The Business Year

Rui Fortes Monteiro

PORTUGAL - Real Estate & Construction

Rui Fortes Monteiro

Executive Director, TPF - CONSULTORES DE ENGENHARIA E ARQUITETURA, S.A.

Bio

Rui Fortes Monteiro began his professional career as a Structural Design Engineer at Hidrotécnica Portuguesa, in 1979, where he worked until 1992 as Deputy Director of the Hydroelectric Schemes and Special Structures Department. In 1992 he joined CENOR, as Manager and Director of the Hydroelectric Schemes and Special  Structures Department. He was a Board Member from 2006 to 2016. With a professional experience of over 40 years in Hydraulic Structures, Bridges and Viaducts, he is since 2017 one of TPF Consultores’ Executive Board Member and Director of the Designs and Studies Department. 

TBY talks to Rui Fortes Monteiro, Executive Director of TPF - CONSULTORES DE ENGENHARIA E ARQUITETURA, S.A., about International markets, competitive advantages, and innovation.

What are the main trends defining the sector you are operating in?

Current important and growing trends in engineering and architecture are focused on sustainability and climate resilience, which includes carbon-neutral architecture and a shift toward renewable and green energies. Another concern is the way in which projects are presented to clients. Today, most of the design involves BIM 3D modelling and digital twins; a digital representation of the physical assets that allows clients to have complete visualization of what is being built before the work completion. Another trend concerns remote technology such as the use of drones, to capture some aspects during construction supervision and for safety issues ; as well as modular construction, and 3D printing, all employed to minimize risks of construction hazards onsite. The last trend involves engineers working across geographically dispersed environments and across different time zones, using technology and collaborative tools to remotely design and review construction sites. These are all the current trends in engineering.

How did the company perform in 2021, and what is the importance of Portugal within the global operations of TPF?

TPF Consultores, headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal, is an engineering consulting company that was founded 42 years ago. It is well established in Portugal and it is present in several international markets such as Algeria, Angola, Mozambique, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, and East Timor. We ensure the fully integrated supply of engineering and architecture from design to project management and supervision. Nowadays, we have 350 employees, and our consolidated turnover in 2021 was EUR23 million. Some of the fields in which we operate include water and sanitation, agricultural development, energy, environment and special planning, dams, urban planning, complex buildings, industrial structures, bridges and viaducts, transport infrastructures, geotechnical and geologic projects, and hydraulics and water resources, just to name a few. Our head company is TPF Group, currently one of the 50 biggest international players, with branches in 44 countries and operations in more than 60 countries. It has a total of 4,000 employees and a global turnover of EU250 million. We have a solid performance in Portugal and in some of our overseas markets, especially Angola. We made many good deals and contracts that presently give us an excellent backlog for the coming years. We have contracts for 30 months of operation, which is impressive. In Portugal, we have a solid presence in the railway sector, and are now providing technical assistance for a significant contract of the line of Beira Alta, from Mangualde to Vilar Formoso. and have won, in consortium, a contract for the expansion of the Linha de Cintura de Lisboa. We are also developing a consortium for the high-speed railway line to connect Porto and Lisbon. In addition, we are active in metro lines and are reviewing the design of the circular line of Lisbon Metro, that is under construction. We are supervising the metro network in Porto and preparing a consortium for a tender of the red line of the Lisbon metro, which will connect São Sebastião to Alcântara. In terms of supervision, we are doing the construction  supervision of the drainage plan of Lisbon, which consists of two large  tunnels to prevent the flooding of the city. We are also working on the supervision of the Hospital de Sintra and the Central Hospital of Madeira Island.

How do innovation and technology help TPF to shape its competitive advantages?

We have a team that works specifically on innovation; we call it Center for Innovation and Technical Information and Communication (CITIC). It is an important aspect of our company. In terms of design, we have extensive experience in developing BIM projects for buildings as well as for infrastructures. We are now designing several hospitals in Angola only using BIM technology. We are acquiring a 3D printer for our most important projects and have also introduced the use of drones to supervise projects. Technology is not our only competitive advantage; we have solid and sound professional and corporate ethics. This is our number-one advantage. We also have technical knowledge combined with professional experience. The technical quality of our projects is one of our distinctive marks, and we are extremely proud to be known for our excellent technical performance. Our other important features include the level of professional management in the company, our solid financial management, and the modern analytical tools that we use, some of which we developed in-house. These are our competitive advantages related to other companies in the field. We also have a great diversity of specialization, and that is an important advantage in this market. Belonging to an international group also allows us to do work in different parts of the world. For example, in Brazil we are involved in several projects to evaluate the dam safety of mining facilities in partnership with TPF Engenharia (Brazil). Another example is a contract in India for a drainage plan in Mumbai with our company TPF India. We are also following interesting opportunities in Romania as well, mainly in roads and railways.

What is the company’s medium-term consolidation strategy?€¨

In Portugal, we will proceed with all the opportunities in the transport sector as well as in energy, infrastructures, hydraulics, and environment. We want to take advantage of important investments in Portugal coming from the EU. We will continue with our presence in Portuguese-speaking African markets, especially in Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau, which is a new market that we are entering with the design of an important port. In the last five years, TPF Group has concluded a phase of company acquisitions in several countries. It is now starting a phase of consolidation and reformulation of management and operation. We want to strengthen our presence in West Africa, where some new great contracts are expected. We will continue to invest in the area of mining facilities, which is one of our areas of specialization, and safety of dams, both in Portugal and Brazil. We are working with Vale—one of the biggest mining companies in the world—and have been pleased with the results thus far.

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