Tactic Urbanism Reacting to COVID-19 in Barcelona
Tactic Urbanism Reacting to COVID-19 in Barcelona
GPO participated in a panel discussion organized by the American Planning Association’s New York Metro Chapter (APA-NYM) on “Global Response to COVID-19, an Equity Perspective”. Jaume Cuxart, Industrial Engineer and director of the Industry and Building Area of GPO in Spain, participated in the panel analyzing the “Tactic Urbanism Reacting to COVID-19 in Barcelona”.
Barcelona, a city with 1,6 million inhabitants (5,1 million in the metropolitan region), is an urban area with a diversified economy and a prime tourist destination, suffering from increasingly high traffic and pollution in the last few decades. The impact of the March-June lockdown in Spain leaded to an 85% decrease in traffic, a 50% decrease in pollution indexes, a record low use of public transport and a spike of pedestrians in all urban areas.
The policies implemented by the Town Hall responding to this situation included creating new pedestrian areas, bicycle lanes, safe areas for bar terraces and for school entrances, among others, based on the strategies of tactic urbanism. The principles underlying these measures were consolidating car traffic and pollution decrease, allowing more space for pedestrians and bicycle users, helping business most affected by the lockdown.
The general reaction of the city’s stakeholders was an agreement with the general principles underlying the measures (cars should not rule the city, pollution must decrease, business needs help), but there has been a widespread feeling of lack of planning, design and consensus, including concern about some tactic elements’ safety for motorbikes and the sudden slash on parking spaces for citizens and commuters.
GPO leads the consortium of the biggest contract for the privatization of urban mobility infrastructures in Brazil
GPO Sistran, Brazilian subsidiary of GPO Group, leads the consortium GPO-SYSTRA-CESCON-RHEIN, which was awarded with the studies for the restructuration of the public concession for the passenger rail transport, operated by the public company TRENSURB (Empresa de Trenes Urbanos de Porto Alegre, S.A.) in the Metropolitan Region of Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul state), and operated by the public company CBTU (Compañía Brasileña de Trenes Urbanos) in the metropolitan regions of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais state), Maceió (Alagoas state), Recife (state of Pernambuco), João Pessoa (state of Paraiba) and Natal (state of Rio Grande do Norte). The project includes all the technical engineering studies, as well as the legal and economic-financial models for the suburban trains (commuter trains) of the mentioned six Brazilian state capitals.
Public Transit and COVID-19 Report
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, mobility plummeted. Public transit was hit particularly hard as riders feared that trains and buses posed a serious transmission threat, a fear that was stoked by several studies linking transit and high infection rates. Following with our contribution to the COVID-19 pandemic, the North American subsidiary of GPO, Sam Schwartz, was asked by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) to conduct a study to determine what the risks were, and to compile global best practices on how transit agencies are adapting and keeping riders safe.
Our resulting report, “Public Transit and COVID-19 Pandemic: Global Research and Best Practices,” analyzed the latest scientific evidence on how the virus spreads, ridership and infection rates in multiple U.S. cities, and the effectiveness of various mitigation measures for controlling viral spread. It found no direct links between transit and infection rates. The report also serves as a comprehensive compendium of steps transit agencies can take to keep workers and riders safe, from mandating masks and adjusting service to rider communications and data technology.
Based on extensive research, interviews with public health experts, and new analysis of various data sources, our study found the following:
1. No direct correlation has been found between use of urban public transit and transmission of COVID-19.
2. An analysis of public transit ridership in multiple cities shows no correlation with the rise or fall of local COVID-19 cases.
3. Mask wearing has been shown to be effective at reducing person-to-person transmission.
4. There are several possible explanations for the lack of correlation between public transit ridership and COVID-19 cases, compared to higher-risk settings, including limited talking by riders, high ventilation rates on transit vehicles, and the relatively short duration of most transit trips.
5. It appears that what you do at the end of a trip affects the probability of contracting the virus far more than the mode of travel.
6. There will be long-term health consequences if people switch in large numbers from public transit to private cars.
COVID-19 and its impact on transportation
GPO, through its North American subsidiary Sam Schwartz, supports local American administrations through studies on how COVID-19 affects transportation and society in general.
Sam Schwartz presented the conference “COVID-19 and Transportation” at the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), a presentation that examined the impacts of the virus, the implications on equity, the transmission of the virus in transportation, gave recommendations on good practices and analyzed how all this could affect in the future.
Through this study it was found that the most affected means of transport was the plane with a 98% decrease of usage, followed by the train with 93% – 97%, the metro with 92% and by the bus with 87%. In addition, the virus caused traffic to drop by 50% – 80%, provoking driving speeds to increase, and although accidents decreased between March and May, they exceeded 2019 figures between June and August.
Researchers and the media pointed quickly to public transport as one of the main causes of contagion, but health experts have not been able to prove that this is the case. It was found that the poor communication between passengers, the adequate ventilation and the short duration of the journeys prevents propagation. Evidence indicates that there is a clear social component to infections, since it is in gyms, pubs and restaurants, where people gather to eat, drink and chat, when safety measures are not taken into account.
GPO will carry out the adaptation of the Garraf railway tunnels
GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura, Spanish subsidiary of GPO Group, will carry out the Detailed Design for the adaptation of the Garraf railway tunnels, which belong to the Barcelona commuter network on the Catalan coast.
The Garraf tunnels are located on a 9 km long section that runs parallel to the coast, between Sitges and Castelldefels (Barcelona). They are a group of tunnels built in the 19th c., more than 130 years ago, which haven’t experienced any major incident related to the behavior of the land.
The purpose of the design is to widen the mountain side tunnels equivalent to five times the current section, so that they can house two traffic lanes, and to condition the sea side tunnels to become part of a service line.
GPO has extensive experience in railway projects, highlighting the drafting of new high-speed and commuter projects, track and catenary renovation, gauge adaptation, signaling and communication facilities, geotechnical studies, track duplication and acoustic protections, among others. This project shows once again the group’s expertise in railway systems, thanks to such singular and challenging projects.
IFC / WORLD BANK entrusts to GPO the structuring of the PPP of Lines 8 and 9 of the Commuter Rail (CPTM) of Sao Paulo
GPO Sistran and GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura, subsidiaries of GPO Group, were awarded by the IFC / WORLD BANK with two contracts to provide rail consulting services for the privatization process of Lines 8 and 9 of the CPTM in Sao Paulo.
The first of the contracts consists of the Core Engineering Studies for the PPP privatization of Lines 8 and 9 of the CPTM (Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos) for which the IFC / WORLD BANK is responsible on behalf of the State of Sao Paulo. The second contract consists of specific technical consulting on Operation and KPIs (Key Performance Indexes) within the privatization process mentioned above and undertaken by the Government of the State of Sao Paulo.
The privatization of these railway commuter lines constitutes a milestone for the State of Sao Paulo, as well as a challenge for all entities and companies involved. The Government of the State of Sao Paulo has relied on the IFC / WORLD BANK, which has entrusted this project to GPO, which will mark the main lines of future privatizations in the railway sector in the state of Sao Paulo and throughout Brazil.
GPO Sistran, speaker on Transport Integration in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
On August the 5th Gabriel Feriancic, director of GPO Sistran, Brazilian subsidiary of the GPO Group, presented a lecture by official invitation of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, on recommendations and technical challenges for the future of the Urban Mobility and how to implement transport integration in the metropolitan area of Porto Alegre, the state capital.
The presentation was attended by the Chairman of the Mayors’ Council, several deputies and the most important public agencies that manage transportation in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and in the cities of the Porto Alegre Metropolitan Region. The director of GPO Sistran addressed topics such as planning, public management, contracts, operation, transit fares, infrastructure, technology and quality of services.
GPO comes back to la Sagrera
The consortium comprised by GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura and Ardanuy Ingeniería has been awarded with the Construction Supervision services for the safety and railway communication facilities of the commuter lines in La Sagrera and Sant Andreu stations in Barcelona.
GPO has taken part in the design and construction of the Sagrera Station and its high-speed rail access points in the north of Barcelona. More precisely, GPO carried out the Feasibility Study and Preliminary Design of the station, has developed the Detailed Design of the structure and has taken part in the Construction Supervision.
This contract with ADIF, amounting to 2.3 million Euros, includes the provisional parking tracks for high speed trains in the Sant Andreu area. The project comprises both preliminary and detailed phases for the signaling and communication systems required in the construction of the future intermodal station La Sagrera, and the parking area of the high speed line in Sant Andreu Comtal.
The new Sagrera station will provide service to the Madrid- Zaragoza-Barcelona-French Border High Speed Line and to two commuter lines, Barcelona-Mataró and Barcelona-Granollers, which are currently running through a provisional line surrounding the area under construction and will run through the station after the works. This project shows once again the group’s expertise in railway systems, thanks to such singular and challenging projects.
GPO has a new office in Madrid
GPO moves its office in Madrid to the City Park business park, in Calle Julián Camarillo 29 esc. D1 1st, in a business city environment, much more modern and better communicated.
11 minutes from the airport, the new office has easy access to the A2, M-30 and M-40 highways, and excellent communication by public transport: L7 and L5 of the metro and bus lines 28, 70, 77, 48, 38, 4, 105 and 104.
It has more than 500 sq. m. of open areas, in a building accessible for people with reduced mobility, with 24-hour security system and large landscaped common areas, restaurant / cafeteria on the ground floor, in an area provided with multiple services: restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, gyms, supermarkets.
Sam Schwartz will design Hudson Street in Manhattan as a 'grand boulevard'
Sam Schwartz Consulting, North American subsidiary company of GPO Group, along with Prima Paving Corporation and Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, have been selected as “design-build” consultants for a project to transform an area in Manhattan’s Hudson Square neighborhood into a “grand boulevard”.
The design-build system will help to streamline the construction process by contracting both the design and construction components to the firms, acting as a team. Sam Schwartz will lead the engineering work, designs, agency approvals and public outreach. Prima Paving Corporation will manage the construction work expected to begin in late 2019, while Mathews Nielsen will lead the landscape architecture and urban design.
Hudson Street is slated to get extended sidewalks, a parking-protected bike lane, 750 m2 of planting areas, new benches and space for sidewalk cafes, as part of to make the neighborhood more pedestrian-friendly. The project will “complete the transformation of our neighborhood from an old industrial neighborhood into a place that really is a centerpiece for the city’s creative industry,” said Ellen Baer, Hudson Square BID president and CEO.
GPO Sistran collaborates with VIVO on its “Data and Business” campaign
GPO Sistran, Brazilian subsidiary of GPO Group, has collaborated with VIVO on its “Data and Business” campaign for the development of the LUCA solution, which combines artificial intelligence and Big Data to offer services aimed at understanding behaviors and trends and, therefore, helping companies and cities to develop better products and services, always respecting the privacy and security of customer data.
Currently, we live immersed in the digital era, which revolves around new technologies and the Internet and is carrying out profound changes and transformations of a society that moves in a globalized world. These changes represent a true technological revolution, which is transforming the habits, language, life and customs of many people to create a new culture, “the digital culture”. There is no doubt about the many advantages that the digital age offers to society and people (more efficiency, cost savings, more information available, etc.), and knowing how to take advantage of them is decisive when it comes to creating solutions and innovating.
Some examples of projects developed by GPO Sistran through the Big Data are the mobility plans of the cities of San Luís in Marañón, and Guarujá in São Paulo, Brazil. These projects were based on the need to modernize the public transport system of the cities, improving the frequencies of the existing bus lines, introducing changes in the tariff policy and implementing an Intelligent Transport System, which would allow to optimize the operation of the whole network and to offer a better service to citizens.
Thanks to the agreement established with VIVO, provider of the data, GPO Group has achieved this technology to be officially recognized for this type of studies regarding public transport planning. Our extensive experience in this type of studies has established us as a benchmark within the planning and urban mobility field in Brazil.
Find out more about this technology: www.youtube.com
The São Paulo Metro obtained the first award for a station designed by GPO Sistran
The São Paulo Metro (Companhia do Metropolitano de São Paulo) obtained the first BIM award by the Public Administration of Brazil under the category of Infrastructure Contractor, promoted by the BIM Parliamentary Committee of the Chamber of Deputies of the Federal Government of Brazil. The awarded work was the project of the new Ipiranga station of Line 15, with monorail technology, and entirely developed with BIM by the GPO Sistran team, Brazilian subsidiary of GPO Group.
For more information:
The companies GPO Sistemas and GPO Ingeniería merge
From 1st January 2019, the merger of the two productive companies of GPO Group, which operate in the Spanish market, has been finalized. Therefore, GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura S.L.U. (heir of the first GPO Ingeniería, S.A., created in Barcelona in 1985) and GPO Ingeniería de Sistemas S.L.U. (joined to GPO Group in 2014 under the name of Ingeniería de Instalaciones y Trenes, S.L.) are operating as a single company. This merger tries to strengthen the brand image of GPO, and to simplify both the administrative and the productive management in the Spanish market.
With the conviction that this movement is a step forward to reinforce the brand image of the group, the resulting company consolidates itself as an engineering and architecture consultant that offers planning, design and construction management within the transportation, building, automotive, energy and environmental markets, and it also offers specialized services in the field of railway infrastructure, rolling stock, transportation organization and the means and methods of operations and maintenance, making it therefore into a unique consulting.
The railway engineering course organized by GPO has finished successfully
The Railway Engineering Course organized by GPO finished successfully last 19th of December, where staff of the different GPO Group offices assisted. The training enjoys academic backing from the Agustín de Betancourt Foundation, center based in the School of Civil Engineering in Madrid with the aim of promoting research within the civil engineering field.
The course offers general railway knowledge and it is taught by experts of the railway sector: Francisco Javier González Fernández, president of the Spanish Association of Maintenance, associate professor of the National Distance Education University and the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and business development general manager of GPO Group; Jesús Ruiz Casamayor, project coordination manager in ADIF (Spanish state-owned railway infrastructure manager); and José Quereda Laviña, professor of the Railway Chair in the School of Civil Engineering.
This course meets the GPO Group philosophy of offering a continuous improvement for the Group’s staff, and it reinforces the company specialization in the strategic field of railways.
The drilling of the railway tunnel which will connect the commuter line with the terminal T1 of the Barcelona airport is finished
The drilling of the railway tunnel which will connect the commuter line with the terminal T1 of the Barcelona Airport was finished last 19th of December. This tunnel will shorten the travel time from Sants Station in 19 minutes as of 2021. The consortium consisting of GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura, Spanish subsidiary of GPO Group, and Typsa are in charge of the assistance of the Construction Supervision for the railway access.
The tunnel has required the use of a large tunnel machine, designed for lands under severe pressure and under the groundwater level. With a planned investment of 305 million Euros, the new railway access will connect with the commuter R2 line and it will have also a station in the T2 terminal, which will allow connecting both terminals with the city of Barcelona. Adif (Spanish state-owned railway infrastructure manager) calculates that between 7 and 9 million passengers will benefit from the new railway infrastructure every year.
It’s worth mentioning the singularity of the works, since the railway line runs underground through two airport terminals and through the main runway, what makes this project technically complex. This project shows once again the group’s expertise in railway systems.
Sam Schwartz launches his new book 'No One at the Wheel'
Last Tuesday 20th November, Sam Schwartz, president and CEO of Sam Schwartz Consulting (North American subsidiary company of GPO Group), launched his new book “No One at the Wheel: Driverless Cars and the Road to the Future”, a book about the major concerns and potential outcomes of an autonomous vehicle-dominated world.
The book talks about how autonomous vehicles will be the most disruptive technology to hit society worldwide. While we will see some major benefits—less traffic, less parking, and possibly increased safety—according to Schwartz, we also need to be aware of the big concerns: autonomous vehicles will affect family and work life, business, politics, ethics, the environment, travel, and health. The rise of driverless cars will cause us to grapple with new ethical dilemmas—if a car will hit a person or a building, who will decide what it does? It will overturn the job market for the one in seven Americans who work in the trucking industry. “No One at the Wheel” also goes a step further and provides a roadmap for how to respond to the inevitable changes that autonomous vehicles will bring.
According to the New York Times, “if we heed Sam Schwartz and this valuable book as we move toward a future in which we largely surrender the wheel, we can avoid messing up again.” “This is an essential treatise on a technology whose development and regulation will have an impact on ‘the future health of people, economies, cities, and more”, praises the Publishers Weekly.
The New York Daily News describes Sam Schwartz as ‘one of the sharpest traffic engineers around’. He also has a long career as a writer: he writes columns on traffic for The New York Daily News, the NY Downtown Express and blogs for Engineering News Record. He has authored more than 200 professional papers and presentations and has written several books and chapters in books.
GPO Group will take part in the design of the first hyperloop system world wide
HyperloopTT and the leading design group Dar Group, which GPO Group is part of since 2017, will begin the design of the first commercial Hyperloop system, which will start to be constructed during the third quarter of 2019 on the border of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, close to the Expo 2020 site and Al Maktoum International Airport.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, also known as HTT, is an American research company formed using a crowd collaboration approach to develop a transportation system based on the Hyperloop concept. The hyperloop is a system of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction conveying people or objects at speeds over a thousand km/h while being very efficient.
Dar Group joins the project as design lead and as the latest investor in HyperloopTT. Dar’s team includes: Dar Al-Handasah (Middle East), GPO Group (Spain), Perkins+Will (USA), T.Y. Lin International (USA), and Currie & Brown (UK).
“With today’s announcement of the appointment of Dar, we have achieved a significant milestone towards the construction of the world’s first commercial Hyperloop system in Alghadeer,” said HyperloopTT CEO, Dirk Ahlborn. “We are looking forward to working with all of our regional stakeholders to build this historic piece of transportation infrastructure.”
“We are extremely honoured to be part of this global movement in mobility and rapid transportation and are looking forward to collaborating with HyperloopTT to deliver a truly iconic project in Abu Dhabi,” said Talal Shair, Chairman of Dar Group.
GPO, finalist of the ideas competition for the remodeling of the “contramuelle – mollet” at the Port of Palma
The judging panel of the ideas competition organized by the Port Authority of the Balearic Islands (APB) for the remodeling of the Contramuelle – Mollet at the Port of Palma has awarded the proposal “A port obert” from the GPO engineers Javier Bespín and Pau Sánchez, along with the architect Josep Wennberg, with the second prize and 10.000 €.
For the president of the Port Authority of the Balearic Islands (APB) – and chair of the panel – Joan Gual de Torrella, the aim of the competition is to bring the city and the sea closer together, “with a discreet change in which citizens notice an improvement, but that suits the current setting”. “A port obert” stands out for the compactness of the building, the liberation of spaces and the suggestive reminder of the Atarazanas building, according to the panel’s decision.
On conclusion of the competition, governed under its rules, the APB will be able to use any of the ideas submitted in the undertaking of future actions relating to this area at the Port of Palma. Furthermore, the APB may push forward the drawing up of any specific construction project in order to incorporate the ideas obtained in this competition.
Thanks to this great result, GPO strengthens its commitment with the quality engineering and architecture, the development of port spaces and their integration within the cities, and the willingness to be one of the benchmark port engineering firms.
New BRT system for the Brazilian city of Sorocaba
GPO Sistran, Brazilian subsidiary of GPO Group, has been awarded with the contract to work as a Construction Certification Company for the new BRT system for Sorocaba in São Paulo, Brazil. The local government of Sorocaba, through the municipal public transportation and traffic company URBES, awarded the construction, operation and maintenance of the new BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) for the city of Sorocaba.
Sorocaba is a city in the inner São Paulo, with almost one million residents, very close to the Paulist capital. The BRT system will count with three new exclusive BRT lines, over 16 km long, three new terminal stations, four intermodal stations, a new garage, 26 km of bus exclusive lanes for other lines, and 28 new BRT stations. This project is the most ambitious challenge carried out by the municipality regarding the improvement of the urban mobility.
GPO Sistran is carrying out construction certifying tasks, working as a certifying independent technical operator for the fulfillment of the concession contract, both for the project phase and for the construction and operation phases, including the certification of the maintenance plan for the system.
GPO Colombia, awarded with the master plan for the Olaya Herrera airport in Medellín
GPO Colombia S.A.S, Colombian subsidiary of GPO Group, has been awarded along with other Dar Group companies (TY Lin and Landrum & Brown) with the consulting services for the update of the Master Plan for the Olaya Herrera Airport in Medellín, Colombia.
This awarding will make GPO Group add another airport project in its Colombian portfolio, after the development of some other airport consulting projects during last years, among which there is the extension of the El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá, or the Santa Marta and Bucaramanga Airports. The present contract establishes GPO Group as one of the most important engineering companies of the South American country specialized in airport projects.
Opening of the new FGC railway line in Can Feu, Sabadell
The fourth phase of the Barcelona – Vallès Railway Line has been opened recently in Can Feu, Sabadell, operated by Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya – FGC (railway operator owned by the Government of Catalonia). GPO is carrying out the Construction Supervision services in Sabadell, since the construction started in 2008.
The fourth phase, which includes the Sant Quirze and the Can Feu / Gràcia stations, is almost 1 km long, 0,4 km of which are underground. The construction started in January of 2018 and it is planned to be finished for spring of 2019. With a total investment of 20 M€ only for this section, more than 10 M€ were managed during the three summer months.
The extension of the Barcelona – Vallès line has improved the railway connection between the two most populated regions of the area, Barcelonès and Vallès Occidental, with 2.5 and 1 million inhabitants respectively. With a total length of 38 km, the Barcelona – Vallès line is used by 3.7 million passengers a year and it links the center of Barcelona to Sabadell and Terrassa.
The works for the construction of the high speed railway line Madrid – Galicia are catching on
GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura, in consortium with GalaiControl, are the engineering companies in charge of carrying out the technical assistance for the construction supervision of the High Speed Railway Line Madrid – Galicia. The line, constructed by the Spanish Ministry of Public Works through Adif Alta Velocidad and planned to be finished in April 2019, belongs to the North – Northeast Corridor and it places Galicia within the Spanish high speed network.
The High Speed Railway Line Madrid – Galicia is a high capacity infrastructure that allows the access to the northwestern quadrant of the peninsula from Madrid, in a competitive time compared to the plane. This new axis replaces the existing non-electrified single-track railway line with an electrified double-track with a maximum speed of 350 km/h. Thanks to this new infrastructure, travel times are reduced by two-thirds, and travelers can reach Santiago de Compostela from Madrid in two hours and a half, instead of the seven hours and a half it used to take.
This project comprises the construction of the right railway track from Requejo untill the Padornelo Tunnel. It consists of a single-track corridor, 4.130 m long and 8,5 m wide. The Requejo Tunnel has a total length of 2.467 m and, after it, there is the Pedregales Viaduct, 962 m long.
GPO reinforces its presence in the French market
VIIA, railway logistics operator of the SNCF group, specialized in the railway transportation of trailers, awarded the consortium made up by GPO and SYSTRA the Project Management services for the railway platform Rungis – Barcelona, a project that proposes an alternative to road haulage in a particularly saturated traffic area between Barcelona and Paris.
Road traffic continues to grow at an average annual rate of 3.5%. This project’s aim is the transport of 46.000 semi-trailers and 15.000 containers per year through a railway line, action that will reduce traffic considerably on the road. The project involves the construction of two railway transhipment platforms using a rotating surface, which allows all kind of semi-trailers to be load without the use of cranes, one of them located in a Parisian vicinity and the other within Barcelona.
This system provides solutions for intermodal freight transport (transport of trucks by rail), paying carefully attention to the cross-border traffic. In this context, the project implies a challenge by conforming an international team with French and Spanish engineers in charge of the design management and construction of both platforms. This structure implies having a technical team in Paris and other one in Barcelona.
GPO Group expands its strategic partnership with Dar Group
It’s been a year since GPO Group entered into a partnership with Dar Group, through which Dar achieved a 30% equity interest in GPO Group. After this first year, we can affirm the overall picture of this first year is very positive: many GPO Group companies have worked in new countries such as Egypt, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kenya or the American Virgin Islands. We are also supporting Dar in their new opportunities, hoping we will reach new markets in Asia during 2018. Thanks to the financial support of Dar Group, during last year we have strengthened our equity position in Brazil and in the US.
After confirming the business philosophy of GPO since it was founded follows the same line than Dar’s philosophy, and after verifying the profits coming from our partnership with Dar Group, we have decided to go a step forward. The 15th May in the GPO Group General Shareholders Meeting a new capital increase was approved, through which Dar reaches the 60% interest in GPO Group. This capital increase has a double objective: on the one hand, to strengthen our financial structure to be able to face future challenges from a sound position, and on the other hand to allow ourselves to move on with our investment plan which must secure our diversification and international process.
Refurbishment of the Mallorca Fashion Outlet Shopping Center
Continuing with the refurbishment works for the Mallorca Fashion Outlet Shopping Center in Marratxí, Mallorca, which GPO is still working on since 2014, the renovation of a new commercial and pedestrian area has been recently completed. It is the remodeling of a 1.200 m2 commercial space aimed at sports brands and the urban planning of the whole perimeter mall area. GPO carried out the Project Management services, including design, bidding and construction phases.
GPO Group gives support to the UIB for their R&D project on the strengthening of concrete structures with advanced materials
The University of the Balearic Islands (UIB) has recently launched the project “Development of strengthening techniques for concrete structures with advanced materials and their mechanical models of structural behavior for the extension of their service life”. GPO has given support to this project from the beginning and it congratulates the research team for the first results.
The project main aim is to develop a new strengthening technique for concrete structures, and to define and to distinguish it from the rest of techniques. This will allow the engineer to deal with the evaluation and the possible intervention of a structure with the same mechanic model and the same calculation tools and, at the same time, he will be able to optimize and combine all the strengthening techniques.
Resulting from the execution of this project, which will last three years, the following video shows the developed technology:
Sam Schwartz, main speaker of the III Meeting Megatrends on Urban Mobility
Last 19th of September, Sam Schwartz, president of SSC GPO Group – leading company in transport planning and traffic engineering – and one of the main experts worldwide in mobility and transport, gave a keynote address at the Meeting organized by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Madrid: III Meeting Megatrends on Urban Mobility. Along with the collaboration and sponsoring of JLL, GPO Group and b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos, the conference was about the relevant role of mobility within urban planning.
For the first time ever, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and it is estimated this figure will reach the 70% of the world’s population in 2050. Urban mobility planning, public transport systems and the introduction of the autonomous car are a key element for the development of big cities and a clear opportunity for structuring taking into account the citizens who live in there.
The Sao Paulo metro opens 3 stations in line 5 designed by GPO Sistran
Last 6th of September, the Sao Paulo State Governor opened three new stations of the Sao Paulo Metro Line 5 – Lilás: Alto da Boa Vista, Borba Gato and Brooklin. They are located to the south of the city, between the Santo Amaro and Brooklin districts, and they give service to around 60.000 daily passengers.
The three stations were designed in 2009 by the technical team of GPO Sistran (Brazilian subsidiary of GPO Group), through an awarding by the Sao Paulo Metro which included tunnels and emergency exits, among others. The stations started their operation during September, and they offer free access to those passengers who want to travel exclusively among the three new stations. The assisted operation will last at least two months.
The new stations attract the attention for their architecture style with cenital glass domes. The structure lets daylight in, which creates electric power saving and natural ventilation. With the opening of this new section, the Sao Paulo metro system will have 81.1 km and 71 stations.
GPO Sistran takes part in the Brazilian NTU national public transportation seminar 2017
Gabriel Feriancic, director of GPO Sistran (Brazilian GPO branch), was invited to the 31th Edition of the NTU Brazilian National Seminar – Quality of Public Transportation: a Social Demand, in the expert panel about “The Future Begins Now”, discussing the next market trends.
GPO Sistran presents a research in the UITP global public transport summit 2017 in Canada
Gabriel Feriancic, director of GPO Sistran, Brazilian branch of GPO Group, has presented the research “CDR Big Data and Traditional Survey Origin-Destination Matrixes Comparison in a Brazilian Case”, developed in collaboration with the World Bank Group consultants, during the UITP Global Public Transport Summit 2017, that took place in Montreal, Canada, about the use of mobile Big Data for the urban mobility assessment.
Sistran changes its registered name and updates its corporate image
At the end of 2012, GPO reached an agreement to acquire 60% of Sistran Engenheria, one of the most renowned engineering companies in Brazil. At present, GPO has increased its equity interest up to 98%, according to the previously planned agreements.
The Brazilian subsidiary of GPO Group has taken the opportunity to change its registered name by GPO Sistran Engenharia. This change also affects the corporate image of the company, which from now on will be the one that comes along. The mentioned transformation is aimed to strengthen the brand image of GPO as a holding of engineering and architecture consultancy companies, operating in different markets.
On the other hand, the objective is also to consolidate the image of Sistran, providing it with greater visibility within GPO Group, and contributing to the creation of business synergies among all the GPO Group companies. Hence, GPO Sistran Engenharia is taking the presence and establishment of the GPO brand and it is firmly setting up as part of a business group strongly settled worldwide.
Sam Schwartz, speaker of the conference on professions in Catalonia
Last 26th of June, Samuel I. Schwartz, president of SSC GPO Group, gave a keynote address at the Conference on Professions in Catalonia under the title “Autonomous Vehicles: good, bad or ugly?”, which took place in the Civil Engineers Association in Barcelona, organized by the Cercle d’Infraestrutures Foundation.
The event, which will last throughout June, includes transversal and dynamic Networking sessions, sectoral functions and conferences, projecting the vitality and social presence both of the professions and the professionals. Samuel I. Schwartz, one of the main experts on transportation in the United States, focused his lecture on the improvements, the negative aspects and the potential threats the use of autonomous vehicles would cause.
Schwartz has worked on mobility matters in New York for more than forty years, he was one of the firsts in moving from the mere traffic engineering to sustainable mobility policies, and he leaded such innovative initiatives in New York: car containment proposals, betting on free traffic areas and toll accesses, or defending the implementation of bus and bike lanes.
The extension works of the FGC line in Sabadell were awarded as the best public work of Catalonia in 2016
On behalf of all the engineering companies which took part in the construction supervision, GPO collected the award for the “Best infrastructure commissioned in Catalonia during 2016”, awarded by the Infrastructure Agency of Catalonia.
The first extension phase of the Vallés Metro in Sabadell was opened in September 2016, comprising a 1,5 km tunnel and two new stations (Plaça Major and Can Feu – Gràcia). Both GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura and GPO Sistemas took an active part in the drafting of the designs and in the construction supervision. The whole infrastructure moves around 60 million passengers a year, and it is expected to achieve a 20% increase of new passengers in Sabadell.
This first phase is the precursor of three new stations (3,7 km of extension), which will come into operation during 2017, and for which GPO is also providing its expertise and technical knowledge in the railway field.
GPO Sistran presents Smart Mobility in Florianópolis, Brazil
Gabriel Feriancic, SISTRAN (Brazilian GPO branch) director, held a lecture at the 7th Dataprom Urban Mobility Symposium in Florianópolis, Brazil, on new urban mobility strategies. Alongside him, the Curitiba’s Security and Transportation Secretary Mr. Algacir Mikalovski joined the session.
GPO Group enters into a strategic partnership with Dar Group
At GPO we keep facing the future with new challenges and new projects, all of them aimed at guaranteeing the group success in a more and more global world. Accordingly, we want to communicate that GPO Group has entered into a strategic partnership with Dar Group.
Dar Group (www.dargroup.com), 7th worldwide group of professional services’ companies (according to the ENR 2016 ranking), offers consulting, planning, design, engineering and Project Management services for the infrastructures, building, environmental and industry sectors. It has 18.000 members working in 200 offices spread over 58 countries in America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. Under the reached agreement, Dar Group achieves a 30% equity interest in GPO Group, through the purchase of the treasury shares and a subsequent increase in capital.
With this strategic partnership, at GPO Group we aim at strengthening our position in those countries where we already operate and at opening new markets, such as Middle East, Africa and Asia. Today we welcome a new partner with the conviction that together we will go even farther.
GPO takes part in a business mission in China and Hong Kong to promote the automotive industry
GPO took part in a business mission in China and Hong Kong, conducted by the Generalitat de Catalunya (the autonomic government of Catalonia), through ACCIÓ (Agència per a la Competitivitat de l’Empresa), which was celebrated between the 27th and the 31st of March, and counted with the presence of the Business Secretary, Jordi Baiget.
GPO participated in the mission as part of the Automotive industry group, led by the CIAC (Automotive Industry Cluster of Catalonia), of which GPO is an active member. Important manufacturers and R&D centers in China were visited, such as Brilliance, CATARC, GAC, Infiniti, BYD, BAIC BJEV, among others. During the visits, it was confirmed that the main China’s priority is to become the electric drive world leader, so they are investing enormous amounts of resources.
The main GPO’s objective is to promote in China all the services related to R&D center designs, proving grounds, test facilities, laboratories, etc. As a result, new contacts with important companies of the automotive industry were established.
Sam Schwartz, speaker of the 'tramway-city' conference in Barcelona
Last 7th and 8th of March, Mr. Samuel Schwartz, President and CEO of the North-American subsidiary of GPO Group (Sam Schwartz Consulting), gave a keynote address at the “Tramway-City” Conference, which took place in Barcelona, as expert speaker of the new urban mobility model.
Mr. Schwartz’s main message was that we should put an end to the idea of modernity that relies on private cars, and reestablish the tramway as the main means of transport to achieve a more sustainable mobility. He mentioned New York City as an example, where the use of private vehicles has increased by 7%, and traffic flow has decreased by 20%. He warns this phenomenon can only be counteracted by promoting the use of public transport, which will create healthier, more habitable cities, and fight climate change.
On the other hand, Mr. Schwartz applauds the “millennial” generation for driving less, and reevaluating the notion of freedom, identifying it no longer as the ability to drive, but as the ability to choose among many different means of transport. He cites the example of the United States, where kilometers driven by the millennial generation by private vehicle has decreased by 25%. And now, we see the rise of innovative mobility companies, that have located themselves in cities like New York, in which private vehicles are growing less popular as a primary means of travel.
Mr. Schwartz does warn that American cities face potential challenges, despite this, like the rise of autonomous vehicles, which, though they have the potential to improve vehicular safety, also have the potential to cause a rise in congestion and air pollution, reverse this millennial trend towards public transportation options, and cause a decline in public health, as inactivity-related conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and others, rise. It is the growth of tramway systems, as exemplified by cities like Barcelona, that may help to counteract the rise of such technology.
The “Tramway-City” Conference, in “analyzing the potentialities and the future of this means of transport,” highlights the growth of streetcar systems as a popular, sustainable, and accessible means of transport, which now exist in 258 cities in Europe, most prominently in Germany, as well as Russia, France, and Ukraine.
A major proponent of this concept of mobility, the Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau, personally attended Conference Tramway, and greeted Mr. Schwartz, who later appeared in an interview on Barcelona’s BTV (Barcelona TV) station. He also gave a press conference with the city’s Deputy Mayor during his visit.
GPO Ingeniería will develop the projects for the tram connection in Avenida Diagonal of Barcelona
The local government of Barcelona has recently contracted the development of the Feasibility Study and the Detailed Design for the Trambaix and Trambesós connection to the consortium formed by GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura – Sener Ingeniería y Sistemas – Técnica y Proyectos. Due to the social, economic and environmental effects the connection will carry, this project is considered one of the most important projects of public transport in Barcelona.
The study, which joins the two tram lines running through Avenida Diagonal of Barcelona between Plaza Francesc Macià and Plaza de las Glorias, would have a construction cost of 175 million Euros, whose construction is planned to start at the end of 2017. The local government of Barcelona considers this proposal offering the best cost-benefit ratio, since “the social return of the investment is higher”. The connection is estimated to be used by 222.000 daily riders, who would reduce the circulation of 12.500 vehicles a day, and this would relieve traffic in 0,4%.
GPO promotes once again the city overall goal of reducing the use of private transport and fostering public transport. Along with other projects, such as the construction of line 9 of the Barcelona Metro Network, GPO is contributing to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly city.
Sam Schwartz Consulting takes part in the project for the extension of the Second Avenue subway in New York
Last Sunday 1st of January 2017 the extension of the Second Avenue Subway in New York was opened. Sam Schwartz, North American subsidiary of GPO Group leading the transportation planning and traffic engineering markets, has provided for this project community outreach, permitting, maintenance and protection of traffic (MPT), inspection and design, and traffic engineering services.
The Second Avenue Subway has resulted in a 4,000 million $ investment and it runs a 2.4 km stretch including three new stations: 72 St, 86 St and 96 St of the Q train. The extension is expected to provide service to approximately 200,000 daily riders on an average weekday, and it will decrease crowding in lines 4, 5 and 6, which run parallel through Lexington Avenue, by as much as 13%. The original project considered a second phase which would reach Harlem, planned for the future.
Large-scale projects such as the implementation of a new Streetcar Line between Brooklyn and Queens in New York, the construction of the South Section of the Barcelona Metro Line 9, and the construction supervision for the new Railway Access to the Barcelona Airport, among many others, ratify the GPO Group great expertise on railway infrastructures.
Sistran takes part in the SAE 2016 World Congress
Gabriel Feriancic, General Director of SISTRAN Engenharia, Brazilian subsidiary of GPO Group, gave a talk in plenary session in the SAE 2016 World Congress, within the RAILWAY section. The point was the Intercity Railway Mobility. The SAE – Society of Automotive Engineers – is nowadays the biggest organization worldwide in the dissemination and study of any matter related to automotive engineering and the industrial field of automotive vehicles.
GPO Group, sponsor of the 8th Railway Innovation Congress
The 8th Railway Innovation Congress is taking place on the 20th and 21st of October in Valencia, which gathers all the Spanish Railway Administrations, suppliers and contractors, and several universities with chairs in the Railway field. In total, about 150 attendees will go to an event, which has been confirmed as one of the indispensable meetings in Spain to present the R&D Railway progresses.
Thirty unpublished and very practical projects will be exposed. GPO Group, apart from taking part as sponsor, also makes a very interesting presentation on Simulation Systems for Traction Power and Stray Currents.
The 9th edition of the congress will take place on June 2017 in Cadiz. This time, the leading theme regarding innovation will be the Cadiz Bay Tram – Train, whose commissioning services are being carried out by GPO Sistemas, as the majority partner of the consortium formed by Metro de Tenerife. Clearly, this will be another step forward for GPO Group, establishing itself as benchmark within the railway field in general and the metropolitan railways in particular.
The Vall d'Hebron hospital has the most modern robotic surgery unit in Spain
The Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, currently the first hospital complex in Catalonia and one of the biggest in Spain, has the most modern robotic surgery unit in Spain, with 19 high-tech operating rooms. The surgical unit was opened last Friday by the president of the Generalitat de Catalunya (autonomic government of Catalonia), Carles Puigdemont.
Gestió d’Infreaestructures, S.A.U. (Catalan public company) awarded GPO with the Construction Supervision services for the extension and renovation of the Surgical Unit. The project comprised the construction of three floors on top of one of the hospital’s existing building, as well as the improvement of the internal communications system, and the adaptation of the facilities to the newest technologies. GPO’s tasks also included Project Management services.
With 9.000 m2 and a final cost of 37 million Euros, the construction of the three floors on top of the existing building was one of the main challenges of the project, since it was in a complex area regarding the logistics of the works, and both the works and the hospital safety had to be ensured. The three new floors house 19 operating rooms, 56 intensive care units and 12 post-surgery rehabilitation units.
This project joins the more than 20 years of activity that GPO has developed in the hospital complex, with the renovation of the Mother and Child Area, the works for the extension of the Radiotherapy service, the renovation and extension of the Animal Research Facility, the construction of medical wards for external consultations, and the system works for the air conditioning new collector of the Orthopedic Surgery Area, among others.
The first phase of the 'Metro del Vallès' extension is already open
The first phase of the Barcelona – Vallès Railway Line has been opened recently in Sabadell, operated by Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya – FGC (railway operator owned by the Autonomic Government of Catalonia). GPO, which is still working on the second phase of the project, carried out the Construction Supervision services and the modification of the Detailed Design during the construction phase.
The extension of the Barcelona – Vallès line has improved the railway connection between the two most populated regions of the area, Barcelonès and Vallès Occidental, with 2.5 and 1 million inhabitants respectively. With a total length of 38 km, the Barcelona – Vallès line is used by 3.7 million passengers a year and it links the center of Barcelona to Sabadell and Terrassa.
The whole project, with a budget of 430 million Euros, which GPO is still working on, is 5,247 m long and it includes: a double tunnel with tubes of 6 meters in diameter and 2,912 m long, five new underground stations, and approximately 2,000 m of cut and cover tunnel. The project includes also the new depots and switchyard, both with 300 m of length.
Two new stations have been opened also as part of the first phase of the railway line extension: Plaça Major and Can Feu I Gràcia Stations. The second phase of the project is expected to be finished in 2017, along with the three remaining stations: Creu Alta, Sabadell Nord and Ca n’Oriac I Parc del Nord.
Author: Martí Llorens
Barcelona opens its first high line park
The first High Line Park has been recently opened in Barcelona, a unique park which takes up six hectares of extension covering the railway tracks up to the Sants Station, and which some compare to the High Line Park of New York. GPO was awarded by BIMSA (public company of the local Government of Barcelona) with the Construction Supervision and Architecture technical assistance of the Detailed Design for the covering and urban planning of the railway access to the Sants station.
Turned into a large green area, the covering includes also the Mercat Nou Station of the Barcelona Metro Line 1, one of the few stations in Barcelona which is on a high line. GPO carried out the comprehensive refurbishment of the station, through a glazed concrete structure covered by the high park on top, which places the hall under the rail tracks, what makes the station a building and a railway bridge at the same time.
Along with other urban planning projects as relevant as this one, such as the refurbishment of the Gran Vía and Ronda del Mig ring roads of Barcelona, GPO is ratified as one of the main engineering companies in Barcelona.
GPO Group publishes the 2015 Annual Report
The 2015 GPO Group Annual Report is available now on its website. The report includes the main social, financial and corporate governance data of 2015, and describes the most relevant projects carried out during last year.
The Annual Report is not only a look back, but also a glance into the future, analyzing the moment where GPO is right now and emphasizing its ongoing initiatives to meet the strategic challenges. The incorporation of Sam Schwartz to the Group has brought the culmination of a long establishing process in the USA. Besides, the Group has bet also on promoting the organic growth of the Colombian market, and on laying the foundations to encourage the emerging growth in Peru.
At the corporate level and coinciding with the 30th anniversary of our foundation, we renewed our corporate image in 2015 with a new logo to standardize the brand of all the companies that form GPO Group, and showing a modern image.
This document shows that we have met in 2015 the goals we had set. To this day, we are guiding our future already to keep growing and to become the benchmark company for the markets we operate.
Francisco Javier González launches the book 'Signaling and Railway Safety'
Francisco Javier González, Business Development Manager of GPO Group, has recently launched the book ‘Signaling and Railway Safety’. Jaime Tamart, director of the Railway Research Agency of CEDEX, describes this book as ‘a very complete and entertaining book, which provides a general overview of railway systems, along with some guidelines that help choosing the most suitable system. The book is influenced by the effective active life of the author.’
Francisco Javier González, Phd in Mechanical Engineering and Electromechanical Engineer, is also President of the Spanish Maintenance Society (AEM), and professor of some leading Spanish Universities. Francisco Javier González has published 11 books on Rails and Maintenance, 13 articles in international magazines and he has 10 international patents on railway development.
GPO takes part in the 'Speed-Networking' session organized by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
The fourth edition of the ‘Speed-Networking’ took place last 18th of May in Terrassa (Barcelona), a session of speed dating between engineering companies and students of the Industrial Engineering School of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). The main goal of the meeting is to introduce the engineering business world to the students in a more dynamic and attractive way, in order to ease their access into the labor market.
As a leading engineering group, GPO took part in the session actively along with other companies, such as Applus, Bosch, Hitachi, Accenture, Bertrandt, Schneider Electric, HP, Ficosa, Kostal, and Decathlon, among others.
GPO Sistemas has been awarded by ENAC, the Spanish national accreditation body
GPO Ingeniería de Sistemas, S.L., subsidiary of GPO Group expert in railway systems consultancy, previously named Ingeniería de Instalaciones y Trenes, S.L., has been awarded by ENAC, the Spanish National Accreditation Body, with an accreditation for the development of technical inspections in the railway area. Such accreditation enables GPO Sistemas to carry out Risk Evaluation and Assessment tasks and Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) tasks of railway systems within the European Union, with the ERA (European Railway Agency) acknowledgement.
Through this acknowledgement, GPO Sistemas has become the Spanish private engineering company awarded with the widest scope of activity regarding railway systems inspection. This certification acknowledges GPO Sistemas as railway systems inspecting authority, according to the requirements in the Regulation UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17020, in its respective spheres of competence in such fields as Infrastructure, Power Supply, Rolling Stock, Control-Command and Signalling Systems, and Maintenance.
This accreditation recognizes the technical competence and independence of GPO Sistemas for the development of the following tasks:
• Implementation of Safety Management Systems, from risk analysis to final approval.
• Safety Certification of Railway Systems.
• Independent Safety Assessment (ISA).
With this accreditation, GPO Sistemas increases its integrated management system, complementing other certifications already into operation according to Regulations ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.
2IT changes its registered name and updates its corporate image
Last 5th of April Ingeniería de Instalaciones y Trenes, S.L., subsidiary company of GPO Group expert in railway systems consultancy, also known as 2iT, changed its registered name by GPO Ingeniería de Sistemas, S.L. This change also affects the corporate image of the company, which from now on will be the one that comes along.
The mentioned transformation is aimed to strengthen the brand image of GPO as a holding of engineering and architecture consultancy companies, operating in different markets. On the other hand, the objective is also to consolidate the image of the until now 2iT company, providing it with greater visibility within GPO Group, and contributing to the creation of business synergies among all the GPO Group companies.
With the conviction that this movement is a step forward to reinforce the brand image of the group, GPO Sistemas is taking therefore the presence and establishment of the GPO brand and it is firmly setting up as part of a business group strongly settled worldwide.
2IT is awarded with the pre-commissioning services for the Cadiz bay tram-train in Spain
Ingeniería de Instalaciones y Trenes (2iT), subsidiary of GPO Group expert in railway systems consultancy, has been awarded in consortium with Metropolitano de Tenerife with the pre-commissioning services for the Tram-Train that runs from Chiclana to San Fernando in the Cadiz bay (Spain). GPO will provide the services for the comprehensive development of the rolling stock dynamic testing, as well as the required regulations and certifications for the commissioning of the new railway system.
The 24 km of the new line run through Chiclana, San Fernando and Cadiz (a section travels on the ADIF line and the other is new construction) with a total of 22 stops. The circulation speed is set around 30 km/h.
With this awarding, GPO Group strengthens its railway system consultancy services and, especially, those related to the commissioning of new systems, which GPO developed already for the recently opened Malaga Metro and Besançon Tram lines.
Sam Schwartz develops the feasibility study for the implementation of a new streetcar line between Brooklyn and Queens in New York
In order to improve the transportation between the districts of Brooklyn and Queens, Bill de Blasio, current mayor of New York city, is set to propose the construction of a 25 km long streetcar line, which will join the two districts through a tramway line running parallel to the East River coast of New York.
Sam Schwartz, North American subsidiary of GPO Group, has carried out the Feasibility Study for the implementation of the new streetcar, which includes the Preliminary Design, Environmental Impact Assessment, analysis of the available technologies and agency coordination. The new streetcar system, which will run at 20 km/h, will join Red Hook (in the South) and Astoria (in the North), and it also includes a branch line that will join Dumbo and the center of Brooklyn. The new infrastructure will run from Greenpoint to Dumbo in approximately 27 minutes, less than the current bus and metro lines, and it will carry 150 to 175 passengers, compared to the articulated buses that now have room for about 100 passengers. The construction of the line is expected to cost around 2.500 million dollars to the city, an investment that, according to the mayoral spokesman, will be paid out of real estate taxes on large residential and commercial owners served by the streetcar.
With this project, Sam Schwartz is confirmed to be ‘one of the sharpest traffic engineers around’, as he is described by the New York Daily News. Sam Schwartz, a leading traffic and transportation planning and engineering firm, shows once again its ability to solve highly complex problems quickly in densely populated urban centres.
The managing president of Sistran talks about the priorities on transportation for the year 2016 in the Brazilian magazine “Cnt Transporte Atual”
Jaime Waisman, managing President of Sistran, Brazilian subsidiary of GPO Group, expounds his point of view in the January article of the Brazilian magazine on transportation on what should be the priorities regarding transportation in Brazil for the year 2016. ‘The only solution for 2016 is either to act or to act’ the Sistran director says, and he goes on: ‘the main priority of the sector is to overcome the catatonic paralysis that is devastating the country and to go into action through reinvention’.
GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura and 2iT present the refurbishment project for the Retiro station in Buenos Aires
Last February 17th Fco. Javier González, GPO Group Business Development General Manager, and Javier Bespín, General Manager for Europe, presented the refurbishment project for the rail yard in the Retiro Station of the Mitre Railway in Buenos Aires before the Argentinean railway authorities and the technical staff of the public companies in charge of the management and operation of the facility (ADISE and SOFSE).
The project consists of the refurbishment of what is considered the second most important railway station of Argentina, with more than 45 million passengers per year and about 400 daily circulations, comprising the rail yard and the well-known Maldonado junction, where the Tigre and José León Suarez / Mitre lines fork.
This project is a step forward for the collaboration between GPO Group and the Argentinean railway authorities, country where GPO has recently developed several projects and training courses related to railway safety and rolling stock.
Opening of the southern section of the Barcelona metro line 9
The south section of line 9 of the Barcelona Metro was opened last 12th of February, in which GPO Group has had an active participation.
With an investment of 2.899 million Euros, this new line 9 section is 20 km long and has 15 new stations – six of which are interchange stations – and will join the Zona Universitaria of Barcelona with Barcelona Airport in El Prat. The route is taken with an automatic driving system without driver in 32 minutes, through a double track tunnel constructed mostly with tunnel boring machine.
GPO Group, through its Spanish companies GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura and Ingeniería de Instalaciones y Trenes (2IT), has been awarded, among many other services, with the Construction Supervision of the line and with the Project Monitoring of the stations concession, as well as with the Health and Safety Coordination of the communication systems and stations access.
The commissioning of this new section of the Barcelona Metro is a step forward to finish the line that will be the biggest one in Europe, with 47,8 km of length, 52 stations and 120 million of estimated passenger flow. GPO Group is still working on Line 9 with the aim of joining the North and South sections, which are currently into operation.
GPO Group launches its new corporate image
Last November 2015 GPO turned 30, a long career that has forced the group to adapt to the different situations that have taken place during these three decades. Due to the group’s strength and potential to meet the changing conditions, GPO Group is today an Engineering and Architecture holding company based in Spain, Brazil, USA, Colombia and Peru, from where we operate to many other countries.
Over this time, we have had different corporate images, which we have adapted progressively to the evolution of our society, within a constant and endless process. Likewise, we are taking a step forward today to launch our new corporate image, in a clear determination to reinforce the brand of the group. The new image, which will concern all the GPO Group companies, is a fresh and renewed version.
Samuel Schwartz, keynote speaker at the 2015 Annual Polis Conference in Belgium
Samuel Schwartz, CEO at Sam Schwartz Consulting, North American subsidiary of GPO Group, is presenting as a keynote speaker at the 2015 ANNUAL POLIS CONFERENCE Closing Plenary Session – Active Travel Modes: Congestion Busters & Health Boosters on November 20, 2015 in Brussels. His presentation will include the changing attitudes away from the car among younger generations in cities that is highlighted in his recently published book “Street Smart”.
Other keynote speakers include Christophe Reuter, representing the Luxemburg Presidency of the Council of the EU, presenting the main action points of the “Declaration on Cycling as a climate friendly transport mode” and Michael Cramer, Chair of the Transport Committee of the European Parliament presenting on the European Parliament’s call for an ‘EU roadmap for cycling” to be included in the Commission Work Programme.
POLIS is a network of European cities and regions working together to develop innovative technologies and policies for local transport.
Sistran takes part in the Smart Cities Forum 2015 in Peru
Last Tuesday 5th November, Gabriel Feriancic, general manager of SISTRAN – Brazilian subsidiary of GPO Group – was invited by Telefónica Peru to hold the presentation “Smart Steps – Planificando a partir del comportamiento de las personas” (Smart Steps – Planning from the behavior of people) in a seminar on Smart Cities in the Marriott Miraflores Hotel in Lima, Peru. Likewise, other speeches were held by some local and international specialists, coming from Spain, the USA and the United Kingdom.
GPO, awarded with the works supervision for the new railway access to the Barcelona airport
The consortium consisting of GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura, Spanish subsidiary of GPO Group, and Typsa has been awarded by the SEITT (Spanish State Company for Ground Transportation) with the Works Supervision for the railway access to the new terminal of the Barcelona Airport.
The project comprises the construction of the railway corridor to the Barcelona Airport up to the new Terminal 1, which gathers about 100.000 passengers a day. The new double track corridor is 4.500 m long, 3.500 of which will be underground through some segments of cut and cover tunnels and some others executed with tunnel boring machine. Besides, an intermodal station will be constructed as well in the Terminal 2, aimed as an interchange station for Line 9 of the Barcelona Metro.
It’s worth mentioning the singularity of the works, since the railway line runs underground through two airport terminals and through the main runway, what makes this project technically complex. This project shows once again the group’s expertise in railway systems.
Sam Schwartz launches the book 'Street Smart, the Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars'
Last Tuesday 8th September, Sam Schwartz, president and CEO of Sam Schwartz Consulting (North American subsidiary company of GPO Group), launched the book ‘Street Smart, the Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars’, a book about urban planning and development. The book presentation took place in the SSC headquarters in New York, which gathered important figures of the mobility and transport market in the United States.
The New York Daily News describe Sam Schwartz as ‘one of the sharpest traffic engineers around’. He also has a long career as a writer: he writes columns on traffic for The New York Daily News, the NY Downtown Express and blogs for Engineering News Record. He has authored more than 200 professional papers and presentations and has written several books and chapters in books.
GPO Group enters into a partnership with the North American company Sam Schwartz Consulting LLC
At the end of July 2015, GPO Group formalized its partnership with the North American company SAM SCHWARTZ CONSULTING, LLC, acquiring the 30% of its capital and an agreement to reach the 60% in the coming years. SAM SCHWARTZ CONSULTING, LLC, founded in New York in 1995, is a consulting and engineering company specialized in mobility and transport services. Headquartered in New York and with offices in Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark and Tampa, the firm has currently a team of more than 100 employees, and a sales forecast over 16 M US$ for 2015.
Samuel I. Schwartz, founder of the company, is one of the most renowned specialists and leader of the mobility and transport market in the United States. After more than 20 years of experience in the New York City Department of Transportation, serving in positions such as Chief Engineer and Traffic Commissioner, he founded his own company in 1995, SAM SCHWARTZ Engineering DPC, origin of the current SAM SCHWARTZ CONSULTING LLC.
With this incorporation, GPO GROUP gets firmly established in four markets including Spain, Brazil, the Andean region (Peru / Colombia) and the USA, and from these locations we are providing engineering and consulting services in many other places worldwide. Today, the companies of GPO GROUP employ more than 400 professionals, and they have all together a sales forecast over 35 M€ for 2015, and a backlog of 45 M€ (ending on July 2015).
GPO strengthens its airport engineering division with three new contracts
GPO Colombia has been awarded with two new contracts to carry out Detailed Designs (Phase III) for the extension of the Terminals in the Palonegro Airport in Bucaramanga, and in the Camilo Daza Airport in Cúcuta, Colombia. The Colombian subsidiary company of GPO Group has also been awarded with the Detailed Design (Phase III) for the new AeroCivil Hangar in the El Dorado Airport in Bogotá, Colombia.
These awards strengthen the specialization of GPO Group in airport engineering. Among others, GPO Colombia is currently working on the Detailed Design for the more than 62.000 m2 extension in the El Dorado Airport in Bogotá. Furthermore, GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura has wide experience in developing airport projects, such as the works for the new runways and terminals in the Barcelona Airport in Spain.
Therefore GPO Group empowers its project portfolio in Latin America, where the holding company has ongoing contracts amounting to 24 M$ (USD), thanks to its subsidiary companies operating in Brazil, Colombia and Peru.
GPO Group publishes the 2014 Annual Report
The GPO Group Annual Report 2014 is available now on its website. The report includes the main social, financial and corporate governance data of 2014, and describes the most relevant projects carried out during last year.
The Annual Report is not only a look back, but also a glance into the future, analyzing the moment where GPO is right now and emphasizing its ongoing initiatives to meet the strategic challenges. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the creation of the GPO Group parent company, the report offers a tour through the history of the integral companies, highlighting the milestones that have allowed the holding company to be where it is today.
This document shows that 2014 has meant a step up for GPO Group within the international market, and the year when the group has reorganized its business structure to meet future challenges.
Sistran sponsors and takes part in the 20th Brazilian Congress on Transportation and Traffic - IX INTRANS
SISTRAN, in collaboration with Telefónica-VIVO, sponsored the 20th Brazilian Congress on Transportation and Traffic – IX INTRANS, which had place from the 23rd to the 25th June in the city of Santos, São Paulo, Brazil. SISTRAN participated also as an exhibitor with its own stand, along with Telefónica-VIVO, to launch its transport planning service through the use of a technology named Smart Steps developed by Telefónica, a tool for big data analysis.
Besides, SISTRAN and Telefónica-VIVO held the conference “The use of Massive Data in Transport Planning”, which had place in the main auditorium. The conference was held by the Dr. Gabriel Feriancic, General Director of SISTRAN, and David O’Keede from Telefónica-VIVO.
GPO Group designates a new business development manager
Fco. Javier González Fernández, until now General Director of Ingeniería de Instalaciones y Trenes S.L. (2IT), has recently joined the Managament Comittee of GPO Group as Business Development Manager. As General Director of 2iT, company that became a member of GPO Group in May 2014, Fco. Javier González has leaded an internationalization process, opening new markets in last years such as Argentina, Peru, Colombia, India, Qatar, Algeria and Turkey. He has also diversified the main activity of the company into other scopes, such as ISA security audits, RAM studies and commissioning and maintenance of railway systems.
Fco. Javier González, PhD in Industrial Engineering, MBA and Electromechanical Engineer, has built great part of his professional career in the Madrid Metro, first as Head of the Engineering Unit and then as Director of Engineering, Maintenance and R+D. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Spanish Association of Maintenance (AEM), and professor at the ETSICCP (Civil Engineering University of Madrid) and the UNED (National Distance Education University). He has published ten books about railway systems and maintenance.
GPO Group becomes established in Asia with a new award and the signing of a collaboration agreement in China
GPO Group strengthens its presence in the Asiatic continent due to the award of the design of a new factory and a development center for Steyr-Motors, an outstanding Chinese factory of diesel engines, and also thanks to the collaboration agreement signed between GPO Group and AE – Automobile Engineering Corporation, one of the biggest engineering companies of the Automotive Industry.
Steyr-Motors, a prestigious company specialized in the manufacture of diesel engines, has awarded GPO Group with the design of its new factory and development center, located in a 20 Ha plot in the Hi-Tech Industrial Zone WIZ in Wujin, 200 km away from Shanghai. The scope of the project includes the design of the production plant and the logistics, machining, assembly and test systems. The new facility will manufacture 100.000 engines/year for the first phase, with a future production forecast of 400.000 units for following phases.
On the other hand and with the aim of strengthening GPO Group presence in China, the group has signed a collaboration agreement with AE – Automobile Engineering Corporation, an important automotive engineering company with headquarters in Tianjin and offices in the main capitals of the country. AE belongs to the public consortium Sinomach – China National Machinery Industry Corporation – which is among the 500 biggest companies of the world. Among its clients, there are BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, General Motors, Volvo, Ford and Mazda. This collaboration agreement will allow GPO Group to reinforce its presence within the Chinese market, through a permanent local partner with an extensive client portfolio.
GPO Colombia assigns a general manager for its offices in Bogota
GPO Colombia, subsidiary company of GPO Group, has recently designated a new General Manager, Freddy Julián López, with a Master’s in Civil Engineering and valuable experience as engineering consultant for public and private companies, who will be also developing Country Manager tasks for Colombia.
GPO Colombia has carried out already very important projects with great impact, such as the design for the extension of the International Airport El Dorado, the participation in diverse projects for Four Generation Highways, and the design for the improvement and extension of the Santa Marta and Bucaramanga Airports.
Thanks to this new incorporation, GPO Group strengthens its managing team and bets high on the Colombian market, reinforcing its presence in South America, where the group is established already through its other subsidiary companies in Brazil and Peru.
Opening of the new bridge over the Ter river in Girona, Spain
The Spanish Ministry of Public Works has opened today the new bridge over the Ter river in Girona. GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura (Spanish subsidiary company of GPO Group) has carried out the technical assistance of the Works Supervision.
Result of the agreements signed in 2003 between the local Government of Girona and the Spanish Government to improve communication in the north of the city, the new bridge was built as a unique structure designed with pure and elegant shapes.
With a length of 486 m, the bridge is distributed into 9 spans, being the longest 120 m, which hangs from a corten steel brace and a curved directrix divided into the contiguous spans, therefore, creating a complex structural configuration.
This singular bridge reaffirms GPO Group commitment with value engineering, trusting specialist teams working for generalist projects.
GPO Colombia will design the extension of the international airport El Dorado in Bogota
GPO Colombia is leading the consortium awarded with the Detailed Design for the extension of the International Airport El Dorado in Bogota, one of the most important in Latin America, with more than 300.000 operations a year and a passenger flow that exceeded 27 million passengers in 2014.
The concessionaire company OPAIN has trusted GPO to carry out the design of the new terminal with more than 62.000 m2 and 70.000 m2 of parking and maneuvering areas, which will be developed in this second phase of extension and renovation of the airport, that will increase its operative surface by 35%.
With this project, GPO Group becomes definitively established in Colombia and strengthens its airport infrastructure design department, which has taken part already in the development of new terminals, such as Bucaramanga and Santa Maria Airports in Colombia, and the Works Supervision for the third runway of the Barcelona Airport in Spain and flight field extension.
Change of our registered name: from GPO Ingeniería S.A. to GPO Group S.A.
According to an agreement made in the Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting, which took place last 24th November, we have changed the parent company business name, until now named GPO INGENIERÍA, S.A., which from now on will be named GPO GROUP S.A.
This change completes the reorganization of our internal company structure, which has become a holding company. This process started at the end of 2013 with the segregation of GPO business unit in Spain into a new company (GPO Ingeniería y arquitectura S.L.U.), subsidiary 100% owned by the group, and the conversion of GPO Ingeniería S.A. into parent engineering company based in Spain, Brazil, USA, Colombia and Peru.
This fact will imply the change of our corporate domain, which is now gpoeng.com and will be gpogroup.com. Effectively, this will mean that the corporate website of the group will be www.gpogroup.com
GPO will carry out the detailed design for the Retiro station in Buenos Aires
GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura, Spanish company of GPO GROUP, has been awarded by Corredores Ferroviarios with the renovation of the Retiro Station in Buenos Aires.
This station is one of the main sites within the railway transport in Argentina and one of the most important of Buenos Aires. Defined as a National Historic Monument, the station was opened in 1915. Nowadays, it is used by around two million passengers and it has a traffic flow of 400 daily circulations.
The Detailed Design will renovate the rail yard corresponding to the Station area of the Mitre Railway, adapting it to the current configuration of lines and services and modernizing signaling and electrification systems.
Presentation by the councilor Santi Vila of the feasibility study carried out by GPO for the extension of the Llobregat - Anoia line of FGC
The Councilor Santi Vila has presented the Feasibility Study carried out by GPO for the construction of a 4 km new railway segment and 3 stations and the remodeling of Plaza España in Barcelona, with an estimated investment of 321 million Euros. This project will improve the public transport situation in Eixample Esquerre of Barcelona and the access to the Llobregat-Anoia line in the center of the city and also the interchange with the Barcelona-Vallès line. The extension will be of benefit to a total of 19 million passengers a year. The event was also honored by the presence of Ramón Rabell, vice-president of GPO.
Interview to Gabriel Feriancic by Urban Systems | “Urban Mobility: What Are the Plans for Big Cities Not to Stop?”
Gabriel Feriancic, one of the directors of SISTRAN, subsidiary company of GPO in Brazil, and specialist in urban mobility, has been recently interviewed by Urban View for its monthly edition. This publication, created by Urban Systems, compiles the most outstanding features of the Urban Engineering. This time it is focused on the most important aspects of urban mobility.
Urban Systems Brazil is a Business Intelligence company specialized in the investigation and analysis of statistic data obtained from digital maps to study the behavior of market and city trends.
Gabriel Feriancic, Phd in Civil Engineering by the Polytechnic School of the São Paulo University, with a Master’s in Logistic Systems Engineering also by the Polytechnic School.
2IT Ingeniería has provided consulting services for the construction of the new metro of Málaga
GPO, through its subsidiary company specialized in Railway Systems, 2iT Ingeniería, has taken part in the start-up of Lines 1 and 2 of the Metro of Málaga, from Teatinos and Palacio de los Deportes to the El Perchel-María Zambrano interchange, a 12 km-route with 17 stations and stops.
More precisely, 2iT Ingeniería has provided consultancy services to put into operation the facilities, systems, rolling stock, maintenance facilities and auxiliary material of the Line 1 of Malaga Metro, carrying out the supervision of works, coordination, project revision and monitoring for the correct operation of the metropolitan railway line and, likewise, providing consulting services according to the Regulations concerning railway lines.
Another task of 2iT Ingeniería was training the drivers and the operators of the Operations Center and compiling up a security report.
GPO reinforces its railway activity with the acquisition of 2IT
The Catalan Engineering Company has purchased the Engineering from Madrid, 2iT Ingeniería, specialized in railway systems. The purchase is part of the growth process of the company to reinforce its work activity. At the same time, GPO has rearranged its structure and it has become a holding in order to meet the needs of a growing company both in Spain and, specially, abroad.
2iT, Ingeniería de Instalaciones y Trenes S.L. is an engineering consultancy specialized in railway infrastructures, rolling stock, transport organization, and railway operation and maintenance. It was created in 2005 to provide an added value to transport and railway systems, meeting the lifecycle of any project: feasibility study, design, inspection and control, integration, operation and maintenance, with full commitment to any problem, concern and requirement our clients may have.
The acquisition of 2iT, which will remain an independent company, is the key to reinforce the railway system area and for the distinction it provides to GPO Group.
GPO Colombia is awarded with the improvement and extension of the airports of Santa Marta and Bucaramanga in Colombia
GPO Ingeniería, through its Colombian subsidiary GPO Colombia, has been awarded to perform studies of Phase II and III (Basic and Construction Projects) for the passenger terminal and aircraft parking in the Santa Marta Airport and Phases II and III for the complementary works in Bucaramanga airport.
More concretely, GPO Colombia will carry out the review and modification of the original draft to adapt it to the new traffic demands, coordination with different disciplines for the implementation of the modernization works of Santa Marta Airport and the complementary works in Bucaramanga Airport.
GPO Ingeniería is awarded with the new urban mobility plan for the city of Jundiaí in Brazil
GPO INGENIERÍA, through its Brazilian subsidiary company SISTRAN ENGENHERIA S.L, has been awarded with a new project for the development of the New Urban Mobility Plan of the municipality in the state of Sao Paulo. The objective of the project is to carry out an assessment and define the urban mobility strategies that will determine the future of Jundiaí for the following 15 years.
The new Mobility Plan, wrote by SISTRAN ENGENHERIA S.L, will plan and define the urban mobility policy of Jundiaí, including public transport networks, pedestrian mobility and a new bicycle transport plan.
This project strengthens the leadership of GPO INGENIERÍA within the field of planning and urban mobility, under sustainability and TIC (Information and Communications Technology) criteria and following the concept of SMART CITY, of which Barcelona is a worldwide reference.
Our colleague Laia Martí appears in the documentary 'Especials com tothom' (Special as Everyone)
Last 4th of March the video report ‘Especials com tothom’ (Special as Everyone) directed by Down Catalunya was filmed in the headquarters of GPO to celebrate Down Syndrome Day, which will take place on March 21th (symbol of the chromosome trisomy 21, which is the origin of this genetic alteration).
The reason of the recording was filming our colleague LAIA MARTÍ SANTIAGO in her daily life, since she has been chosen, along with other of her mates, to represent the institution. For those who do not know her yet, here you have this link for you to enjoy the video and congratulate Laia, example of effort, integration and pride for all of us.
GPO is awarded for the project 'Rail Access to Barajas Airport' in the category of 'Best Public Work'
The Annual Awarding 2013 took place last 26th of November from the hand of the Civil Engineering Association of Madrid, where professionals, companies and institutions of the engineering industry were awarded, among those there was GPO Ingeniería.
Ramón Rabell, vice-president of GPO Ingeniería S.A., was the one in charge of collecting the prize for the project ‘Rail Access to Barajas Airport’ in the category of ‘Best Public Work’. GPO, in consortium with Azierta Ingeniería S.L., provided the Consulting services and Assistance for the Works Supervision of the project.
The work allowed the connection between the International Airport Madrid Barajas and the Commuter Rail Network of Madrid and, besides, it opened doors to High Speed Lines, creating a connection between the Spanish capital and the most relevant cities of the country.
GPO consolidates its presence in Brazil with three new awarding and 8.3 M€ of fees
The subsidiary company of GPO Ingeniería has been awarded with three technical studies in the fields of transportation, tramway system (VLT) and the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) in the States of São Paulo, Alagoas and Pará. The Public Company of Transport in São Paulo has chosen GPO Ingeniería, S.A. through its Brazilian subsidiary company SISTRAN ENGENHARIA, S.L. to leader a consortium with another local company to carry out the technical studies for the implementation of new terminals and transport systems in the East Zone 2 of São Paulo.
By its part, the Ministry of Transportation of Alagoas State has awarded SISTRAN ENGENHARIA, S.L., in consortium with another two local companies, with the technical studies for the implementation of a tramway system (VLT) in the city of Maceió (capital of Alagoas State).
Moreover, the local government of Belén has hired the subsidiary company of GPO Ingeniería, S.A. in Brazil to carry out the technical studies for the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) in the city of Belén (capital of Pará State).
Thanks to the awarding of these three contracts in Brazil, GPO Ingeniería, S.A. becomes established, not only in the State of São Paulo where the mother company has its headquarters through its subsidiary company SISTRAN ENGENHARIA, S.L., but it also increases its territorial presence in other states, reaffirming its firm position on the Brazilian market.
Inauguration of FGC Gracia station in Barcelona
The Major of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, the Minister of Transport of Catalonia Autonomic Government, Santi Vila, and the President of GPO Ingeniería, Álvaro Palao, among others, celebrated yesterday the opening of the remodeling works of FGC Gracia Station in Barcelona. With an investment of 20.7 million € and more than two years and a half of construction process, the remodeling has based on the extension of platforms, the modification of railroad tracks to improve railway circulation, the improvement and extension of halls, as well as a comprehensive renovation of electric systems and substations.
GPO has carried out the Construction Supervision of this important transportation project, which belongs to the rail network of Barcelona Metropolitan Area. This way, GPO reaffirms its commitment to the improvement of public transport and mobility in those places where the company is based.
HERO Motocorp puts the first stone of its research and development center designed by GPO in Rajasthan, India
As part of its expansion strategy, the Indian company HERO MotoCorp, leader in the motorcycle sector, has started the construction of its new R&D center in Kukas (Rajasthan), which is expected to be finished during the first trimester of 2015.
GPO is part of the consortium, together with Apicom and IDIADA, which is developing the engineering services of the new proving center for the said company, being the project management and the development of engineering services for tracks and labs the main tasks of GPO.
With an investment of almost 75 million dollars (Rs 450 Crore), this new center will be a model for Asia as far as motorcycle development is concerned, since it will count with last technology in testing tracks and labs.
Gabriel Feriancic launches the book 'Concessão de Rodovias: Aspectos Jurídicos, Econômicos e Institucionais'
Last Tuesday 17th September Gabriel Feriancic, manager of Sistran Engenharia, Brazilian subsidiary company of GPO Group, launched the book ‘Concessão de Rodovias: Aspectos Jurídicos, Econômicos e Institucionais’ (Road Concession: Legal, Economic and Institutional Aspects), which he is co-author.
According to Luiz Alfonso Dos Santos Senna, professor of the Engineering School of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, ‘this book is an effort to spread and clarify all legal, economic and institutional aspects related to public-private concessions and associations, in their widest sense.’
The minister Felip Puig visited the facilities of Sistran, the subsidiary company of GPO in Brazil
The Minister for Business and Labour, Felip Puig, has visited today the subsidiary company of GPO in Brazil to find out about its projects within the engineering market. GPO acquired the 60% of SISTRAN at the end of 2012, one of the most recognized engineering companies in Brazil, after a comprehensive study on the way to spread across the Brazilian market.
The visit was framed within the institutional and company mission in the Brazilian States of Ceará, Santa Catarina, Río de Janeiro, San Paolo and Minas Gerais, headed by Artur Mas, the President of Generalitat de Catalunya, the autonomic government of Catalonia. The mission had the purpose of strengthening business and institutional relationships between Brazil and Catalonia. The event was attended by Álvaro Palao, the president of GPO, and Alejandro Mosquera, general director of GPO Brazil and current director of SISTRAN.
The objective of opening a subsidiary company in Brazil is promoting the growth of SISTRAN by providing specialists on the transport sector and diversifying its activity scope, basing on GPO experience. Facing the next year, the company is willing to take part in major projects of rail, road and urban infrastructures, apart from expanding its service portfolio up to works supervisions. GPO in Brazil has invoiced more than 7 million Euros in 2012 and it is foreseen to close 2013 with a consolidated turnover of 11 million Euros. Presently, the Brazilian subsidiary company counts with 112 professionals.
GPO acquires company in Brazil
The Catalonia based engineering company, GPO, has reached an agreement to acquire 60% of Sistran Engenheria, one of the most renowned engineering companies in Brazil, which employs one hundred people and has revenues at 10 million Euros, growing at a two-digit pace. GPO, which features Álvaro Palao, Xavier Montobbio and Ramon Rabell (President, CEO and Vice President, respectively) as the most relevant partners, started operating in Brazil in 2011 through a subsidiary, but has opted for the acquisition ‘to grow faster’ as Montobbio says. ‘Brazil is like Spain twenty years ago, only five times bigger, of course. It is in great need of infrastructure and public resources to fund them, and it has no network of engineering companies to take on such a task. It is also highly protectionist, which makes it very difficult for foreign companies to get in. Since we bought Sistran, we have operated as locals there,’ elaborates Montobbio.
Apart from Brazil, the group has opened subsidiaries in the USA, Peru, Colombia and Albania, from where it operates in eleven countries, such as Argentina, China, India and Holland. ‘GPO specializes in public works, civil works and commercial buildings such as hotels, offices and industrial facilities, and especially in the Automotive Industry, where as well as engineering we provide project management services,’ adds Montobbio. ‘We design labs, or tracks, something that is growing in emerging countries, which is pulling our business.’Last year, almost 20% of the group’s income was already coming from the business abroad, a figure that is expected to rise this year by 50% due to the new Brazilian subsidiary. In order to enhance the business abroad, GPO aims at continuing to acquire companies. ‘This allows us to be local, as we are in Barcelona and Madrid, and grants critical mass, which subsequently improves profitability.’
GPO participated in the seminar on planning and implementation of underground transit systems in Peru
GPO participated in the Seminar of Planning and Implementation of Underground Networks in Peru organized by the Autonomous Authority of Electrical System of Mass Transport in Lima and Callao (AATE) on October 25th, 2012. This event was aimed at giving Peruvian professionals a space for specialization in underground transit networks, drawing on the experience of important companies worldwide. Its capital city, Lima, held its first gathering of researchers, manufacturers, architects, operators and managers of the underground transit infrastructure sector in Peru.
It was attended by GPO’s representative in Peru, Anna Alsius, a Civil Engineer, who lectured on integrating underground infrastructures in cities using GPO’s experience in Barcelona as an example, and the analysis of the close relationship between the large urban works and investments in underground public transport. To conclude, Ms. Alsius highlighted how the architectural design as well as aesthetics are, in some cases, more relevant than just functionality for infrastructure. These designs lend character to a city or are unique architectonic elements, and become city landmarks or a boost to the city brand.
Apart from GPO, the seminar was attended by prominent international engineering companies like SYSTRA.
GPO enters three agreements in Brazil and Argentina to design car test centers for Fiat, Iveco and Federal Mogul
GPO has been granted three projects for centers for research and experimentation on vehicles and car parts centers located in Brazil and Argentina. The car manufacturer, Fiat, has chosen a specialist in approval and certification, IDIADA, in collaboration with GPO Ingeniería, to build a complete technical car center in Goiana, Brazil. Also, the equipment provider, APICOM, has hired GPO for engineering the engine test labs for commercial vehicles manufacturer, Iveco, and car parts company, Federal Mogul, located in Córdoba (Argentina) and Sao Paulo (Brazil) respectively.
In this manner, GPO has consolidated its Test Facility Engineering Department, a unit specialized in offering engineering and project management services for test facilities in the Automotive Industry. This new line of business is aimed at enhancing the engineering services for building cells, facilities and technical centers for I+D+I, quality control, production and approval tests.
Currently, the Test Facility Engineering Department has entered into three more contracts with car companies in China, and has worked on similar projects in India, South Korea and Iran.
These new contracts have triggered GPO Ingeniería’s internationalization process. Since early this year, GPO Ingeniería has increased its international presence by opening offices in Miami and Los Angeles in the USA, which centralize the company’s activity in Central and North America. To cover South America, the company opened an office in Lima, Peru, last September.
GPO participated in the 1st congress on roads in Albania
On the 27th and 28th of September, 2012, GPO participated in the 1st Congress on Roads in Albania, organized by the Association of Consulting Engineers of Albania. Its capital city, Tirana, held its first gathering for researchers, manufacturers, operators and managers of infrastructure in the road sector in the Western Balkans. This event was aimed at analysing the current as well as the future situations of the road sector in Albania. It was attended by some of the members of the team responsible for the development of General Planning Plan (PGO) with GPO: Manuel Barredo, a Road, Canal and Port Engineer; Andreu Pujol, a Road, Canal & Port Engineer and Director of Business Development for Eastern Europe; and Miguel Nieto, a Computing Engineer.
In their lecture entitled “PGO: Software Application for the Global Management of Works on Roads and Railways, GPO summarised the challenges that the R + D + I project for supporting management and monitoring teams in linear works may face in major infrastructure projects. This type of highly specialized software enables processing, systematizing and optimizing the activities of the team involved in monitoring the project as well as reducing the time used up in repetitive tasks; it also helps transfer the applicable technical knowledge in compliance with ISO 9001:2000 standards. The focus is always on the primary objective of improving customer service.
GPO participated in a seminar organized by World Class Cities Partnership on the Catalonian transport model in Boston, Massachusetts
The event was attended by the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia Artur Mas and the former Governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis. GPO was invited by World Class Cities Partnership to participate in a seminar organized at North-Eastern University (NEU) in Boston, Massachusetts.
The seminar was entitled “The Catalan Model: Infrastructure and Public Transport. The main attendees were Mr. Artur Mas, President of the Generalitat of Catalonia; Mr. Alan Solomont, Ambassador of the USA to Spain; and two-time Governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Michael Dukakis. GPO’s Director for International Business Development, Joan Verbon, lectured on transport sustainability. The public was able to learn about GPO’s experience in transportation infrastructure projects and management.
The seminar consisted of two parts: the first one was a round table moderated by Somerville Mayor, Mr. Joe Curtatone. Several presentations then focused on sustainable mobility in Barcelona, one of which was GPO’s. The second part was a debate on the organization and funding for public transport infrastructure, moderated by the Massachusetts’s Minister of Transport, Mr. Richard Davey.
The event was attended by prominent people from the public sector and engineering companies from Catalonia, such as Mr. Sixte Cambra i Sánchez, Chairman of the Barcelona Port Authority; Mr. Ignasi Gómez Belinchón, CEO of Railgrup; Mr. Damia Calvet i Valera, Minister of Territory and Mobility of Catalonia; and Mr. Joan Lluís Quer i Cumsille, President of GISA.