Enrique Alonso Zúñiga
Director General
Sacyr
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View from the Top

Boosting Mexico's Infrastructure from Every Angle

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 16:59

Q: How have Sacyr’s operations evolved in recent years in Mexico?
A: Globally, Sacyr is divided into four divisions: Engineering and Infrastructure, Concessions, Services and Industrial. Sacyr is present in 29 countries and is driven by over 30,000 people who seek to create a more prosperous and sustainable world. We operate 3,800km of highways throughout the world and have constructed more than 700km of 40 different high-speed rail projects. Sacyr also manages more than 40 waste-treatment plants, 2,500 beds in various hospitals and more than 900MW in electricity generation and cogeneration projects.
Mexico is a strategic country for us and we believe that we can add value to the development of infrastructure from a technical point of view, integrating innovative and efficient solutions, and as private investors in project financing through PPPs. We believe that PPPs can be an important mechanism for the country’s economic development in the coming years. We also believe that the development of transport projects for people and goods will contribute to the generation of new business opportunities, especially to improve conditions in less favorable regions. There is great potential in developing social projects, such as schools, universities and hospitals.
Sacyr is committed to improving the quality of life of Mexicans through the development and operation of various  infrastructure projects such as the Queretaro Regional Hospital, the Pediatric Gynecology Hospital, the Regional General Hospital in San Alejandro, the Ciudad Acuña General Hospital and the Specialty Hospital in Pachuca. Sacyr is also participating in the construction of the New Mexico International Airport (NAIM) and Line 3 of the Guadalajara Light Train. Through concession contracts, we are also participating in the Piramides-Tulancingo-Pachuca highway and the Tlahuac General Hospital in Mexico City.
Q: What project would you highlight as your main achievement due to its technical difficulty?
A: One of the most emblematic projects we have developed in Mexico is Line 3 of the Guadalajara Light Train. The most difficult aspect of the project was the construction of the tunnel. However, thanks to our experience in other countries we were able to complete it successfully with a TBM tunneling machine. The project consisted of a 5km underground structure that would pass under the historic city cathedral. Of the entire project, 680m were in a trench and the remaining 4km were executed across a tunnel with a diameter of 11.55m. This was necessary to screen and improve the soil through the jet-grouting technique to protect historical buildings. The project has five underground stations (Normal, Mayor, Catedral, Independencia and Plaza de la Bandera) with structures that are 110m in length and 20m in width, double access, waiting areas, distributors and platforms, as well as technical and ventilation rooms in both headers.  
Q: Sacyr México recently won the tender for the San Alejandro Hospital in Puebla. What key factors should construction companies consider when bidding for a hospital in Mexico?
A: Hospital projects are highly complex due to their specialization. They involve a large number of installations with technical specifications that are not required in other types of buildings. In these projects, executive design must be exceptional and use of spaces must be well defined so the future operation of the hospital and its services are efficient. Definitely, the user must be the main focus of the project.
The San Alejandro Hospital involved the replacement of the 210-bed Pediatric Gynecology Hospital and the 205-bed Regional General Hospital, both located in San Andres Cholula, Puebla. Sacyr’s was in charge of the design and development of the executive project, construction of civil works and the supply, installation and testing of start-up equipment and permanent installations. We also took over the design, manufacturing and installation of furniture, as well as the signaling, atmosphere, institutional image and civil protection of the hospital.
Q: What is Sacyr’s participation in NAIM and what areas of opportunity have you identified in the project?
A: This project represents a great challenge, which we seek to comply with the highest quality to continue positioning ourselves as a benchmark for infrastructure development in this country. Sacyr is participating in the construction of the foundation of NAIM’s ground transportation center, which consists of a reinforced concrete slab with an approximate surface area of ​​143,740m2. A special construction process was established with a geotechnical component as a fundamental pillar given the unique characteristics of the soil. In this area, the ground offers little support due to existence of sand sediments through which high-pressure water runs. We designed our concrete formula to comply with the high specifications required in the project. We are even creating this mix in a plant located on-site thus guaranteeing its durability.
Q: How is Sacyr innovating within the Mexican infrastructure industry and what is the main added value it offers to clients?
A: Our main added value is contributing our experience accompanied by innovation. Over the years, this has led us to position ourselves as the fourth-largest infrastructure multinational in Latin America. Sacyr has been in Mexico since 2008 and has joined forces with local companies to develop several projects. We are innovating within the sector by introducing materials that support the circular economy. Our RARx solution uses rubber dust from tire recycling, which has economic, technical and environmental benefits. This increases the durability and useful life of streets and offers better response against reflection and crack propagation, as well as better resistance to fatigue. It also lowers conservation costs. In addition to reusing tires, our new solution also decreases the amount of raw materials needed to manufacture the mixture (aggregates and asphalt) by creating thinner reinforcement layers. RARx also reduces the noise vehicles make, thus increasing the quality of life of people living on streets paved with this material.
Q: What are Sacyr’s views on talent development and its importance for the company’s growth strategy?
A: Sacyr is betting strongly on human talent. Our team in the country consists of 400 direct employees and more than 3,000 indirect employees. Through our Talentya program we promote the development of youngsters. This program targets recent graduates who are starting their professional careers and who are interested in joining a company that is passionate about challenges. Talentya includes all areas within the company and aims to incorporate the best talent within an ambitious development program that is structured and has a specific retention plan. With a duration of 24 months, participants have the opportunity to follow a specific career path that will allow them to take future key positions in the company.
Q: What are Sacyr’s expectations for your business in Mexico during the AMLO presidency?
A: We are very optimistic about the future scenario with the incoming government, with which we will be working very closely. In this new stage, the development of infrastructure will be boosted and we are committed to being a key participant in this process. We are an established company in Mexico with global presence that watches out for communities where we are present, collaborating with partners and Mexican talent.