With over 130 years of experience on the global markets, Maccaferri is well positioned to become a technical partner for Greece’s most challenging infrastructural projects
George Dimenas, General Manager of Maccaferri Hellas, has given a detailed interview to Mr Karagiannis of Ypodomes.com, the only information website dedicated to Greek infrastructures. The interview analyses the situation of the Greek infrastructure sector and takes a critical look at the issues which are currently slowing it down. Project funding and bureaucracy are among the areas that should be improved to revitalise the industry and boost future developments. In such a challenging environment, at Maccaferri we have the technical know-how and high-quality products to give a strong contribution to this development, creating durable, technically sound and environmentally-friendly projects.
“We have been active in Greece for more than 25 years through our distributor TEMKA Ltd but it is since Maccaferri Hellas was established in 2010, that our full range of Maccaferri products has been implemented in the Greek market with great success. We are global leaders and can meet the challenges of the Greek infrastructure sector thanks to a very strong asset: our 130 years of documented experience,” George Dimenas tells our enduring history as we invented gabions in 1879 and dramatically changed the civil engineering’s landscape.
Our products have been used in some of the most important and challenging infrastructural project for Greece, Olympia and Ionia highways and Egnatia railway among the others, where we provided highly-reliable technical solutions such as our gabion retaining walls, our innovative low-impact geogrid reinforced soil structures, our rockfall protection systems (including our ETAG tested and certified dynamic barriers with energy absorption capacity up to 8,600 kJ), our 3d geomats for erosion control, and corrugated steel culverts for rainwater drainage, to give a few examples.
Mr. Dimenas continues: “What sets us apart is our partnership approach: beyond simply providing materials, we stay true to our motto of Engineering a better solution. Therefore, we work closely with designers and contractors through all project phases, from design to implementation, to find the solutions to their technical problems. Our know-how and high-quality products allow us to help clients create durable, technically sound and environmentally-friendly projects.”
The economic crisis has been challenging the industry in recent years. According to Mr. Dimenas, the key to break the deadlock is project funding, which might be coming from the NSRF, mostly on major projects. Also, bureaucracy should be reduced as it represents a delaying factor, together with the lack of efficient decision-making within the responsible bodies.
In addition, Mr Dimenas points out that it would be essential to eliminate the excessive discounts given by big contractors, which eventually lead to a downgrade in the quality of the materials used or even a failure to complete the project. He is very strict on this point, when he says: “This is also unfair to the other contractors, who correctly evaluated and priced their products and services during the tender procedure. This is one of the reasons why many small and medium-sized contractors are out of public works, as they cannot cope with economically unbearable offers.”
On the other hand, he acknowledges that an important step has been made as projects now need to be funded in order to be tendered, while in the past, contractors were signing projects which were never starting for lack of funds.
In the end, he expresses optimism about the future, hoping that the situation will improve. “The Greek technical sector is rich with many good engineers and has the knowledge capital to design and construct large and impressive projects,” and he adds: “We aim to increase our market share, which of course means also a staff increase and the eventual creation of separate departments in Maccaferri Hellas. Our ultimate goal, as I have already stated, is to contribute to the development of durable and sustainable projects, thanks to our technical knowledge and quality products.”
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