Spanish construction companies take positions on Biden's billionaire plan

The six large Spanish construction companies continue to increase their exposure to the North American market with large awards, despite the uncertainty that still hangs around the coronavirus, in their eagerness to get as much of the pie of the new two trillion infrastructures plan as possible. dollars announced by the new president of the United States, Joe Biden.

The Spanish that has achieved the best position in recent years to participate in this plan is ACS, which only in North America received 17,300 million euros last year, more than half of what it obtains worldwide.

In addition, of its current global portfolio of 70,000 million euros, 44% corresponds to this region. In 2020 alone, its awards in the United States reached 4,000 million euros. “The North American region remains stable thanks to the resilience of the US and Canadian markets,” the company highlights in its accounts.

In 2021, already under the Biden Administration, ACS has taken over water and transportation sanitation works in California for 100 million, with the renovation of the Dallas airport for another 100 million and with the construction of a hospital in Washington for 320 million , at the same time that it has entered the New York project to develop an offshore wind farm off its coast.

The company has a complex structure of subsidiaries around the world and is now trying to simplify that network of companies, but only in the United States does it have EE Cruz, JF WHITE, John Picone, Prince, Pulice or Schiavone, although the most active are Flatiron, Turner and Dragados USA.

Its concessionaire Iridium also has a presence in the country, with 10 highways and 6 railway projects in the region, as well as Abertis, which in 2020 closed the acquisition of 100% of Elizabeth River Crossings, some tunnels in Virginia, for approximately 1,000 million euros. euros.

Discreet presence of Acciona

The second largest construction company by revenue, Acciona, although far behind ACS –6,472 million compared to 35,000 million–, has a smaller presence in the United States, which is mainly reduced to renewable projects: 1,064 megawatts (MW), 10% of its total portfolio, in 10 wind farms, as well as 64 MW in thermoelectric.

Its Infrastructure division has a portfolio of 1,536 million euros in North America, 10% of its total portfolio -especially in Canada-, a figure lower than its presence in Australia and Latin America, which account for 23% in each area. In Agua it has a desalination plant that supplies 333,000 Florida residents.

Key market for Ferrovial

Ferrovial, for its part, which received 6,158 million euros in 2020 – excluding the 5,000 million from its Services division, currently for sale – considers the United States as its market with the greatest potential and where it develops projects in Texas, Virginia and North Carolina.

The company has six major highways in the country. Of the 405 million that this division entered, 301 million belong to the United States, 74% of the total. In Construction, North America concentrates 38% of the turnover, with its subsidiary Webber currently breaking into projects in the advanced execution phase.

So far this year, the firm chaired by Rafael del Pino has been awarded the improvement of a section of a highway in Georgia for 192 million euros, has teamed up with Lilium, a company that develops a future flying taxi, to build 20 ‘vertiports’ in Florida, and has been awarded the construction and maintenance works of the I-35 highway in Texas for 1,273 million euros.

FCC hopes to expand

Already outside the Ibex 35, FCC entered 6,158 million euros last year, of which only 85 million corresponded to the United States -especially from the Environment area-, although the company defends that in the coming years “it will continue with the consolidation of its presence through growth in more residential contracts and the enhancement of commercial collection activity “.

In this sense, FCC has recently begun to provide the urban solid waste collection, pruning and clean-point management service in the city of Omaha (Nebraska), a new contract valued at more than 400 million euros for a period of 20 years.

In construction, it only registered 9 million euros, while its Water subsidiary, Aqualia, affirms that it will continue to study the possibilities in markets such as the United States. It also has a 44.6% minority stake in Giant Cement, which operates several factories on the US East Coast.

It takes 7% of Sacyr’s activity

For its part, Sacyr began its construction activity in the country in 2018 and since then it has won seven contracts in the states of Florida and Texas, totaling a construction portfolio of more than 575 million euros.

This year it has closed the financing of its first concession project in the country to operate the services of the University of Idaho for 50 years, a contract that will generate revenues of 1,200 million euros. Of the 4,548 million that entered in 2020, the United States represents around 7%.

OHL’s main market

Finally, OHL has also focused all its efforts on the United States, a country where it has been present since 2006 through its subsidiaries OHL USA or Judlau Contracting, among others, and operates in California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas and Florida in projects for roads, bridges, rail infrastructure, tunnels, hydraulic works and buildings.

In 2020, of the 2,830.7 million that entered the world, 42% came from this country, in which its portfolio amounts to 1,354 million euros. This market stood out above the others in which it is present and, in fact, offset the fall it registered in Europe and Latin America, which account for 37.3% and 19%, respectively, of its revenue.

In January OHL was awarded a contract in the country to carry out the design and construction of 17 elevators in the New York subway in a period of 31 months and for a total amount of 122 million euros.


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