Nita Teoh, Big4.com
July 13, 2010
It’s not often that phrase “most exciting” and “accounting firms” are found together.
So, it was interesting to see a list of “the most exciting infrastructure projects from around the world, as selected by independent judging panels due to their scale, complexity, innovation and impact on society” in a recent KPMG report.
And of these 100 projects, selected for their scale, complexity, innovation and impact on society – there are 10 absolutely notable endeavors across the world in construction today:
Water – The Venice MOSE Flood Barrier, Italy;
Power – Green Power Express, USA;
Oil & Gas – Project Mthombo oil refinery, South Africa;
Renewable energy – Incheon Tidal Power Project, South Korea;
Rail – TAV high speed rail link, Brazil;
Roads – Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge;
Other transport – Panama Canal extension, Panama;
Healthcare – CRCHUM P3 research centre, Canada;
Education – King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, Saudi Arabia;
Other Social Infrastructure – Greater Manchester Waste, UK.
What strikes us is that 5 of these top projects are in the Asia Pacific and Latin America. And out of the top 100, 59 are outside North America, Europe and Japan, which shows that infrastructure investment is taking place largely in the developing world. All these projects are of immense scale, are great engineering challenges and boldly highlight the ambition of their sponsors.
Nick Chism, Global Head of Infrastructure at KPMG and a partner in the UK firm, said: “Infrastructure development is one of the great global challenges of our time. The idea of the Infrastructure 100 is to showcase some of the exciting projects that are underway around the world to address this challenge. These are ambitious, yet essential projects. I would like to congratulate everyone associated with the 100 projects and, in particular, applaud the ten that have been selected by the judges.”
This is evidently true, infrastructure is what the world needs today to support a huge growth in population, increasing human mobility and demand for energy and resources. Each project clearly demands investments of billions of dollars, and the sum total of all the 100 projects may well be in the hundreds of billions of dollars, which is not at all trivial.
The 80-page report is absolute delight to read with breathtaking pictures and the background and intent of each project, along with insightful KPMG commentary. We strongly recommend you take a look! at
Here is short overview of some of these top 10, right from the press release:
The Venice flood barrier project, for example, is one of the biggest public works projects in Italian history and will use compressed air to raise flood gates to protect Venice from flooding. In the US, the Green Power Express is a proposed 3,000 mile network designed to transmit 12,000MW of renewable energy and thus address the transmission issue which is currently the biggest bottleneck facing the development of clean energy.
On the other side of the world, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge has been designed with a service life of 120 years and can withstand the impact of an earthquake measuring eight on the Richter Scale. One of the country’s most technically complicated engineering projects, this requires the creation of several artificial islands and will reduce the travelling times from Hong Kong to Zhuhai from 4.5 hours to about 40 minutes.
Once built, the Incheon tidal power plant will facilitate 44 water turbines and will be five times bigger than the world’s current biggest tidal plant. In a country like South Korea, which lacks an abundance of natural resources, this represents an ambitious – but necessary – project and could be a landmark for tidal power.
Social, as well as economic, impact was never far from the judges’ minds – as with the Project Mthombo refinery which represents the centre piece of a new economic zone in the Eastern Cape Province.
KPMG, Infrastructure, Top 100, Most Exciting, Global Projects, water, power, energy, refining