The Spanish engineering sector is generally made up of more than 1,600 companies, of which about 100 are large or medium-sized. It is the sector that has more internationalized companies, with an external billing average of 50-70% (some more than 90%).
Since 2009, with the “crisis”, the big companies reinforced their business abroad and the rest followed the marked path. First in Latin America and then in the rest of the world, taking advantage of all the know-how previously acquired in Spain.
In terms of transport infrastructure, approximately 85% of the project portfolio of our major construction companies is made up of contracts abroad, with presence in 90 countries of the five continents. and up to 6 of the 10 “top” infrastructure builders worldwide are Spanish (ACS, OHL, Ferrovial, FCC, Acciona and Sacyr), with projects in the European Union, Middle East, Africa, United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia.
Spain is at the forefront of the world in high-speed railways, meters, highways and construction and operation of ports and airports, managing projects integrally. Likewise, 46% of the world’s concessions are managed by nine Spanish companies.
Special mention we will do to the high speed infrastructures, since Spain is an international leader in this discipline, mainly thanks to the great knowledge and experience after developing the bird in our country. The trend is that several Spanish companies work together in International megaprojects, which began after the emblematic high-speed project Meca-Medina, which is already close to completion and is formed by a consortium of 12 companies Among construction companies, engineering firms, technological enterprises, etc.
To this day, the Middle East is the market with the greatest export potential for the Spanish railway industry. Saudi Arabia, Emirates and Oman are forecast to invest 92 billion euros in the next few years in railway infrastructure, although we cannot forget the threat of falling oil prices. Also, Spanish companies specializing in railways, have a lot of presence in the U.S. and are entering strong in new markets such as India and China.
As for the auxiliary industry/signalling of railway and metro infrastructures, Spain develops the ticketing and control systems for the most innovative metro, railway, tunnels and highways in the world. We also export communication technology and signage to the five continents.
The Spanish Railway traffic management system Da Vinci, owned by the ADIF and developed by Indra, is the reference tool for the management and control of railway traffic in the Spanish high-speed and conventional networks and is already operating In the metros of Medellin and London, for example. And it is also being implemented in many other countries today. In the high-speed project between Mecca and Medina, which before Aludíamos, also have this system.
According to Seopan, the employer that brings together the major construction companies, regarding road/highway building, Spanish businesses are leaders in Chile, Brazil, Mexico, United States, Canada, Portugal, United Kingdom, Italy, Greece, Poland, India and Australia, among other countries.
As a notable trend, public-private partnerships (PPPs) would be, through which countries with high demand for transport infrastructures manage to attract companies and investors from the private sector to implement projects that are not They would carry out, since there is the possibility of transferring to these a significant part of the risks and costs which, otherwise, should be assumed by their own governments.
Hydraulic and water-treatment infrastructures
Referring now to our domain in terms of hydraulic infrastructure and water treatment, it is paradoxical that Spain is not complying with the European Water Framework Directive. However, several Spanish companies are leading the world in both purification and desalination projects, covering more than 60 million people. Its external activity represents more than 80%.
We are the first producer of desalinated water in Europe and America and leaders in reverse osmosis and in construction of desalination plants. Companies like Acciona Water, Sacyr Vallehermoso (Sadyt), Ferrovial (Cadagua), FCC (Aqualia) and Abengoa are absolute leaders in the field. In addition, we are living a “golden age of desalination” according to the worldwide desalting Plant inventory, since the desalination capacity in the world increased 70% between 2007 and 2016. And the trend is still rising.
Concerning the field of energy, in renewable energies, we have moved from the most pointless countries to stop investing completely within the Spanish territory. And in the world concert, Spain descends to tenth position, and dominates China with 250 GW of power installed, followed by the USA (219 GW), Brazil (114 GW), Germany
(105 GW), Canada (93 GW), Japan (90 GW), India (82 GW), Italy (54.8 GW), Russia (51.9 GW) and Spain (51.4 GW).
However, Spanish companies are in the lead in international projects with regard to technologies such as solar (thermosolar), offshore wind and hydropower.
The case of photovoltaic solar energy is the most bleeding, since Spain went from world number one to per-der more and more weight in both projects development and technological research. All in the wake of the royal Decree 1578/08 by which the previous substantial premiums were cut. More than 35,000 jobs were lost and Spanish companies/engineers were exiled to other countries: Germany, UK, France, etc. Today, India is the new paradise for photovoltaics, but also Chile, Mexico, etc.
But it is not all bad news, because the SolarPower report predicts “a new cycle of investments” that could grow the sector 80% in Euro-pa from here to 2019. Spain would be the most interesting country for foreign companies because of our great knowledge in the field, we are the country with the highest radiation in Europe and we only have 5 GW of photovoltaic power installed.