Even if all our expectations have not been met in 2021, our results nevertheless clearly show that our contracting activities are recovering, while our parallel activities like real estate and concessions, are enhancing positively our revenues.
2021 has been a year of recovery. In this tumultuous year, we have supported the economic recovery in the regions where we are present, by participating in major projects, winning new contracts and delivering iconic projects. We close the year with a record order book of quality projects, cementing our path back to normalized performance.
In 2019, BESIX Group and its entities began, continued or completed hundreds of construction projects, on five continents. The multiple achievements presented in the pages of this Activity Report are representative examples of them. The Group’s 14,000 employees have once again demonstrated their talent, passion and intelligence, showing to our clients and partners the reliability of our group and the excellence which is our main purpose. I would like to congratulate them and thank them with all my heart.
More than ever, BESIX Group will need their qualities and their dedication in the months to come. In March 2020, many worksites were halted or slowed down due to the coronavirus pandemic which has spread around the world. Our first priority has been the health of our employees, their families and their respective communities, as well as actively participating in the various initiatives taken by the states in which we are present.
The second priority is the actions we are taking inside BESIX Group in order to pass through the difficult economic conditions that will follow this pandemic. Inevitably, the financial results for 2020 will suffer.
We are nonetheless confident in our group’s ability to overcome the difficulties and challenges that this crisis imposes. In addition to its employees, BESIX Group can rely on its clear strategy, its sense of entrepreneurship, as well as its financial health and operational expertise.
After four consecutive years of growth, BESIX Group closed 2019 with a record turnover of €3.3 billion and an order book of €4.8 billion, also a record. On the other hand, the consolidated net profit, at €42.2 million, is significantly lower than was forecast. Our net cash position is increasing again and our solvency ratio has been above the industry average for many years.
This financial solidity, combined with the first-rate expertise we have developed in recent years in future-oriented sectors, will help us to face the upcoming headwinds.
This forward-looking approach is demonstrated by the cutting-edge infrastructures – road, marine, airport and rail, as well as water and waste treatment – built by BESIX Group in 2019, some of which we also designed and financed, and for which we will provide operations and maintenance for decades.
This year we have also designed, built and developed high-quality buildings of various types, housing and offices in particular, as well as sports and logistics facilities. To these achievements we must also add the many specialist trades in the group’s subsidiaries, some of which contributed significantly to our result.
The pages of this activity report give a clear overview of our achievements both in our core business, that is to say construction, and in our two other major activities, real estate development and concessions. Real estate development continues to perform well with record turnover in 2019, while the concessions activity has achieved good results, particularly in the Middle East.
We hope you enjoy discovering them through the following chapters.
Another specificity that makes our group stands out in the sector, is our internal Engineering department. It is also thanks to these in-house experts that we are able, today, to meet the expectations of our clients, offering them unique Value Engineering solutions and undertaking projects of unprecedented scale and complexity.
BESIX Group’s investments in innovation are also starting to bear fruit. In 2019, we started our 3D concrete printing activities, experimented with promising new technologies on our sites, and achieved strong performance in terms of sustainability and circularity, especially in the building sector. We have constructed energy-neutral infrastructure and a new generation smart building, to which are added several promising research programmes in which we participate.
Our strong operational skills coupled to our decade-long investment in new knowledge constitute a pledge of the future. Even if it will be difficult, BESIX Group is today equipped to overcome the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis, and then to continue to grow. We will achieve this by retaining, at the centre of our actions, the values of our group – excellence, passion, unity, co-creation and respect – and by being faithful to our purpose: «Excel in creating sustainable solutions for a better world.»
Thank you for your interest in BESIX Group and in the extraordinary projects that we are carrying out in collaboration with our clients and many partners.
In 2019, BESIX Group celebrated its 110th anniversary.
During these eleven decades, BESIX and its entities have provided Europe, and in particular the Benelux, with state-of-the-art buildings and infrastructure. Many a time we have stood at the forefront of progress in our business sectors. In the Middle East, through our subsidiary Six Construct, we have been actively contributing to the spectacular development of the Arabian Peninsula, as early as 1965, when only few companies were keen on venturing in this region of the world. From Australia to Africa, we have built the reputation and quality brand of BESIX and its subsidiaries.
We have always been curious to experiment, to dare and to be innovative; often having the courage to do what no one else had ever done before us. The world’s tallest skyscraper, harbours or quay walls in hardly-accessible remote locations, a stadium within a limited schedule like never done before. Finally, in all circumstances, we have made sure that our projects are responding to the expectations of our clients. The year 2019 again provides multiple examples, as evidenced in this Activity Report.
Throughout its history, BESIX Group has experienced many crises, economic troubles and wars. The strength of BESIX has always been, not only to overcome them, but above all to transform them into opportunities. For instance, today we are recognised worldwide as one of the most performant companies in the maritime sector. BESIX acquired this expertise immediately after World War I, by committing to rebuild Belgium’s ruined canals and locks, to build new ones and carry out the largest infrastructure projects in the country.
The same goes for the period from World War II to the first Gulf War, and from the economic crisis of 1929 to the one of 2008. BESIX Group has always bounced back.
Again, at the start of 2020, we have entered a new time of crisis. Its origin this time is public health-related and it will undoubtedly have deep economic consequences. The coming months will be challenging and for BESIX it will certainly be no exception. However, the Board of Directors and I remain confident. Because if there has been one constant in the history of BESIX Group, it is that of having always employed the most talented, intelligent staff and workers, who are always keen to take up the challenge and explore new paths. It is they who, over the decades, have enabled our group to dare and excel. In 2020, from senior management to workers, BESIX Group can count on the best and I have tremendous confidence in them. Together, we will not only survive this crisis, but will transform it, I am convinced, into new opportunities.
Lantis, as client for the Oosterweel Link (Antwerp, Belgium), awards the contract for the construction of the Right Bank sub-project to the ‘ROCO’ joint venture, of which BESIX is part.
For the second year in a row, BESIX Group is certified Belgian Top Employer by the Top Employers Institute.
The Kõtui team, with BESIX Watpac as the lead contractor, is selected to design the new Te Kaha Stadium for Christchurch City Council in New Zealand. The 25,000- seat indoor stadium will host major sporting competitions, international concerts, and smaller local shows and events.
BESIX Group delivers the French Pavilion for the Dubai World Expo (UAE). The building is an example of respect for the principles of bioclimatic architecture, which is reflected in the choice of materials and a global circular approach.
BESIX RED launches the commercialisation of the first phase of DUUO, its first ever residential development in Portugal, after successfully obtaining the architectural permit.
BESIX and its partners achieve the financial close of the Dubai Waste-to-Energy project, a 1.2 billion dollar public-private partnership. BESIX is involved in the design, financing, construction, and 35-year operations and maintenance of the project, which includes one of the world’s largest waste-to-energy plants.
‘Connect Brisbane’, led by BESIX Watpac, is selected to design and build the Kangaroo Point Green Bridge. The contract includes a 460-metre-long cable-stayed pedestrian bridge, one of the longest of its kind in the world.
BESIX and Orascom Construction successfully transport the King Khufu Solar Boat from the archaeological site of the Giza pyramids to the Grand Egyptian Museum complex. Inherited from ancient Egypt, the King Khufu Solar Boat is considered to be the oldest intact ship in the world.
BESIX delivers the Quatuor project to its client Befimmo, an exceptional development of four towers totalling 60,000 m2 in the heart of Brussels (Belgium).
In partnership with Trojan, Six Construct is awarded the contract for the construction of the Guggenheim Museum in Abu Dhabi (UAE). Designed by Frank Gehry, the museum will be the largest of the four Guggenheim museums in the world.
The Theemswegtracé, a 4-kilometre-long railway viaduct built by BESIX in the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, is completed after three years of work.
A key milestone is reached in Nachtigal (Cameroon) with the opening of a cofferdam to allow the minimum ecological flow of the Sanaga River to be diverted through the already constructed part of the dam. This new step allows construction of the rest of the dam to begin.
05-01 Lantis, as client for the Oosterweel Link (Antwerp, Belgium), awards the contract for the construction of the Right Bank sub-project to the ‘ROCO’ joint venture, of which BESIX is part.
08-01 BESIX is ISO 45001:2018 certified. This certification, which relates to health and safety at work, covers all contracting activities in the countries where BESIX operates.
29-01 BESIX Infra acquires the road construction activities of STRABAG in the Netherlands and renames it BESIX Infra Nederland. The acquisition includes a transfer of all assets, including all real estate, the asphalt plant, equipment, employees, and ongoing projects.
11-02 For the second year in a row, BESIX Group is certified Belgian Top Employer by the Top Employers Institute.
15-02 BESIX RED delivers the public part of the Kaai District project in Aalst (Belgium), which comprises a car park for 900 cars and 700 bicycles and 1,980 m2 of offices for the national railway company SNCB-NMBS.
17-02 BESIX Watpac completes the Herston Quarter building, a highly specialised Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service building in Brisbane (Australia).
09-03 With the Schindler R.I.S.E robot, the 340-metre Dubai Uptown Tower, designed and built by BESIX Middle East, is the first supertall tower in the world to adopt robotics for lift installation (UAE).
16-03 Works start on the 318 Valfabbrica state road in Italy. The project includes two tunnels of 874 and 1,545 metres, as well as a viaduct and a bridge.
16-03 Sydney Metro awards BESIX Watpac the contract to build the stunning new Barangaroo Station in the heart of the city (Australia).
30-03 The Kõtui team, with BESIX Watpac as the lead contractor, is selected to design the new Te Kaha Stadium for Christchurch City Council in New Zealand. The 25,000- seat indoor stadium will host major sporting competitions, international concerts, and smaller local shows and events.
13-04 The Sea Water Reserve Osmosis plant at the Jebel Ali Power Plant treats 182 million litres of drinking water per day and is starting to supply the city’s water network (UAE).
22-04 BESIX Group delivers the French Pavilion for the Dubai World Expo (UAE). The building is an example of respect for the principles of bioclimatic architecture, which is reflected in the choice of materials and a global circular approach.
22-04 BESIX is awarded the POST Rotterdam contract (The Netherlands). The project includes the renovation of a historic building and the construction of a 155-metre tower, in one of the city’s most dynamic and lively districts.
28-04 BESIX Group organises its annual Global Safety Time Out, dedicated to occupational cancers and mental health.
30-04 BESIX RED announces the signature of a 15-year lease agreement with Société Générale Luxembourg for the occupation of the entire ICÔNE building in Belval (Luxembourg).
05-05 Van den Berg, BESIX and ComTIS deliver a sustainable heating system to the Royal Estate of Laeken (Belgium), which will reduce its CO2 emissions by 2,300 tons per year.
21-05 BESIX RED launches the commercialisation of the first phase of DUUO, its first ever residential development in Portugal, after successfully obtaining the architectural permit.
25-05 Pierre Sironval succeeds Rik Vandenberghe as Deputy CEO of BESIX Group.
30-05 PFO Africa awards BESIX the construction of the Palais des Congrès in Abidjan (Ivory Coast).
03-06 BESIX Watpac celebrates the National Reconciliation Week, which honours Indigenous history and culture in Australia.
09-06 BESIX and its partner complete the renovation of the Stationspostgebouw in The Hague, the Netherlands, a listed building.
21-06 BESIX and its partners achieve the financial close of the Dubai Waste-to- Energy project, a 1.2 billion dollar public- private partnership. BESIX is involved in the design, financing, construction, and 35-year operations and maintenance of the project, which includes one of the world’s largest waste-to-energy plants.
25-06 The first rotating bridge built by BESIX on the Vistula Split construction site opens to traffic. In addition, the Harbour Master Building is completed.
30-06 BESIX Group, Belgian trade unions FGBT-ABVV and CSC-ACV, and the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) support the recognition by the International Labour Organization (ILO) of health and safety at work as a fundamental right.
30-06 BESIX Middle East records 10 million safe man-hours without lost time injury on the 340-metre-high Dubai Uptown Tower (UAE).
01-07 BESIX Nederland delivers the Terraced Tower skyscraper in Rotterdam, a particularly impressive building in terms of engineering (The Netherlands).
02-07 ‘Connect Brisbane’, led by BESIX Watpac, is selected to design and build the Kangaroo Point Green Bridge. The contract includes a 460-metre-long cable-stayed pedestrian bridge, one of the longest of its kind in the world.
05-07 In partnership with PFO Africa, BESIX is participating in the construction of the F Tower in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Africa’s tallest tower. BESIX is in charge of the project management, as well as the execution of the structural work.
15-07 BESIX Group subsidiary Van den Berg acquires Agidens Infra Automation, a market leader in automation, remote control, interconnection and intelligent energy management for infrastructures, including locks, movable bridges, tunnels, weirs and pumping stations.
19-07 BESIX and its BRAVO-4 consortium partners are the preferred bidder for the R4 West-East project, a Design, Build, Finance, Maintain contract for the Ghent ring road infrastructure in Belgium.
02-08 BESIX and its partners are starting the rehabilitation of the Huccorgne viaduct, a major motorway construction site in southern Belgium.
07-08 BESIX and Orascom Construction successfully transport the King Khufu Solar Boat from the archaeological site of the Giza pyramids to the Grand Egyptian Museum complex. Inherited from ancient Egypt, the King Khufu Solar Boat is considered to be the oldest intact ship in the world.
10-08 The two towers of MIC Construct’s impressive Lusail Plaza Towers project in Doha, Qatar, are reaching their highest point.
02-09 BESIX delivers the Quatuor project to its client Befimmo, an exceptional development of four towers totalling 60,000 m2 in the heart of Brussels (Belgium).
07-09 In Riga, the construction of the first bridge of the Rail Baltica Central Station is officially launched (Latvia).
07-09 The construction of the Infinity Bridge in Shindagha, Dubai, is completed by Six Construct (UAE).
20-09 BESIX and Proximus acquire stakes in i.Leco, a technology start-up specialising in building energy management. Together, they create aug∙e, a platform for smart building applications combining their respective expertise in building, ICT and energy.
23-09 BESIX organises the annual clean- up day in which the group’s teams around the world participate. On this occasion, the group’s 1,800 volunteers collect 15 tonnes of man-made waste.
23-09 BESIX delivers the Belgian Pavilion for the Dubai World Expo. One of the key features of the building is that it can be dismantled and reassembled identically elsewhere after the Expo.
04-10 Matexi awards BESIX and Wust the construction of four buildings in the new Paradis Express eco-district in Liège (Belgium). The project comprises four buildings, in addition to the first three built by BESIX for Befimmo.
07-10 DPG Media awards BESIX the construction of Mediavaert, the new Dutch headquarters of the media company in Amsterdam. With over 44,000 m2, this building will be one of the largest hybrid- timber office buildings in the world.
08-10 The two emblematic Grotius towers that BESIX and its partners are building in The Hague (The Netherlands) reach their highest point.
22-10 Six Construct, a BESIX subsidiary in the Middle-East, is awarded the Corporate Social Responsibility label by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce for the 9th consecutive time. It is the only construction company to achieve this feat.
27-10 In partnership with Trojan, Six Construct is awarded the contract for the construction of the Guggenheim Museum in Abu Dhabi (UAE). Designed by Frank Gehry, the museum will be the largest of the four Guggenheim museums in the world.
29-10 Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield awards BESIX the construction of the Tour Triangle, which will be the third tallest building in Paris (France).
15-11 The Theemswegtracé, a 4-kilometre-long railway viaduct built by BESIX in the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, is completed after three years of work.
18-11 BESIX Group subsidiary Vanhout acquires a 40% stake in BuildUp, a company developing innovative and sustainable solutions in the field of modular construction.
25-11 BESIX and its partners deliver the iconic new BNP Paribas Fortis headquarters in the centre of Brussels, a 100,000 m2 passive building meeting the highest standards of innovation and environmental performance.
01-12 BESIX RED and its partner ICN announce the acquisition of a site and the development of a new mixed-use project in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, the second project of BESIX RED in the Netherlands.
01-12 A key milestone is reached in Nachtigal (Cameroon) with the opening of a cofferdam to allow the minimum ecological flow of the Sanaga River to be diverted through the already constructed part of the dam. This new step allows construction of the rest of the dam to begin.
22-12 The construction of the fly-over on the A16 has started. The bridge deck is gradually pushed over the existing infrastructure without hindering traffic, on a length of 400 m, using the Incremental Launching Method (The Netherlands).
BESIX Engineering is the in-house design office of BESIX and as such works exclusively for the group. Over the years, with the active contribution of BESIX engineers, BESIX has carried out first-class port terminals, cutting edge civil engineering works, and the most demanding buildings. Read more
Innovation is an integral part of the BESIX Group corporate culture. The adoption of new technologies and techniques, often at the forefront of the construction sector, has actively contributed to making BESIX group a leader in its markets. Read more
If 2020 was the year in which agility and resilience were in the forefront of the conversation in the People departments of BESIX around the world, 2021 was the year of restoring balance with informed strategies, while dealing with the aftermath of the global pandemic. Read more
Together with unions, local authorities and international organisations, BESIX Group has set a precedent in respecting and promoting fair labour practices in the Middle East, a commitment that is now widely acknowledged by foreign states, international institutions, and nongovernmental organisations. Read more
The Great Exhibition held in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London in 1851 is widely onsidered as the first official world expo in history. 170 years later, Dubai hosts the EXPO2020 themed ‘Connecting minds, creating the future’. The pavilions are centered around three main focal points: sustainability, mobility and opportunity. For BESIX group, this particular World Expo was the ideal moment to shine as royal purveyor, not only to Its home country Belgium, but also France and the United Arab Emirates. Read the full story
The Lusail Towers development is located approximately 15 kilometers north of Doha, along the east coast of Qatar. The project is a part of the larger Lusail City development which involves transforming and developing the area north of Doha into a residential and commercial district. Designed by Foster + Partners, this already emblematic district is known for its two 70-storey and two 50-story high towers, arranged symmetrically around a central plaza. Read the full story
The completion of the much-awaited highly specialised Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS) building in a new health precinct in Brisbane, Australia, cements BESIX Watpac’s expertise in building modern health facilities. Read the full story
In the second half of 2021, the BESIX-Orascom Construction joint venture started the progressive delivery of different areas of the Grand Egyptian Museum complex. The museum will offer visitors an unprecedented collection of Egyptian artefacts, including the 5,300 objects from the tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamen, most of which remain unknown to the public. Read the full story
In 2021, BESIX delivered the Quatuor building to its client Befimmo.The complex consists of four architecturally stunning towers, united by a huge inner garden. Quatuor is designed to be passive and conform to the highest standards of quality, innovation and environmental performance. At the time of its delivery, Quatuor was already pre-let to prestigious tenants such as Beobank, Touring, Silversquare, Kone and Buy Way Personal Finance. We talk to project director Fabian Sinapi about this new Brussels landmark. Read the full story
Rehabilitating a 70-year-old landmark and transforming it into an ultramodern office building, that was the task BESIX Nederland and J.P. van Eesteren received late 2019 in The Netherlands. Only 18 months later, they delivered the renovated Stationspostgebouw, a combination of great respect for heritage and new modern elements. Read the full story
The BESIX Watpac designed, and constructed Jubilee Place is setting a new benchmark for inner-city modern workspaces in Brisbane, Australia, seamlessly combining heritage with innovation, and building excellence. Read the full story
In 2021 BESIX Watpac team delivered the six storey, Wurun Senior Campus on time for school term 1 2022 and on budget in the growing inner-city suburb of Fitzroy in Melbourne Australia, by using its engineering-led approach and virtual collaboration software. Read the full story
Water is the essence of life. It is rare and precious... and untameable. In Dubai, it was not uncommon in the past to see neighbourhoods shut down and all traffic paralysed following sudden violent rainstorms. The municipality of Dubai, which has great ambitions to make Dubai a smarter and more sustainable city, has therefore decided to provide its city with a robust rainwater storage tunnel to manage the consequences of heavy rainfall on its expanding urban development. Read the full story
In 1834, Belgium was the first country on the European continent to start developing a steam railway network. The first railway line, inaugurated in 1835, covered the 21 kilometres between Brussels and Mechelen. Since then, the Belgian rail network has grown considerably, with some 3,602 kilometres in service today. Read the full story
Improving the accessibility of the port of Rotterdam to the European hinterland, that was the aim of the new Theemswegtracé in The Netherlands. Three years of hard work and great teamwork later, capacity has been more than doubled and three months after it was put in use, already 10,000 trains had run over the new railway line. Mission accomplished! Read the full story
For many years, Cameroon’s national electricity supply was notoriously unreliable. Regular power cuts were a part of daily life for many Cameroonians. Since 2010 the country has been heavily investing to remedy this. With an estimated 23,000 mw hydroelectric production capacity, corresponding to the second largest hydroelectric potential in Africa, hydroelectric industry is at the heart of their developments. Read the full story
A quay wall of 1,071 m, a diaphragm wall of 35,000 m² and 80,000 m³ of concrete... These are some of the impressive numbers that apply to the new quay wall that BESIX built with its subsidiary Franki Foundations for the port of Zeebrugge. A technical feat, but one that’s right up the companies’ alley. Read the full story
BESIX Watpac has delivered a slick new airport experience for Adelaide visitors and commenced work on a new exhibition space for one of the most important pieces of Australian pioneering aviation history. Read the full story
In June 2021, BESIX and its partners closed the financing of the Warsan (Dubai) waste-to-energy project, an important milestone, including for the UAE, as it sets a precedent for large PPPs by Dubai municipality. The project is also a key element of both Dubai’s 2050 clean energy strategy and its goal of zero waste to landfill by 2030. Read the full story
With the development of the 60,000 m² residential and office project esprit Courbevoie in Louvain-La-Neuve, BESIX Red consolidates its position in the Walloon real estate market. Read the full story
As part of its pan-european diversification strategy, BESIX Red continues to seize opportunities in cities characterised by a strong socio-economic dynamism such as Lisbon. Read the full story
The world in which BESIX operates and the construction sector are undergoing profound changes. In response to these changes, BESIX has defined the foundations of its strategy to support its capacity to innovate, maintain a high level of quality, face competition, meet new financial requirements and diversify.
artificial intelligence, parametric design, digital twin, 3D printing…
energy efficiency, energy neutral, circularity of materials…
risk sharing, shrinking margins, talent war…
“Excel in creating sustainable solutions for a better world”.
This mission gives our actions a goal that goes far beyond profit. It is pivotal, inspiring our decisions and actions based on a simple question: what kind of future do we want and how do we make it happen?
By encouraging new ideas, assuming our responsibilities in a proactive way and by excelling in all of our initiatives, we believe that we can help bring about positive change – economic, societal and environmental.