat realised. Currently exporting to more than 80 markets across the globe, BELAZ has come to account for roughly 30 percent of the global super heavy mining and construction dump truck market. Looking at its portfolio, it’s easy to see why. The company offers everything from mining dump trucks, metallurgical works vehicles and special pur-

BELAZ A BRIEF TIMELINE 1950: Launched its first products including its D-298 water sprinkling truck. 1958: Produced its 25-tonne MAZ525 truck. 1978: Production of aircraft tugs for aircraft weighing 100 tonnes begins. 1982: First trial units of the 120-tonne payload capacity BELAZ-7519. 1990: First trial units of 200-tonne payload capacity BELAZ-75211. 1995: Produced 280-tonne capacity truck (largest in the history of Belarus). 2009: Produced BELAZ-75600 with 360-tonne capacity. 2014: Produced BELAZ-757100 with 450-tonne capacity (largest in the world).

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pose vehicles to rail freight cars and loaders and bull dozers, each of these renowned as being first-class assets to add to any heavy industry-related operation. “BELAZ takes a leading position among the major manufacturers of dump trucks in the world,” the organisation states. “Today the fleet of BELAZ dump trucks operating around the world is about 20,000 units and our company is interested in their maximal efficiency.” The buck does not stop at sales for the enterprise which also prides itself on extensive aftercare solutions for each and every one of its customers. With dealerships and service centres spanning Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South Africa, BELAZ seeks to always provide

MTU Drive Solutions MTU drive solutions: Powering the world’s strongest mining trucks MTU engines and drive solutions, products of Rolls-Royce, set the standards in mining applications around the globe. MTU engines reliably power vehicles for underground and opencast mining, including loading vehicles such as excavators and wheel loaders; transport vehicles such as haul trucks or blast hole drilling rigs; and other mining machines – diesel-mechanic, diesel-electric or diesel-hydraulic. MTU engines provide outstanding performance, reliability and availability and are constructed in a maintenance-friendly way. Long service intervals and fuel efficiency provide for exceptionally low operating costs. It is thus no wonder that BELAZ, a world-leading manufacturer of haulage and earthmoving equipment, has been putting trust in MTU engines for the past 15 years. Since 2004, BELAZ has installed more than 540 MTU engines of Series 4000 in its dump trucks of different sizes. Rolls-Royce is particularly proud to provide the power for the recordsetting BELAZ 75710 dump truck: Not one but two 16-cylinder MTU engines of type 16V 4000 C11 deliver a combined power of 6,860 Kilowatts, allowing this truck to carry a payload of no less than 450 metric tonnes, making it the strongest dump truck in the world. Five additional BELAZ trucks in different weight classes are also available with MTU engines. Starting 2020 BELAZ truck Series 7558, powered by MTU Series 2000 engines with 16 cylinders, will be available. Rolls-Royce is aiming to further deepen the proven cooperation with BELAZ, including optimised service support and response times for customers around the world.




SHARE OF THE GLOBAL SUPERHEAVY MINING DUMP TRUCK MARKET: optimal solutions in the shortest possible timeframes, thereby maintaining the highest levels of customer satisfaction. “Being a manufacturer and a supplier, we have the basic principle – full responsibility for equipment operability within all the period of its operation in any region. The company provides the full range of maintenance services and individual support of customers,” it states. “Our service policy leads to increase of production efficiency, decrease of our partners’ production costs, facilitates elimination of critical failures, and decrease of idle time during scheduled and emergency repairs.” 158 | EME Outlook issue 33

HISTORY COMBINED WITH SCALE Esteemed products and services are not the only way in which BELAZ stands front and centre of heavy industry, however. More recently, the mechanical engineering giant launched a major tourism campaign, showcasing its stature and history as the first of Belarus’s machine-building businesses to the world. “Since June 15,2015, our company has implemented the industrial tourism project ‘BELAZ – a brand of Belarus’,” the firm states. “For this period, our company has been visited by more than 100,000 tourists from 20






MANUFACTURING Being a manufacturer and a supplier, we have the basic principle – full responsibility for equipment operability within all the period of its operation in any region. The company provides the full range of maintenance services and individual support of customers

countries all over the world.” The project is based at its Zhodzina plant in central Belarus, an hour’s drive northeast of Minsk – a facility that has become a crucial hub of Belarusian industry since its inception and the subject of one of the largest Commonwealth of Independent States investment projects. Its history and scale, coupled with the numerous global awards that the company’s production line holds, is

resultantly a major draw for tourists and business interests alike. Exporter of the Year and Best Goods of the Republic of Belarus are just two such accolades that the firm has received in the past two years, while the BELAZ-75710 has been recognised as being the largest mining truck body (with a volume of 645.3 cubic metres) and the largest two-axle dump truck (with a rated payload capacity of 450 tonnes) since January 2014.

Yet awards are not a novel facet for the business, BELAZ having been the recipient of similar recognition throughout its illustrious history. And this is unlikely to change moving forward, owed to the continued consolidation of its global footprint. In recent months, the organisation has been partaking in numerous global events including IMARC, Mining Indonesia 2019 and Mining Metals Uzbekistan, and bolstered partner relations having recently attended the 2nd Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine, and welcomed the Chairman of Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Committee. Indeed, its role in both these conferences and delegations is testament to its stature – a stature that will remain for years to come.

BELAZ Tel: +375 1775 2 74 74

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Operating with innovative, agile tendencies, Foresight Offshore Drilling is proactively positioning itself as a spearhead of oil and gas excellence Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: David Knott

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etween mid-2014 and early 2016, the oil industry experienced one of the sharpest downturns in its modern history. 70 percent price drops sent shockwaves throughout the global market as booming US oil production, receding geopolitical concerns and shifting OPEC policies collided with deteriorating demand prospects. Indeed, the market has since begun to recover, and confidence has bolstered. Yet a consciousness in regard to price volatility remains ever present amongst industry stakeholders, pushing developers to take a more innovative stance in ensuring that current financial hurdles can be overcome. One company embracing this change is Dubai-based Foresight Off-

shore Drilling, a division of Foresight Group International Limited. A firm with nearly three decades of expertise in offering full service offshore drilling solutions across India and the Middle East through its rigs and expert crews, it is proactively pursuing a revitalised strategy, becoming more agile and cost effective in a multitude of ways. “The downturn in 2014 created an exciting opportunity – an opportunity to become more innovative in how we use data, technology and collaborative efforts to drive improvements in performance that support a lower cost environment,” affirms John Wishart, the organisation’s Chief Operating Officer, who joined Foresight in 2017 having spent time working in China.

THE AMER MARITIME TRAINING ACADEMY Much of Foresight Offshore Drilling’s extensive training programmes take place at the Amer Maritime Training Academy (AMTA). Established by the company’s Founder Dr Ravi Kumar Mehrotra CBE as a not-for-profit drilling and maritime centre, it is accredited by the International Association of Drilling Contractors and continues to expand the courses it provides for those interested in the offshore oil and gas sector. To date, over 3,000 cadets have graduated from AMTA, with plans to increase its capacity to 750 students per year and establish a Mumbai branch that will make it easier to train crews local to the region.

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A PEOPLE-FIRST POLICY Unsurprisingly, undertaking such an evolution has been no mean feat, the company already operating in a highly complex, niche field of work. Yet the organisation has been successful in doing so, the COO pointing to its staff as crucial to these efforts. “We acknowledge how crucial our personnel are to our ability to achieve enhanced performance goals,” he declares. “Our crews are experienced and take ownership of every task and every process involved in the drilling operation, and it is this that contributes to our industry-leading 99.7 percent uptimes.” In every sense, Foresight’s employee base acts as a crucial differentiator for the company, something both appreciated and actively maintained by its leadership team, including Wishart. “We truly recognise that people are at the heart of everything we do,” he states, pointing to the salary, private healthcare, life assurance and discretionary bonus schemes as just some of the comprehensive benefits packages offered to staff as part of its talent retention efforts. Arguably the most successful employee satisfaction drives, however, come from the family-centric culture that the business has cultivated over many years. Striving to take care of its people, emphasising equality, diversity and safety, the company’s staff are empowered in turn to take care of Foresight’s customers and assets to the best of their ability. “To date, we have completed nine million man hours without a lost time incident – a 14-year endeavour,” Wishart reveals. “Through training efforts, regular safety drills and extensive practice we do everything we can to ensure all our crew members are equipped with the right skills, supervision and guidance they need to work safely and securely.”


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INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED Foresight Offshore Drilling has won a host of prestigious awards over the years, owed to its operational excellence. These include, but are not limited to: OIL Industry Safety Award from the Indian Oil Industry Safety Directorate BEST performing rig (VKN2) for Mumbai Drilling Services by ONGC EXCELLENCE in Health, Safety & Environment by the 7th Offshore Jack Up Middle East (OJME) 2019 Conference

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FORESIGHT OFFSHORE DRILLING HARBOURING COLLECTIVE EXPERTISE Likewise, Foresight holds its relationships with its suppliers and partners in the highest esteem, recognised as a second crucial reason behind the firm’s ability to uphold its exceptional 99.7 percent uptime performance, recently evidenced by its three Vivekanand rigs. Working with a vast multitude of different entities, from rig builders and original equipment manufacturers to classification societies, yards where rigs are laid up or prepared for service and a vast network of alternate service providers, the organisation is grateful

for the expertise that each individual partner brings to the table. “To operate drilling rigs successfully, partner and supplier relationships are obviously very important,” Wishart iterates. “Collaboration is often crucial in addressing urgent issues where exceptional levels of service and quicker than normal turnaround times are required. “It is in these instances that these relationships show their true value, and I would like to thank all those organisations that work with us for their continual and valued support.” Expert employees and powerful partnerships combined, Foresight’s extensive project portfolio speaks

volumes of its emphasis on excellence across the board. From the three new LeTourneau state-of-the-art Vivekanand (VKN) rigs that it recently secured (delivered by Cosco Shipping Heavy Industries) to the performance that it has achieved since 2016 with major clients Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the firm has maintained the highest levels of standards in each and every one of its endeavours. “We have delivered exceptional safety performance, operating without significant environmental incident, and delivering exceptional rig uptimes,” Wishart affirms. “This is a credit to the spirit of cooperation that we have developed between the Foresight Offshore Drilling teams, our clients and our rig builders.”


MAINTAINING A WIDER PURPOSE The Foresight team holds a strong belief in corporate social responsibility, this ethos driven by four key principles: transparency, honesty, integrity and business fairness. The company promotes the health and safety of its people, respect of human rights, protection of the environment and biodiversity, and efficient use of resources, with local reference to human resources. While AMTA provides one example of the firm’s corporate social investment efforts, its philanthropic efforts are evident in other ways – namely through its agreement to support a riverfront development on the banks of the sacred river Ganges in Kanpur. “This $5 million initiative will include a senior citizen park, library facilities, walking track, football court, and an amusement park for children to enjoy,” Wishart reveals.

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Resultantly, the company’s reputation has enabled its pipeline to become equally impressive, the firm gearing up to take on a host of new projects in the coming months, including its first land-based drilling project courtesy of a letter of agreement with Oil India. Indeed, Wishart is hoping that this particular project and its associated diversification opens up a host of new doors and opportunities for Foresight. “We have access to additional land rigs, and discussions with some other potential clients around their use are also in progress,” he affirms, also revealing that its FDIX rig is being readied for exploration drilling operations in offshore Oman in support of a new client. “Looking at the broader ambitions of our parent company, Foresight Group International Limited (FGIL), we are anticipating exciting developments related to ports and gas infrastructure, hospitality, branded retail and shipping. “The former is particularly exciting as it represents the creation of a new business vertical for our group

OIL & GAS and allows us to build exciting new relationships with those who we will collaborate with.” Undoubtedly, the future looks bright for Foresight Offshore Drilling and the wider FGIL group. In the coming year, the company hopes to add four more offshore rigs to its fleet, take the total number of onshore rigs with contracts to five, add two more crude carriers to its shipping fleet and win a concession for a port to develop gas and other infrastructure. And all of this will be done in tandem with the expansion of its existing drilling operation. “Am I optimistic about the direction of the drilling industry?” Wishart responds when asked to sum up his own personal outlook on the future. “There are clearly some positives as we see clients undertaking more exploration and production activity, thereby increasing rig utilisation. But at the same time, there are fundamentals that need to be addressed. “New generation rigs are not cheap to build and there are costs if we are to maximise the benefits of the attributes they have. We therefore need to look at how costs can be effectively amortised and covered. “I suspect a paradigm shift in collaboration between rig builders, rig operators and clients is needed. Appropriately, greater emphasis is being placed on safety by all connected with our industry. However, I don’t think that squeezing costs, day rates or cash flow supports this important focus. “Yes, we must control costs and improve efficiency, but to improve, there must be funds available for investment.”


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European Mining Convention December 3-4 | Dublin, Ireland |

Reframing mining sustainability with innovation and experience EUR O PEA N MIN IN G Convention (EMC-2019) aims to connect the European mining industry with the rest of the world in order to reframe sustainability with innovation and experience. To be held at The Convention Centre Dublin, Ireland on December 3-4, this event will bring together mining ministries, leading international mining and quarrying companies, geological research authorities and surveys, mining chambers and associations, service and technology providers, mining thought leaders, investors, consulting organisations and researchers to exchange their experiences and explore numerous business opportunities on an international level. The event is based on the theme of sustainability, innovation and experience, summarising the idea of the need for global collaboration and exchange of knowledge for creating a sustainable 166 | EME Outlook issue 33

future of the mining industry. EMC2019 will focus on sharing Europe’s experience and technical knowhow by bringing together global mining leaders to collaborate and work towards the concept of reframing sustainability for a better mining future. As almost the entirety of Europe is witnessing unrivalled development, EMC-2019 will focus on exploiting new opportunities in the continent’s prodigiously developing mining industry. EMC-2019 will feature a two-day exhibition and conference providing an ideal platform for business professionals to grow their global footprints and foster new business connections. The conference and exhibition will focus on the reformation of codes and regulations in the mining sector, the latest trends in mineral exploration and provide participants with unparalleled opportunities to gain knowledge from

mining bigwigs, reaching potential partners in a cost-effective way and developing B2B interactions with mining luminaries. This conference will feature sessions focussing on: • Europe As A Mining Investment Destination: Policies and progress. • Sustainability Initiatives For The Mining Sector: Reassessing shared value paradigm for sustainable and inclusive development. • Current Technological Trends: Implementing AI, IoT, automation, robotics, 3D Imaging in mining operations. • Mining in Space: The vivid possibility. • Reforming Mining Operations: The transition from efficiency to effectiveness.

Where European Mining

Meets the World


Food Ingredients Europe December 3-5 | Paris, France |

Bringing innovation to the heart of the conversation I T’ S A golden era of innovation for the F&B industry, driven by shorter innovation cycles and changed consumer behaviour. As the industry continues to evolve, current emerging trends such as clean label, plant-based, clean meat and sustainability all point to an important common denominator – the health-conscious consumer with a desire for better, sustainably sourced and healthier food options. 168 | EME Outlook issue 33

Now in its 33rd year, Fi Europe & Ni has evolved along with the industry it serves to become a show that is unique in its innovative character. Offering you a platform where tomorrow’s trends are being born, this year we’re pleased to be welcoming more than 27,000 visitors and 1,700 suppliers who will be showcasing the latest and most innovative F&B ingredients from all corners of the world.

Meet the suppliers that matters

3-5 December 2019 Villepinte Parc des Expositions, Paris, France



High-rise Projects KSA December 4-5 | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia |

Discussing best and worst practice in Saudi construction TH E RAPID growth of the Saudi population and urbanisation are driving the urban construction sector and raising the need for high-rise buildings across several cities in the Kingdom. As an effort to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy and to achieve some of the Vision 2030 goals, Saudi aims to grow the real estate sector’s contribution to GDP from five percent to 10 percent by 2030. The value of awarded contracts in Saudi Arabia’s construction sector in 2019 will amount to $44.1 billion. As part of the GM Events’ Construction series, High-rise Projects KSA will bring in regional stakeholders and international service providers to discuss best and worst practices in de170 | EME Outlook issue 33

sign and construction of high-rise, tall, mega-tall and skyscraper buildings in the Kingdom.  The High-rise Projects KSA Forum will also unveil a wide range of new building solutions, innovations and equipment used to deliver world class projects on time. The event will cover all aspects of construction, from design through execution and will host practical sessions with implementable takeaways. The event will be inaugurated by Eng. Thabet Mubarek Al-Sawyeed, the Governor of The Saudi Contractors Authority. For more details please visit or call 97145687800 or email us at

4-5 Dec 2019

Al Faisaliah Hotel Riyadh, KSA

The High-rise Projects KSA is your opportunity to meet

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ongoing 75+

high-rise and tall building projects in Saudi Arabia. For more information and to register, visit or email us at





EVENTS 4th Global Dairy Innovation Congress & Awards MENA 2020 January 20-21, 2020 | Dubai, UAE |

Confirmed speakers include: • Ted Thorbjornsen, Senior Vice President, Agthia • Mohamed El Damaty, Vice Chairman, Domty

Exploring opportunities across the Middle East and North Africa region

• Imad Saleh, General Manager - Dairy Farms, NADEC

DAIRY CONSUMP TION across the world has been increasing, with fresh dairy products and processed dairy products expected to grow at 2.1 percent per annum and 1.7 percent per annum respectively in the forecast period of 2019-2024. The MENA region is the second largest dairy importing region in the world and relies heavily on dairy imports. At the same time, with the improvement of health and wellness, dairy products tend to be more diversified and the market is becoming more and more competitive. Under this condition, innovation is an important driving force and

• Arda Cenk Tokbas, Managing Director at HDF FZCO, Pinar Food & Beverage Group

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the core business of many dairy enterprises. The 4th Global Dairy Innovation Congress & Awards MENA 2020 is the only event platform focused on dairy in MENA for 150-plus regional and international dairy community participants to gain first-hand information on MENA countries’ market opportunities, dairy product demands and preferences, technology and product innovation. If you haven’t joined this event, we sincerely invite you to book your seats now so you don’t miss the only global dairy innovation platform to seize the new opportunities of the MENA dairy industry.

• Andrew Oddy, Herds Director, Al Safi Danone • Sumeet Mathur, Managing Director, FrieslandCampina Middle East

• Kaunain Shahidi, Senior Manager, Almarai Company • Cem Tarık Yüksel, Managing Director, Unilever Gulf • Aziz Albabtain, MD & CEO, NADEC • Garo Matossian, CEO Middle East, Bel Group • Susanne Huebner, Head of Organic Dairy MENA, Arla Foods


What, in your opinion, makes a good business leader?

To round off each issue, we ask our contributing business leaders for their views on the same question

Albert Davidoglu COO, Macromex “To lead by example, to be humble, to be a good listener, to surround himself with good people (people who will complement you), and to be able to tell where the ‘boat’ is going.”

Andrei Timofte CEO, Transilvania Constructii “A good business leader is first of all, a team player. Even though the brand of a company is often associated with the personal brand of a CEO, behind each firm there is a team of professional and dedicated people. A leader must have the necessary knowhow for his/her choice industry and in a team, he/she must know how to delegate tasks according to the abilities of each team member. You represent the first line in terms of setting priorities for the company, so you need to have the clarity needed in making decisions. Equally important is clarity in the decision making, the adaptability, the orientation for results, the management of the real estate project from the beginning phase to the end and project assertiveness.”

Capt. Clifford Brand CEO, RAK Ports “Self-awareness, decisiveness, fairness, enthusiasm, drive, knowledge, integrity and of course endurance.”

Vadim Kartavtsev CEO, Safina “The ability to unite and give a right target. I’m surrounded by a number of real professionals and my duty is to let them do their job the best way they can and 174 | EME Outlook issue 33

help them to combine their efforts for the best result. We do work as a team and that is the most important part of our leadership, and I am saying ”our” on purpose.”

Christophe Sarri Group CCO, DORIS Group​ “A good business leader is someone who provides the best value to their clients, but also to their employees, their shareholders and their business partners. The strategy and the objectives of the company shall be built considering all stakeholders. Communication with all of them is important. “The second condition is to listen to the client and understand its needs. A partner relationship can then be created for the long term. “The last factor is the ability to provide synergies and enhanced value by gathering the different activities of the group in a consistent way, in line with client needs. That’s why DORIS provides a global solution which includes conceptual, detailed engineering, project management, fabrication and

installation supervision, operation and maintenance, and also asset management.”

John Wishart Group COO, Foresight Offshore Drilling “A good business leader is someone who recognises that their role is to facilitate the success of all around them without ego; when you stop thinking about what people in the organisation can do for you and start thinking about what you can do to help people in your teams succeed. “I refer to it as the upside-down triangle and ask myself “how can I help our client facing teams deliver exemplary performance to our customers”. Key attributes are making people excited and energised about what we do, passing on knowledge and mentoring, removing barriers, taking responsibility, and most important, being approachable. We are after all, all human beings.” Are you a CEO/Director with a story to tell? Contact EME Outlook now!

A creator of landmarks in the Romanian capital... ONE UNITED PROPERTIES


BUILDING FOR BUCHAREST One United Properties continues to execute award-winning projects which have not only made their mark on the Romanian capital, but also positively impacted communities within the city

See page

36 58

Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Ryan Gray


country’s construction sector is a good indicator of its overall economic health. In 2008-09 the global financial crisis struck economies all over the world, and the effects of the crash are still being felt 10 years on as governments continue to cut back and investors remain wary of taking on high levels of risk. Romania, as with Europe as a whole, saw its construction sector contract following the events of a decade ago. Activity dropped steeply in the immediate aftermath, a pattern which continued for several years as the evolution of new development prospects faced many challenges. However, since 2013 the market has been recovering. According to research carried out by the European Commission, there were 89,943 enterprises and 608,715 people engaged in the broad construction sector in Romania in 2016, respective increases of 7.6 percent and 2.9 percent since 2010. In terms of building production, the period 2010 to 2016 saw activity grow by 21.4 percent, while civil engineering production increased by 9.7 percent. Profitability also strengthened, with





One Cotroceni Park

One United Properties turnover across the construction secis a Leading Green tor growing by 19.8 percent to reach Developer of €30.6 billion in 2016. residential and mixed-use For Andrei Diaconescu and Victor real estate. The company One Verdi Park Căpitanu, Managing Partners and was established in 2011, Founders at Bucharest-based develStreet, opposite the future Academia Militară metro TWO NEW PROJECTS although the founders oper One United Properties (OUP), it is vicinity of such land marks station, and in the immediate FOR 2020 as Cotroceni Palace (the Residence of the President of have been building an exciting time to be involved in what Romania), Botanical Gardens, the Military Academy and > ONE PARK residences together since VERDI the Bucharest Polytechnical University, One Cotroceni is an ever-evolving industry. To be built on the Barbu Văcărescu Boulevard in Park promises to revitalise a former industrial area 2006 and have invested in sector Bucharest, One Verdi“The Park is aconstruction multifunctional in thecurrently middle of the city and will be the largest city that will consist of two 75-metre towers rejuvenation project in Bucharest. The project is unique real estate sincedevelopment 2000. thrives on the impetus provided by (one office and one residential) with commercial space

in many respects vis-à-vis other office projects built in

at ground level. Capitanu adds: “With the latest trend this phase of the businessBucharest. cycle,” says It is an innovative for revitalising former industrial platforms of Bucharest, First, at around 80,000 square metres GLA (BOMA) we also tenants’ concern for improving it is the largest single-asset, Grade A office building in Diaconescu. company, dedicated tonoticed the the quality of the working environment. Thus, we Bucharest. “The sector stillis highly fragmented accelerating thedeveloped adoptionthe concept of One Verdi Park,is which part Second, floorplates are as large as 8,000-plus square of the company’s strategy to develop multifunctional metres GLA (combined for the two buildings), which and as such competition is intense. of building practices projects.” makes them the largest floor plates in the city, a distinct advantage for our tenants who can locate entire teams However, competition also tends to be that result in energyin one vibrant workplace together. > ONE COTROCENI PARK “your park localised. Bucharest itself isThird, a €50 bil-in your office” – large terraces within efficient, healthier Set to sprawl over 5.8 hectares, One Cotroceni Park aims some of the floors, offer ample green working space for lion economy, so itconcept provides interesting and environmentally to offer a new dimension to the work-live-shop the employees. Fourth, the building will be LEED and in Bucharest. Around 10 percent of the space will be WELL certified, demonstrating OUP’s commitment to opportunities across the entire specsustainable buildings. occupied by retail outlets, while the site will cater to care for the environment and for the people working in 10,000 workers and residents. Located on Progresului

3 | EME Outlook issue 33

Bucureşti Sectorul 1, Str. VERBINELOR, Nr. 1-3 Email:

our properties. Construction is set to begin in 2020.

EME Outlook issue 33 | 4

For Diaconescu, this is not only a way to serve a wider portion of the local community, but also to help diversify and ultimately futureproof the business for years to come. “We have identified a structural deficit of quality residential offering in Bucharest, and also a rising affluent young earners group, which we would like to care for,” he says. “Preferences for choosing locations have changed significantly with the new generations, and while it used to be true that a family has one home for one or two generations, now we see families owning and living in two to three homes during a generation.

19 | EME Outlook issue 33

“The combination of structural deficit for quality homes combined with the emergence of a highly affluent segment has led to us coming in with a new offering for our customers.” Appealing to a younger demographic will form an important part of One United Properties’s strategy as it moves towards the end of 2019, a year which has seen it hand over landmark developments in the form of One Herăstrău Plaza and One Charles de Gaulle. The latter is just two minutes from Herăstrău Park, made up of 33 dwellings across two buildings certified by the Romanian Green Building Council

and recognised by the European Commission as a good practice model. Outlining the company’s plans for 2020, Capitanu concludes the conversation in confident fashion. “We look forward to entering 2020 with exciting new plans and a new phase for our company,” he says. “We look forward to starting construction at our new mixed-use project One Verdi Park and our flagship office project One Cotroceni Park. Our existing projects are moving ahead as planned and we eagerly anticipate our completion dates – ensuring timely and quality completions are just as important priorities for us as our new projects.”

ONE UNITED PROPERTIES Tel: +40 31 225 10 00 +40 726 000 02

EME Outlook issue 33 | 20

One United Properties has told its story. Now, why not tell yours? Our bi-monthly magazine EME Outlook is essential reading for business executives wanting to keep up with the latest in global news and trends affecting European and Middle Eastern businesses across all industries. With a bi-monthly coverage of over 395,000 readers, your company can take advantage of exposure in EME Outlook with a FREE article and FREE digital brochure, as well as access to further digital and print-based marketing tools that could transform your business. To share in this unrivalled opportunity, contact one of our project managers today!

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