Dutch engineering consultancy Arcadis selected to build tunnel under Suez Canal

01 June 2018 Consultancy-me.com

Having previously designed and built the Ismailia twin-tube road tunnel, Dutch engineering consultancy Arcadis has been selected to build another sub-Suez tunnel 90 km to the south of its prior project. The road tunnel will connect the west of Egypt with the Sinai desert.

Good infrastructure is the lifeblood of a thriving economy – getting people and goods around faster. At a basic level, if people and goods can’t get around quickly and efficiently, a nation’s economy is bound to suffer. Easy and cost-effective movement is an essential piece of economic growth – the industrial revolution that created the modern world, for example, required the advent of railways in order to occur.

The Suez Canal in Egypt, which connects the Mediterranean with Gulf of Suez, is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world – and an integral part of the quickest shipping route between Europe and Asia. The economically important canal was the focus of an intense expansion in 2014, in the hopes of stimulating the Egyptian economy. The government spent $8 billion to complete an ambitious project of widening sections of the canal in order to increase shipping volume and reduce wait times, contracting several European and US engineering firms to support the massive undertaking.

In the end, the Suez expansion was completed a year later in 2015, two years ahead of schedule. The Egyptian government expects the expanded canal to increase generated revenues from $5 billion in 2014 to $13.5 billion in 2023.Arcadis selected to build tunnel under Suez Canal in EgyptAs part of the mega-project, the government also contracted the building of a number of road tunnels below the canal in order to facilitate better transport links between the regions east and west of the waterway, promoting economic growth. Amsterdam-based design and engineering consultancy Arcadis was selected in 2015 to build a twin-tube road tunnel to the north of the city of Ismailia, slated for completion in 2018. The tunnel is 4.7 kilometre long and reaches a depth of 70 metres, and includes pump systems and a fixed firefighting system.

Because of its experience with the Ismailia tunnel, Arcadis has now been contracted to build a similar sub-Suez tunnel 90 km to the south. The twin-tube tunnel will also be 4.7 kilometres in length, although it will reach a shallower maximum depth of 40 metres.

“It is an honour to be able to continue working on such a project under the Suez Canal for the second time,” said Gert Kroon Arcadis General Manager, Netherlands.

Kroon believes that the engineering consultancy proved its expertise and value in the design and construction of the Ismailia road tunnel. “We've shown that all our different business units work well together,” he said. “There was enormous time pressure on the construction of the first tunnel and we quickly delivered a robust design.”

Globally, Arcadis has over 27,000 employees across 350 offices in 40 countries. In the Middle East, the consultancy has offices in Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE. It had revenues of €3.3 billion in 2016. The financial terms of the new contract were not disclosed.

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Construction consultancy Drees & Sommer launches innovation hub in Dubai

18 April 2019 Consultancy-me.com

The Middle East branch of international construction and real estate consultancy Drees & Sommer has launched a new innovation hub in Dubai

Following the appointment of ex-Ramboll exec Abdulmajid Karanouhas as its Head of Interdisciplinary Design & Innovation earlier this year to spearhead the firm’s R&D drive in the Middle East, the local branch of German-origin construction and real estate consultancy Drees & Sommer has now launched a new innovation hub in Dubai – designed as a collaborative environment to serve both external start-ups and its own employees.

“It has always been part of our corporate culture to promote our own ideas and initiatives,” said Drees & Sommer executive board member Steffen Szeidl. “Increasingly, digital transformation and our clients are calling for completely new and disruptive business models. The Innovation Centre is one of our responses to these challenges. All 3,200 staff members can upload their ideas virtually.”

According to Szeidl, from there, promising concepts and solutions addressing identified market gaps in areas such as planning, construction and operations will be developed, funded and localised for any market which sees the potential. He continues: “Adding the Dubai innovation hub emphasises our status as a global innovation company by being one of the few companies doing R&D in this region.”Construction consultancy Drees & Sommer launches innovation hub in DubaiLocally established in 2003, Drees & Sommer was founded close to 50 years ago in Stuttgart, since growing to include some 40 offices worldwide, with its global headcount of 3,200 professionals generating revenues upwards of $430 million in 2017. The firm’s offerings span the gamut of real estate and infrastructure requirements, delivered according to its ‘blue way’, which takes into account economic, functionality, and ecological aspects together.

This, for Drees & Sommer, is an important point in the regional context.  “There is a huge demand in this market for contextual solutions as most models and systems are imported from abroad with little to no adaptation to the local culture, economy, and environment,” explains Karanouh. “As a consequence of this approach, we are facing major challenges related to user-comfort, efficiency, manageability, durability, and overall sustainability and feasibility of the built environment in the region.”

Accordingly, the firm has tailored each of its innovation hubs rolled out so far across the world to drive specific initiatives. In Aachen, Germany’s ‘Silicon Valley’, for example, there is a focus on customised smart buildings, IoT product testing and cyber-security, while the firm’s Stuttgart hub focuses on start-ups and processes and its Berlin one on smart cities and smart quarters. The Netherlands hub meanwhile focuses on wellbeing and sustainable innovation.

Karanouh: “The innovation hub brings together specialists of various disciplines from across the industry as a single interdisciplinary team that advises clients from early feasibility studies all the way to operation and revitalisation of buildings to maximise comfort, efficiency, sustainability, return of investment and overall value. The platform allows for brainstorming ideas, identifying market gaps and needs, adapting existing solutions or/and developing new solutions tailored to the local market and environment.”