CONSTRUCTION SECTOR: PROCUREMENT TENDERS AND MEASURES TO SUPPORT THE INDUSTRY ON THE HORIZON
Monitoring the most significant measures and most interesting tenders in 2014. Market recovery by now close to 66%.
Verona, 16 April 2014 – Railways and motorways, as well as renovation of school buildings and works in small local councils. These are the sectors that will see the most new sites opened. The construction market is by no means out of the crisis but monitoring of legislative measures in recent months and major tender contracting agendas at just a few weeks from the 29th edition of Samoter with Asphaltica at Veronafiere 8-11 May shows that something is beginning to move.
Analysis starts with a measure expected for many years nicknamed the “6000 Bell Tower Plan” since it has made funds available to local council areas with fewer than 5000 inhabitants. The first portion, assigned with the click day procedure, distributed the first 100 million euros to 115 local councils; a further 50 million euros are being awarded with the second instalment, this time following the “slider” rankings. Overall, the funds set aside come to 1 billion euros. Small local councils will thereby be able to continue with projects left stranded by the constraints of the Stability Pact and this will especially benefit small construction companies. A similar impact will also be achieved through the School Building Plan. The Government has allocated 150 million euros for minor maintenance projects in schools through rankings drawn up by the Regions.
Urban redevelopment policies may also be a positive driving force behind market recovery: according to Cresme, especially new buildings and public works will not return to pre-crisis levels and recovery today is already worth 66% of the market. That this is the direction for the future is also evident given the age of Italy’s building architectural heritage (in cities, on average 70% of homes are more than 40 years old), the need to comply with European plant and systems standards and demand for more energy efficiency.
Federcostruzioni, for example, calls for a national urban redevelopment plan to be launched based on European funds for the period 2014-2020. The stability law for 2014 contains a total of 50 standards for buildings. While it is not possible to list them all, the most eagerly awaited for reviving the property market is undoubtedly the guarantee fund on first-home mortgages (200 millions/year for the three year period 2014-2016). Mention can also be made of a loosening of the stability pact worth 1 billion euros for capital payments by Local Councils and Provinces within the first six months of 2014.
In terms of infrastructures, mention can be made of procurement tenders worth 2.5 billion euros that the Italian Railways plans to publish in 2014. This figure includes 750 million euros for new investments (including speed improvements on the Catania-Siracusa line and the modernisation of the Messina-Palermo line, as well as projects in Rome) and 1310 millions for network maintenance. The first half year should also see tenders published for civil works on the construction of the 2nd “Terzo Valico” batch, worth about 500 million euros, while the publication of the BBT pre-information notice for the Mules batch of the Brenner Tunnel is expected by the end of the year works and is worth about 1.2 billion euros.
As regards motorways, sites will be opened during the year along the “Pedemontana Veneta” section and will involve projects totalling no less than 130 million euros. As of 1 January 2014, Motorway Concessionary Companies by law must outsource 60% and no longer 40% of works to third parties. According to data compiled by the Ministry of Infrastructures, this will see more than 500 million euros more on the market than in 2013.
In short, something is moving – although it remains to be seen if the changes in the overall scenario that the market has been hoping to see for so long will actually come about. An initial response will be provided by next Samoter event (the international earth moving, site and building industry machinery exhibition) scheduled with Asphaltica in Verona 8-11 May. More than 450 companies in the sector have already confirmed attendance.