The electricity sector has proved to be the strongest growth area in the UK infrastructure market, estimated to be worth £6.5bn in 2006, according to a report released later this month.
The report, the second edition of the "Civil Engineering Market" by Cheltenham-based market researcher by AMA Research, says:
"The [civil engineering] market has experienced relatively low growth over the last two years, influenced by the slow progression of some PFI schemes and projects in the rail sector."
According to AMA, static or declining construction output across several key infrastructure sectors has lead to the market flat-lining or making only modest advances since 2004, with the exception of electricity, where output experienced an increase of 68% in 2006.
The report goes on to say that the growth of facilities management (FM) and PFI contracts has resulted expanded the range of contracting services, often as part of a consortium of companies offering related services. This trend, claims AMA, has eased the consolidation taking place within the construction sector.
"Thus", the report concludes, "the leading players in the civil engineering market are typically large integrated construction services groups with a wide range of activities including design, project management, construction, engineering services and FM."
AMA sees increased investment in rail and road projects driving growth in the civil engineering sector. Water is likely to experience a revival as a result of investment programmes agreed at the last OFWAT regulatory review.