What types of project are currently attracting the most investment in your jurisdiction (e.g. infrastructure, power, commercial property, offshore)?
Construction (2nd edition)
The renewable energy industry is booming, fuelled by new wind farms, large-scale solar photovoltaic and pumped hydro projects. Further development of the renewable energy industry has been hampered by regulatory and funding uncertainty arising from long-running political debate within the Liberal/ National Party coalition government regarding the role of government in subsidising baseload coal versus renewable energy generation and the setting of mandated target for the proportion of electricity to be generated from renewable sources.
Inland Rail and metro
The Commonwealth and state governments have made a series of commitments to new and upgraded rail line projects. This area has received particular attention with the new inland freight rail line and capital city rail projects recently securing greater Commonwealth and State funding. Some examples include the:
- Geelong Fast Rail Line, which will be between Melbourne CBD and Geelong;
- Inland Railway Project, which will extend from Melbourne to Brisbane through regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland to help connect the national freight network;
- Sydney North-South Rail Link, which will connect St Mary’s/Mt Druitt to Macarthur, via the new Western Sydney Airport; and
- Sydney City Metro and North-West Rail Line.
Sydney's second airport and Aerotropolis
The New South Wales and federal governments are focused on developing a new economic zone around Sydney's second airport, which is currently under construction in Badgerys Creek. In particular, this will involve the development of new roads, such as the M12, and rail connections across Western Sydney.
The New South Wales Government has pledged to redevelop the "ANZ" Olympic Stadium at Homebush into a rectangular venue, as commenced replacement of the "Allianz" Sydney Football Stadium and recently completed building the new Western Sydney "Bankwest" Stadium. Further, the Western Australian Government recently finished its redevelopment of Perth "Optus" Stadium.
Infrastructure projects will probably become very important in Belgium in order to deal with the traffic congestion. In Antwerp such infrastructure works have already started with the so-called “Oosterweel-project”.
Furthermore, the planned expansion of the Antwerp port will probably also attract interesting investment opportunities.
The renewable energy market continues to flourish with, for example, various projects for the installation of on shore and offshore wind turbine(s) (farms).
Another concept attracting investors is the concept of service flats. These buildings are designed to welcome senior citizens and are combined with a full range of services these people can benefit from.
Each year in the past few years, as an important stable investment tool to achieve steady profit growth, infrastructure investment accounted for over 20% of yearly total fixed-asset investment, serving as a main powerhouse to China’s construction sector.
On the other side, real estate investment has been extremely popular in China for years. In 2018, real estate investment made up approximately 20% of the total fixed-asset investment, of which residential real estate investment accounted for almost 70%.
In addition to the abovementioned investment in the transport infrastructure, renewable energy attracts a lot of focus which will drive the growth of energy and utilities construction. Also, construction of wastewater treatment plants, waste management plants and sludge treatment draw significant investment, as well as the LNG Import Terminal Project on the Island of Krk.
The coalition agreement of the federal government envisages investing heavily in social housing construction. Investments in transport infrastructure will continue to be very high. Commercial construction is currently benefiting strongly from rising demand for office workplaces and an investment offensive by Deutsche Bahn who announced to invest 10.6 billion Euros into the German rail network, in digital systems, in bridges and in train stations in 2019/2020.
Housing construction has reached a record high of 300.000 units in 2018. The last time his number was reached back in 2001. Housing construction will stay strong in 2019 and 2020 since demand for housing will remain high for the foreseeable future.
Another field that attracts heavy investment in Germany is the energy industry which already is the largest energy production pool in Europe. Major investments in the expansion of the transmission and distribution networks are planned as Germany has committed itself to a very challenging switching strategy from nuclear and fossil fuels to renewable sources (so called “Energiewende”).
There is increasing interest in infrastructure related projects, such as motorways (the Egnatia Odos S.A. and the North Road Axis of Crete (NRAC) concessions/PPP projects), as well as energy related construction works which are attracting the most investment, given that Greece is gradually becoming an energy transport centre (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, Interconnector Greece - Bulgaria, Alexandroupolis LNG project, expansion of national gas network etc.). Tourist properties are also attracting local and foreign investment given that the number of tourists visiting Greece has soared to new all-time high over the past few years. Finally, there are large-scale development projects currently underway, attracting world-class players (e.g. the Hellinikon project, development of tourist marinas).
Currently, infrastructure is the type of projects attracting the most investment in Switzerland (tramway, railroad, transboundary railway Cornavin-Eaux-Vives-Annemasse, so-called “CEVA”, etc.) while commercial and residential property investments continue to remain on high levels.
Industrial and power projects continue to attract significant investment in the United States. This is particularly true as regulations and legal standards applicable to power generation and industrial regulation continue to be relaxed. In addition, we anticipate a major upswing in infrastructure projects. This is particularly true as state and federal governments increasingly turn to public private partnerships (P3) as a method for financing and delivering major U.S. projects. The Trump Administration and the U.S. Congress also state that there will be a major federal investment in infrastructure in the next couple of years. If a law is passed providing large sources of federal dollars for infrastructure projects, we anticipate that we will see a major increase in road, bridge, and transportation projects in the United States.
The public sector is making high levels of investment in the realm of infrastructure. In the area of railway tunnels, the Brenner Base Tunnel, the Koralm Tunnel and the Semmering Base Tunnel are currently under construction. In Vienna, construction on a new underground line has commenced, which is largely being constructed by means of mined excavation.
High levels of investment are also being made in residential construction in Vienna, because the population of the capital city is growing rapidly.
Residential and commercial projects are attracting the most investment in Cyprus. A number of major investment projects are currently underway, including large development projects, such as, inter alia, marinas, golf courses, and more integrated, mixed–use development projects which include residential schemes, office & commercial development, as well as ventures, that will provide high-quality educational and health services. These projects are sufficiently mature to allow their integration as soon as investment is in place.
Brazil is still recovering from one of the largest recessions of its history and it is not clear if 2019 will be a year of strong economic growth. The first quarter of the year was not as strong as expected and the reform agenda of the recently elected government is slowly progressing.
The last two years were the ones with the smallest investment in infrastructure in Brazil, in the last decade. In 2018, public investment into infrastructure accounted for only 0,4% of the GDP, one of the lowest ratios in the world. The amount invested was not even the one necessary to offset the depreciation recorded for that year. The good news is that the country needs to catch up with its investment in infrastructure.
Transportation infrastructure continues to be the driver for the years to come. The Brazilian Association of Infrastructure and Basic Industries (Abdib) reported the existence of 59 projects, totaling BRL111 Billion, in the pipeline of short-term bidding process. Those 59 projects are related exclusively to transportation. For instance, the airport bidding process resulted in the licensing of 12 airports and a revenue of BRL2.4 Billion to the federal government, in early 2019. Private port terminals are also receiving attention from investors and, as of 2018, more than 200 private port terminals were licensed to operate in the country. Finally, in a couple of years, government will perform bidding for the renewal of licenses of major highways and railroads, which license will terminate in 2021.
Renewable energy has been the one sector receiving more investment in the past years, in particular because of the stronger regulation of the sector and of new energy sources, i.e wind and solar photovoltaic.
Besides those traditional cash cows, the investors and Brazilian government (federal, state and municipal) are looking closely to the Public-Private Partnerships-PPP. For instance, the city of São Paulo plans to bid a Public Lighting PPP in the first half of 2019, which shall exceed BRL 5 Billion. Over 250 smaller projects of Public Lighting PPP’s were initiated by 2018. Brazil has over 5 thousand cities, jut to mention the opportunities in the public lighting sector. Also, recently elected governors are in discussion for the construction of housing, schools and prisons (social infrastructure).
All else constant, Brazil needs to invest at least 4.3% of its GDP for the next 10 years to manage current bottle necks affecting our infrastructure. In current figures, that investment exceeds BRL 1Trillion. Thus, there is plenty of opportunities to be explored.
Commercial office space, residential projects, renewable energy projects and large infrastructure projects such as hospitals, schools and transport projects are currently attracting the most investment in Ireland.
Since the cancellation of the Mexico City New Airport, the most attractive projects are the “Refinería de Dos Bocas” and the “Tren Maya”.
According to official communications, the construction of the “Refinería de Dos Bocas” will result in an investment of around 150,000 and 160,000 million pesos, with the purpose of rescuing the oil sector. This project intent to generate 340 thousand of oil barrels per day and will generate around 23 thousand direct jobs and 100 thousand indirect jobs.
The “Tren Maya” is the principal infrastructure project and consist in a new service of rail transport that will connect the principal cities and touristic zones of the Yucatan Peninsula. The investment of this project is estimated in around 120,000 and 150,000 million pesos to be obtained by a mix investment scheme.
Currently infrastructure projects are attracting the most investment. In transport, despite the significant delays in the delivery of Crossrail, there remains a pipeline of major projects including Crossrail 2, the High Speed 2 rail link between London and the West Midlands, and a programme of major road improvements (with regional transport projects supported by government programmes such as the Northern Powerhouse and the Transforming Cities Fund).
In power while we are seeing increasing investment in renewable energy and in nuclear with Hinkley Point C proceeding, the UK’s new build nuclear programme has suffered a setback with the failure of the UK government to reach agreements with contractors for the construction of the Moorside, Wylfa and Oldbury plants. However the government is due to publish a new approach to financing these schemes in Q3, 2019.
In housing the government has set an optimistic target for housebuilders to build 220,000 new homes a year and has announced it is on target, using its £5.5bn housing investment fund. Government investment via the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline is expected to be £600bn over the next 10 years ( with half coming from the private sector), with a focus on electricity generation, digital infrastructure, airports, waste and water.
London’s commercial property market remains strong, attracting investment from overseas investors and serviced office providers.
Despite this, due to the challenges identified above, industry confidence and growth remains sluggish.
Without a doubt, the promotion of residential buildings.
Currently, infrastructure projects such as bridges, highways, railways, healthcare complexes with offtake guarantees are attracting the majority of the investments. In addition to that, upgrade and modernization of old power plants are also source of attraction. Last but not least, incentive schemes for renewable energy projects (i.e. Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism) draws interests of those who are looking forward to make investments in the renewables sector.
As set out in question 27 above, the most prevalent projects attracting attention are power projects, bulk water infrastructure, roads and commercial property development in South Africa. In particular, the IPP Programme continues to be a source of considerable investment in the country.
Traditionally, offices have been one the most attractive assets for investors on the French real estate market. Demand is still strong today, especially for prime buildings located in the Paris area and in other large Cities.
Apart from this traditional sector, the development of e-commerce has generated a strong need for logistic projects, which currently attract a strong interest from national and international investors.
Because of the great demand for housing in the bigger cities of Sweden, especially Stockholm, there have been a lot of investments relating to the construction and renovation of flats in recent years. However, due to insecurity on the market in general, this trend is not as clear anymore. Despite this, the demand is still high and will probably attract even more investments in the future. Naturally, the construction of housing leads to investments in other fields, especially infrastructure and retail.
The Danish Government invests heavily in infrastructure such as metro and bridges. The public healthcare sector has also attracted significant investments, as several hospitals are being renovated or re-built.
The larger cities have seen a great population growth and urbanisation in recent years and there is a severe housing shortage, causing increasing prices. It has been proposed to create more than 500 hectares of new land in and near Copenhagen.
Finally, even more speculative investments as office space and warehouses seem to be attracting attention from investors.
- While investment in traditional construction projects, including conventional civil infrastructure such as bridge and road projects, has been decreasing in recent years, the Korean government has increased spending on projects aimed at improving quality of life. Such projects include rehabilitation of cities, renovation of low-rent residences, construction of public facilities such as libraries, sports centres, child care centres, disability care centres, community centres and museums. This trend is expected to continue over the next three years.
- Further, due to concerns over air pollution, investment in the renewable energy sector has been rapidly growing in line with the government’s policy to increase the share of renewable energy in Korea’s energy supply to 20% by 2030. This is also accompanied by the Korean government’s efforts to increase investment to sectors related to nuclear decommissioning in order to reduce the share of nuclear energy in the country’s energy supply.