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BESIX Group is a construction company[1]. It is the leading Belgian group in this sector[2] and ranks 69 in the list of top international contractors[3]. Active since 1909, the group is based in Brussels and operates in Europe, the Middle East, Oceania, Africa, North America and Asia[4].

BESIX Group S.A.
Société Anonyme
IndustryConstruction
Founded1909; 110 years ago (1909)
Headquarters,
Belgium
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Rik Vandenberghe (CEO), Johan Beerlandt (Chairman)
ServicesConstruction, Real Estate Development, Concessions & Assets
RevenueIncrease €2.3 billion (2017)
OwnerOrascom Construction (50%), Belgian nationals (50%)
Number of employees
15,000 (2017)
Websitewww.besix.com

In 2017, BESIX had a turnover of 2.3 billion euros and 15,000 employees worldwide[5].

BESIX participated in the construction of buildings and infrastructure throughout the world[6], including:


Contents

General informationEdit

BESIX operates in most sectors of construction[20], including building, marine works, environmental works, sports and leisure facilities, industrial buildings, road, rail, port and airport infrastructure[6].

In addition to construction, BESIX is active in real estate development, mainly in Western Europe, and manages concessions through public-private partnerships in Europe and in the Middle East[21].

BESIX's subsidiaries include Six Construct in the Middle East and BESIX Infra, Cobelba, Jacques Delens, Vanhout, Wust, Lux TP, Franki Foundations, Socogetra, Sanotec and Van den Berg in Europe[22]. In 2018, BESIX Group acquired the Australian construction company Watpac Ltd[23].

BESIX is owned 50% by Belgian nationals and 50% by the Egyptian company Orascom[24]. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is Johan Beerlandt and the CEO is Rik Vandenberghe, both of Belgian nationality[25].

BESIX Group has signed an international framework agreement on fair labour standards with the Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI) trade union federation and with its European Works Council (EWC)[26]. The group is a member of the United Nations Global Compact programme[27].

Since 2017, BESIX has been an official sponsor of the Belgian football team, the Red Devils[28], as well as of the Belgium women's national football team and the national youth teams[29].

HistoryEdit

BESIX Group was founded in 1909 by the Stulemeijer family under the name Société Belge des Bétons (SBB)[30]. After the First World War, the company participated in the reconstruction of Belgian ports and waterways destroyed during the conflict[31].

In 1920, the SBB expanded its construction activities into several European countries, particularly France and Spain, and then into Africa from the end of the 1940s[32].

In 1966, SBB created a subsidiary, Six Construct, to take charge of major development projects in the Middle East: via Six Construct, BESIX became in the ensuing decades a driving force in the development of the Arabian Peninsula, particularly in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar[33].

In 1988, SBB diversified into the field of real estate development[34]. This branch would develop rapidly in the following decades via Betonimmo[35], which later became BESIX RED, operating in various European countries including Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Luxembourg[36].

In 2004, 13 SBB senior managers, with the support of Orascom[37], carried out a Leveraged Management Buy-Out. The group was thereupon delisted from the stock market[38] and renamed BESIX Group[39]. Johan Beerlandt, who had been with the company since 1974, became its new CEO[40]. In the following years, BESIX's turnover increased from 850 million euros in 2004 to 3.1 billion in 2011[41].

In 2009, BESIX celebrated its centenary[33]. The anniversary coincided with the inauguration of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world, built by BESIX in collaboration with Arabtec and Samsung Engineering & Construction[42].

In 2011, BESIX entered the Australian market with its first major contract for marine infrastructure. In 2013, it strengthened its position in the country with a shareholding in Watpac Limited, an Australian company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange[43].

In 2016, the group expanded into Scandinavia with a first contract for road infrastructures and a viaduct above the Roskilde Fjord, in collaboration with Acciona Infraestructuras and Rizzani[44].

In 2017, Rik Vandenberghe succeeded Johan Beerlandt as CEO of BESIX, after 12 years as CEO of ING Bank[45]. Johan Beerlandt became Chairman of the Board[46].

In 2018, BESIX strengthened its position in Australia by acquiring, through a public takeover bid, all the shares of construction company Watpac Ltd[47]. In the same year, the group acquired several companies in Europe, including interior decoration specialist Flamant[48].

EnvironmentEdit

BESIX participated in the construction of the first high-rise building in the world to obtain both LEED Platinum certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and High Environmental Quality (HQE) certification, for the Carpe Diem tower in the Parisian district of La Défense)[49].

In the Middle East, BESIX participates in the construction, management and maintenance of waste recycling (Umm Al Quwain)[50], desalination (Jebel Ali)[51], and wastewater treatment (Al Saja'a) facilities. In Dubai, the group is building one of the world's largest thermal waste recycling plants[52]. In Ras al-Khaimah, BESIX is building and will go on to manage a plant to recycle household waste as fuel for the cement industry[53].

In Africa, BESIX has begun building one of Africa's tallest towers, the Mohammed VI Tower, which will also be one of the first high-rise buildings in Africa to achieve dual LEED Gold and HQE certification[54].

Research & DevelopmentEdit

BESIX has an internal engineering department which undertakes the design work and technical studies for its construction sites, especially for skyscrapers, marine infrastructures and civil engineering works[55].

In 2017, BESIX became the first Belgian construction company and the first general contractor in Europe to achieve maximum certification level in Building Information Modelling (BIM)[56][57]. In 2018, BESIX and its subsidiary Vanhout took awards – two gold and one silver award in all –, in each category presented at the 2018 BIM Awards[58]. In the 2017 BIM Awards, BESIX took awards in five out of six categories, also winning the BIM Award of the Year[59].

In 2018, BESIX and Proximus, the leader in Belgium's ICT and Telecommunications sectors, set up a partnership to jointly develop a new generation of Smart Buildings, with priority to solutions promoting energy efficiency, comfort and safety[60].

Open innovationEdit

In 2018, BESIX launched its own startup incubator, the Start-Up Accelerator[61]. The initiative, the first in Belgium in the construction sector, is open to mature start-ups from around the world in construction technologies[62]. BESIX provides the selected start-ups with financial and technical resources, tailored support and opportunities for on-site experimentation[63].

The accelerator is part of the UNLEASH! program, a series of BESIX initiatives in the field of Open Innovation[64]. One of the UNLEASH initiatives is an internal accelerator, focused on ideas from BESIX employees. For example, the Clean Air project, developed by BESIX employees, has made it possible to create plant walls for tunnels and roads for treating CO2[65]. In Dubai, other BESIX employees have created a 3D concrete printing robot[66].

SponsorshipEdit

The BESIX Foundation operates in the sectors of the environment (renewable energies, waste treatment), education (literacy, vocational training) and construction (access to housing, sustainable construction).Created in 2009, it supports existing non-profit organizations, either through project financing or through skills provision[67].

The BESIX Foundation also developed its own projects, including KiddyBuild and Right 2 Learn. Right 2 Learn organizes computer training for workers in the Middle East, while KiddyBuild organizes presentations on construction trades for students in positive discrimination schools in Belgium.[68]

In the sports area, BESIX has since 2017 been an official sponsor of the Belgium National football team, the Red Devils[69]. BESIX also supports the Belgium women's national football team, the Red Flames, and the national youth teams[29].

Working conditions in the Middle EastEdit

BESIX Group is a signatory to an international framework agreement on fair labour standards with the Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI), an international trade union federation, and its European Works Council (EWC)[70]. Six Construct's commitment to international trade union associations follows regular criticism of construction companies and the working conditions of migrant workers in the Middle East[71].

The agreements signed with BWI are based on the respect of international standards and the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO)[72]. In 2017, the Chairman of the ILO Governing Body highlighted the differences in working conditions of migrant workers in the Middle East from one company to another, taking BESIX as an example of one of the companies with good practices in the area[73].

Going beyond the ILO rules, Six Construct has implemented various initiatives for the benefit of migrant workers, for example in terms of health coverage or quality of housing[74]. Six Construct also organizes training courses for them in IT[75].

On a number of occasions since 2013, Six Construct, BESIX's subsidiary in the Middle East, has been awarded the Corporate Social Responsibility label of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry[76]. The label is the highest recognition of Corporate Social Responsibility in the United Arab Emirates[77].

In the Middle East, Six Construct has obtained the ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 certifications, relating respectively to quality, consideration of environmental issues and worksite safety measures[78].

The group is a member of the United Nations Global Compact programme[79].


Major projectsEdit

Name Image Location Completion Year Description
ADNOC Headquarters Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 2014 ADNOC Headquarters is a 342 m (1,122 ft) tall high-rise office building located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and is home to the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) headquarters.[80]
Al Wakrah Stadium Al Wakrah, Qatar Under construction The Al Wakrah Stadium is a 40,000 capacity multi-use stadium located in Al Wakrah, Qatar and will be one of the 8 stadiums used during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.[81]
Aspire Tower Doha, Qatar 2006 Aspire Tower is a 300 m (984 ft) tall tower located in Doha, Qatar. It has the shape of a torch and was built to support the flame at the 15th Asian Games that took place in Qatar in 2006.[82]
Burj Khalifa   Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2010 Burj Khalifa is a 829.8 m (2,722 ft) megatall skyscraper located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the tallest structure in the world and was inaugurated on 4 January 2010.[83]
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 2015 Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is a luxury hospital located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Its construction started in 2010 and it was inaugurated in May 2015.[84]
Dubai Maritime City   Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2008 Dubai Maritime City is a manmade peninsula in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.[85]
Dubai Tram   Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2014 The Dubai Tram is a 10.6 km (7 mi) tramway line running from Dubai Marina to the Palm Jumeirah and Al Sufouh. It was inaugurated on 11 November 2014.[86]
Dubai Water Canal   Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2016 The Dubai Water Canal is a 3 km (2 mi) long artificial canal that runs through Safa Park and Jumeirah. It was inaugurated on 9 November 2016.[87]
Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 2005 The Emirates Palace is a hotel located on the Corniche of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.[88]
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 2010 Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is an amusement park located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It was inaugurated on 4 November 2010 and was the largest indoor theme park in the world at the time of its opening.[89]
Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay Manama, Bahrain 2014 Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay is a 270 m (886 ft) tall tower located in Manama, Bahrain. It is currently the tallest building in Bahrain.[90]
Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2000 The Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel is a 309 m (1,014 ft) skyscraper located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.[88]
Khalifa International Stadium   Doha, Qatar 2005 The Khalifa International Stadium is a 40,000 capacity multi-use stadium located in Doha, Qatar.
King Abdullah Sports City Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 2014 The King Abdullah Sports City is a sports city located north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Its centerpiece is a 60,000 capacity multi-use stadium which was inaugurated on 1 May 2014.[91]
Legoland Dubai Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2016 Legoland Dubai is an amusement park located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was inaugurated in 2016 and is the seventh Legoland theme park in the world.[92]
Maastoren   Rotterdam, Netherlands 2009 The Maastoren (Meuse Tower in Dutch) stands at 165 metres (541 feet) and is the tallest building in the Netherlands.[93]
Princess Elisabeth Antarctica   Queen Maud Land, Antarctica 2009 The Princess Elisabeth Antarctica is a scientific polar research station located on Queen Maud Land, in Antarctica.[94]
Sheikh Zayed Bridge Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 2010 Sheikh Zayed Bridge is a 842-metre (2,762 ft) long arch bridge in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is said to be one of the most difficult structures that have been built across the world. It was inaugurated on 25 November 2010.[95]
Sheikh Zayed Mosque Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 2007 The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and covers an area of 22,000-square-metre (240,000 sq ft).[96]
South Hook LNG terminal   Milford Haven, United Kingdom 2007 The South Hook LNG terminal is an LNG regasification terminal located in South West Wales.[97]
Tanger-Med   Tangier, Morocco 2011 Tanger-Med is a port located close to Tangier, Morocco.[98]
Tour Carpe Diem Paris, France 2013 The Tour Carpe Diem is a 162-metre (531 ft) tall high-rise office building located in the heart of La Défense district in Paris, France.[99]
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi   Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 2018 The Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is an amusement park located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It was inaugurated on 25 July 2018 and is one of the largest indoor theme parks in the world.[100]

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

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