Thursday, October 30, 2014

Alexandros Ignatiadis- interview The Money Channel: A licensing system and BVB listing could help Romanian construction companies participate in bids for large infrastructure projects

Romania is supposed to build 656 km of highway and 2,226 km of express roads by 2030, according to the Transport Master Plan, presented by the Minister of Transport Ioan Rus, at the beginning of October. The highway projects included in the Master Plan are Sibiu - Braşov (103 km), Ploieşti - Comarnic (49 km), Craiova - Piteşti (115 km), Comarnic - Braşov (54 km), Braşov - Bacău (158 km) and Gilău - Borş (177 km), the total estimated cost for these projects, reaching  6.28 billion euro. Moreover, the Master Plan includes the construction of express roads totaling approximately 2,200 km, the necessary funds for these projects accounting for around 17.5 billion euro. According to the document, 2,674 km of trans-regional roads, 293 km of EuroTrans roads and 172 km of city belt should be built, the total of necessary funds for the development of the road sector standing at 26.1 billion euro.

Alexandros Ignatiadis, co- founder and shareholder of the company OCTAGON CONTRACTING & ENGINEERING, commented on the Master Plan and offered solutions which could help Romanian construction companies participate in public bids for large infrastructure projects, during the TV show “Metropolis”, broadcast by the “The Money Channel”.
The Money Channel: What is your perspective on the Master Plan presented by the Minister of Transport at the beginning of October?

Alexandros Ignatiadis: The Minister of Transport presents a Transport Master Plan on a regular basis. It is our obligations to the European Community to send this report, but the question marks are related to the lack of responsibility towards the objectives within the previous Master Plans.  We never find out which of these have not been reached and who is responsible for the positive or negative results. In the private sector, companies that do not perform, pay through low profits or even losses, for the failed objectives. In the public sector we do not have an evaluation and control system, which could hold those governing the country, accountable. Each new government sends optimistic messages related to the plans for the ongoing terms, but at the end of the term, the results are always disastrous.

The Money Channel: What changes should occur on the construction market to allow Romanian contractors to have access to road infrastructure projects?

Alexandros Ignatiadis:  A major issue, which stops Romanian construction companies to participate in such large bids, is the weak capitalization. The financial burden, represented by bank guarantees and performance guarantees, combined with long delays on payments made by the state, which is the beneficiary of these projects, are the main causes why Romanian companies cannot stand the competition against foreign companies. A method to attract capital would be through Bucharest Stock Exchange, but right now there is no Romanian construction company listed on the Stock Exchange.

The second negative factor is the interference of politics in public bids, which could be eliminated by licensing the construction companies. Through licensing, only the companies with a certain level of capitalization and a certain level of expertise would have access to bids. Right now, the Romanian legislation allows any company, set up six months ago, with a share capital of 200 lei and obviously devoid of the necessary expertise, to be eligible for the construction of large infrastructure projects. The only condition is to partner with other companies willing to provide technical or financial support.
The licensing of construction companies would stop the phenomenon of “flat companies”, set up over night, politically backed, which vanish right after the end of the term of those who have supported them. 
Licensing could also solve the issue of contested results, which prolong almost three times the life cycle of a project.

We all know that, within all European projects, the funds are allocated for a certain term and if the implementation of the project exceeds the initial term, the funds can no longer be absorbed. In Romania the execution terms of infrastructure projects are prolonged 3 to 4 times due to the mentioned issues, and at the end of each year we manage to always wonder about the same thing: why do we absorb such a low percentage of the allocated European funds?  

Romania had, at the end of last year, 644 km of highway, 16,466 km of national roads, 35,587 km of county roads and 32,190 km of village roads. According to the Master Plan, there are no express roads in Romania.

You can watch the show here:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

OCTAGON delivers second building of the complex Green Court Bucharest

*      Contract value: 3.8 mil. euro
*      Green Court Bucharest- office complex located on 4 Garii Herastrau Street, Bucharest
Green Court Bucharest building B

OCTAGON CONTRACTING & ENGINEERING delivered the second building (B), of the office complex Green Court Bucharest, developed by Swedish company Skanska. The complex will have three development stages and building B was the second development stage. The value of the works performed by OCTAGON on this building was 3.8 mil. euro.

Green Court Bucharest Building B- encasing
The second stage of the project started in 2013, with the execution of special foundation works, consisting in excavation, diaphragm walls D 600 and anchorages. This year OCTAGON built the superstructure of building B, which has 3 underground levels, ground floor and 11 floors.
Green Court Bucharest- building B

OCTAGON also built the first building of the complex Green Court Bucharest. The company was specialist contractor and performed the infrastructure and superstructure works on building A. The buildings covers 19,500 sqm and the investment in this stage reached 46 mil. Euro.

Green Court Bucharest- building B
Green Court Bucharest will have a total area of 52,000 sqm. The complex is developed by Swedish company Skansa, known for the 125 years of experience in construction and real estate development. Oresund bridge, which connects Sweden with Denmark, the reconstruction of Oculus World Trade Center Transportantion Hub in New York and the office building “Gherkin” Swiss Re in London are among the most important projects developed by the company. Skanska developed over 2 million sqm office spaces worldwide.

Green Court Bucharest- building B- encasing
Green Court Bucharest- encasing&reinforcing

For more information click HERE
Phone: (+4)
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Top- down construction, which allows the execution of infrastructure and superstructure of a building simultaneously, used frequently by OCTAGON

Multiple underground level buildings, located in crowded urban areas need the implementation of complex construction methods, able to guarantee their solidity. One of the most efficient solutions is the top-down construction. OCTAGON CONTRACTING & ENGINEERING has used this procedure frequently, for the construction of several office buildings.  
The main benefit of this method consists in the fact that the infrastructure and the superstructure of the building can be executed simultaneously, reducing significantly the execution term.
The construction method was adopted at the beginning of the ‘60s, but it is still used by a limited number of constructors, as this is not a procedure easy to apply: excavation under the floor is difficult to perform.
Top- down construction is performed in several stages.
OCTAGON started to use the top- down construction method to execute the infrastructure of the tallest office building in Bucharest: Sky Tower (Barbu Vacarescu Blvd). The company built three reinforced concrete floors, of 4,600 sqm each.

Between 2010- 2011, OCTAGON built the foundation and the structure of the underground levels 3 and 4 of building A, within Hermes Business Campus complex (5-7 Dimitrie Pompeiu Blvd- Bucharest).
The company used the top- down system to build the office projects Cathedral Plaza (General Berthelot), Charles de Gaulle Plaza (Charles de Gaulle Square) and the four star hotel Novotel (Calea Victoriei).


For more information click HERE

Phone: (+4)
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