UK civil engineers have been told to prepare for a boom in infrastructure opportunities in Russia and Qatar after the two countries’ were chosen as World Cup hosts.
Pressure on Russian authorities is most intense, with only an eight-year time frame to deliver vital infrastructure to Russia’s 13 Fifa World Cup 2018 host cities.
Around RUB 300bn (£6.1bn) has been earmarked by the Russian Government specifically for the World Cup: this excludes funding for airports and roads.
Recent reports in the Russian media say that 7,711km of roads and 2,024km of railway must be built at an estimated cost of £22bn with a further £880M needed to refurbish airports.
Russia’s biggest non-state owned bank Gazprombank managing director Marc Partridge said it would be imperative to ensure frameworks are in place to speed up the delivery process.
“There may be some World Cup standards that are implemented,” he said. “When you need to take into account the time for planning, due diligence…everything needs to be efficient.”
“There are opportunities galore”
British Aviation Group (BAG) chairman Alan Lamond said there were major opportunities for UK firms in Russian airports. BAG represents UK firms involved in the airport and aviation development sector.
“There are opportunities galore,” he said. “The pace of growth in Russia and particularly in the airports sector is significant. Moscow airport is expected to double in capacity by 2015.”
He said foreign investment would be key to delivery of much-needed infrastructure.
Qatar also has bold plans to spend $4bn (£2.5bn) on stadiums and a further £31bn on infrastructure projects in the next decade, with opportunities for British firms to win work.
For the World Cup, Qatar plans to build 12 venues which will be carbon neutral and still provide shelter from the 50°C summer heat.