How has the company grown in Latin America, and what are some important ongoing projects?
We initiated our activities in Mexico and Panama 15 years ago, and since then our company has had continuous growth in this area. Recently we extended our presence into South America, specifically in Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Brazil. Getting established is a slow process that requires adaptation to the laws of each country and the setting up of your operational framework. The main work at the beginning has to do with commercial activities and liaison with private sector companies. In parallel, we also establish relations with the public sector, which we often first work with in a market. Given our structure, the public tender process is more suitable for an international company. In this context, we hired a local workforce, and have trained them according to the culture of FCC Construction. Luckily, we have had a successful adventure so far in Peru, having developed several projects. For example, in Trujillo we recently finished a project involving the upgrade and improvement of a sports complex, and we are currently working on the expansion of the Northern port of Callao. This project has a budget of $165 million and is 50% completed. One of the competitive advantages of our company when entering new markets is that we do so with a local partner for a better understanding of the market. This puts us in a better position to access key projects for Peru in the future, such as the Lima Metro. For this project, we formed a consortium of companies to be in a position to provide more comprehensive solutions and submit competitive bids. FCC has the power to attract some of the best professionals across a diversity of fields. Also, we have a certain degree of experience in Peru, which was a factor when bidding. We were awarded the metro project, and are now in the process of finishing the design and commencing the construction phase.
What are the main challenges regarding the construction of the Lima underground project?
The challenge has to do with the implementation of new construction technologies and processes. The training we provided to our workforce and that we will provide in the near future is a key elements of project success. Cooperation between all companies that submitted the bid is vital, too. This project involves a concession contract, where financing, construction, and maintenance are all included.
How would you assess the business environment for foreign investors in Peru?
The Peruvian market has been opened to foreign investors over the past few years. The country has a clear vision of the need to attract foreign investment to boost economic and social development. Companies like ours see Peru as an attractive market, and we feel welcome to be a part of its development. The regulatory framework is well established, and we are treated as any other local company.
How will the new transport infrastructure project impact national development?
Lima needed an underground transport system to ease traffic congestion, and our 35-kilometer underground line will improve transport mobility issues in Lima, a city of close to 10 million inhabitants. The underground also has a huge positive impact on the environment. I believe that Lima is at the right moment to develop such large-scale projects. As Peru grows the country is positively implementing key transport infrastructure projects that will leverage its potential and growth.