When it comes to the market outlook for 2023, the industry is going to see a continued shift to projects procured using various collaborative models such as alliance and progressive design-build, says Martin Landry of ACCIONA, which develops and delivers sustainable infrastructure solutions.
“We are seeing an abundance of investment in infrastructure in the U.S., especially since the infrastructure bill which added more funding on top of existing infrastructure plans,” Landry, vice-president of business development for North America, wrote in an email to the Daily Commercial News.
“The outlook for Canada is also incredibly positive. Megaprojects have become the norm and there is no shortage of infrastructure projects coming online in Western Canada and Ontario, where we are focusing our efforts.”
With the volume of projects coming to the market across North America there will inevitably be capacity challenges, Landry noted.
“The abundance of funding for public infrastructure projects, together with a full pipeline and widespread skill shortage, is forcing a shift towards more collaborative models,” he said.
ACCIONA has delivered numerous alliance projects in Australia and is building the world’s third longest undersea tunnel in Finland under an alliance contract. It does still utilize a variety of other models.
“We have all those models in our portfolio and in our pipeline,” he said. “For example, the SR400 project in Georgia, U.S. (revenue risk), Ontario Line North in Toronto (target cost) and Surrey Langley SkyTrain in British Columbia (DBF).”
In terms of worker shortages, Landry said it’s not only major infrastructure projects that will be impacted but all areas of construction.
“There are more projects in the market than the market is able to deliver,” he explained. “Workforce availability is an issue, but one that can be mitigated by adjusting some immigration policies to encourage skilled tradespeople with diverse, valuable experience to come and work in our construction industry.
The sector also needs to dramatically increase the number of women in the workforce.
ACCIONA Infrastructure is a global company headquartered in Spain with offices in Toronto and Vancouver.
They entered the Canadian market in 2000 with the Deep Lake Water Cooling System project in Toronto, which Landry said is “one of the country’s most iconic hydraulic projects to-date.”
“We have since delivered a number of projects coast-to-coast: the Saint John Safe Clean Drinking Water Project in New Brunswick, highway projects in Quebec, Southeast Stoney Trail in Calgary, Alta., the award-winning Royal Jubilee Hospital Patient Care Centre in Victoria, B.C.,” he noted.
“ACCIONA is currently building some of B.C.’s largest transportation and clean energy projects in partnership with top North American and global companies. We are leading joint venture teams delivering the Broadway Subway Project (design-build-finance model), Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project (P3 model) and the Site C Clean Energy Project (bid-build model) in northern B.C.”
In addition to being carbon netural since 2016, the company is also recognized by the top international sustainability indexes.
“ACCIONA’s sustainability strategy aims beyond net-zero to regenerating the planet and restoring what has been lost to the impacts of climate change,” said Landry. “Our goal is to lead the transition to a decarbonized economy and develop zero-waste projects.
“In North America, we only pursue projects that meet our sustainability criteria and intentionally avoid many types of projects that do not meet our standards,” he added. “As a contractor, we strive to educate and influence sustainable decision-making both upstream to clients and downstream to the supply chain.”
ACCIONA Infrastructure recently celebrated 20 years in Canada and marked the occasion by planting 20,000 trees in B.C.
The company has also published a five-year sustainability strategy. The Sustainability Master Plan 2025, Regenerative by Design, is the company’s roadmap for every business action worldwide. It is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
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