Home' Technology Review : July August 2012 Contents S4
high-speed connections with airports—and how institutions and
private companies together have financed these projects. These are
excellent references for Spanish companies.”
Spanish companies have completed or are involved in rail proj-
ects in more than 90 countries on five continents, including Tur-
key, Brazil, the U.S ., India, and Ireland, and countries across North
Africa and Central Asia. One Spanish consortium—CAF is fur-
nishing the trains, the OHL group is in charge of engineering and
construction, and Dimetronic is supplying signals—won the bid-
ding for construction of a high-speed line between Ankara and
Istanbul. OHL also recently won a contract to extend the Miami-
Dade County Metrorail to the nearby airport.
India presents major opportunities for Spanish rail companies:
the Talgo train manufacturing company will soon be opening an
office there, and CAF is already building a factory in New Delhi.
The engineering company Ineco won the feasibility study contract
for one of India’s planned high-speed lines.
In the most significant news for the Spanish rail industry, a
consortium of a dozen Spanish companies and public authorities
was recently awarded a 12-year contract to construct, operate, and
maintain a new high-speed line between Mecca and Medina in
Saudi Arabia, in partnership with the Saudi Railway Organization.
This rail consortium is the largest one created to date by Span-
ish companies, and the project is the largest so far of its kind.
Talgo, one of the country’s two top train manufacturers, will
supply the trains. OHL, Copasa, and Imathia will develop the
infrastructure, and Dimetronic will supply the signaling. The
information company Indra will manage telecommunications
and control, and Cobra, Inabensa, and OHL will install the elec-
Three government-owned companies will also provide services
to the Saudi project: Renfe, Spain’s national service provider, will
manage operations, and its infrastructure administrator, Adif, will
provide the critical expertise for the management of stations and
traffic control. Ineco, a government transportation consulting com-
pany, serves as the project’s lead contractor.
“Even though we have a lot of experience developed in Spain,
this is a huge opportunity to show our experience abroad,” says
José Solorza, Ineco’s Asia and Africa area manager.
Manuel Benegas, director of operations at Ineco, estimates that the
on-track tests should begin by the end of 2014. The Spanish Minis-
try of Development hopes to capitalize on this success to sell similar
complete projects in the U.S ., Russia, and Brazil, whose governments
have stated their commitment to developing high-speed rail.
Advances in transportation management extend beyond railways,
onto highways and city roads as well. Spanish companies are world
leaders in the management of toll roads, expert at developing and
integrating sensors and barrier-free tolls to enhance traffic flow
and make ticketing easy. Other companies are pioneering park-
ing guidance systems, which direct drivers to free spots in parking
garages or along city streets.
In the 1960s, Spain’s government saw a potential problem brewing.
The rocky, sunlit Canary Islands, off the coast of northern Africa,
were attracting tourists in increasing numbers. But while there was
plenty of space to house those tourists, the supply of potable water
could not increase to meet the demand. And so Spain turned a
challenge into an opportunity. The government invested in devel-
oping brand-new technology that uses membranes to filter the salt
out of salt water, and Spanish companies eventually developed the
technologies to utilize those membranes in treatment plants. The
result: Europe’s first desalination plants.
Today, Spain produces more desalinated water than any other
country in Europe, and is one of the world’s top producers. Spain’s
more than 500 plants treat more than 200 billion gallons of water
“In only a short period of time in Spain, we developed a great deal
of infrastructure,” says Angel Cajigas, director of ATTA, the Spanish
business association for water treatment. “And this has given us a lot
The Alicante desalination
plant is one of more than
five hundred in Spain.
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