The market in Norway will be Europe’s largest for the next 25 years for infrastructure construction. The large cities will be tied together with faster and modern infrastructure and in and around the cities there will be large project to improve public communication. This applies to road, rail and light trains. At the same time, the industry in Norway is affected by all the announced global trends such as urbanization, globalization, sustainability and digitization. One action to build more infrastructure faster is that the contracts are getting larger. 5 years back in time, the largest contract was perhaps 100 million euros while it is now 400 million euros or more. The authorities are planning even larger contracts and trying out new contract models as PPP, EPC, BVP and ECI.
These changes should the encountered and realized by the Norwegian industry with new eyes, an industry that is viewed as conservative compared to others. The first change of way of working for the Norwegians is the transition from “build contracts” to “design and build contracts”. This is a trend that is becoming more and more widely used in all new contract models to involve all parties in a construction process as early as possible.
The Norwegian market is fragmented. For decades, the Norwegian construction market has been divided between 4 categories of companies. Category 1 with the 4 major contractors Veidekke, Skanska, AF and NCC, Category 2 with medium-sized entrepreneurs like Implenia, Kruse Smith, LNS, PEAB and Hæhre, Category 3 major mass handling contractors and Category 4 all other small and medium-sized players. The 4 major contractors together have not had more than 20% of the total market, but a larger proportion of the large contracts. In recent years, the market share has changed because some players have closed down or been bought up, and others have grown organically or through M&A. In addition, there is a reverse globalization in Norway, where no Norwegian companies travel abroad, while the international players have set great focus on Norway and are now entering the market in a large extent.
The Norwegian construction industry has little or no international experience from the past 20 years. This applies to both the supplier and the client. Looking 20 years ago, Norwegian contractors were represented abroad and there was a lot of civil projects related to offshore and onshore oil business. Norway was probably world-class on construction of offshore concrete structures. But this is now some years ago and the competences are now mainly based on traditional Norwegian contracts.
The consulting company Nordic Infra was established in January 2017 by people with construction experience from the last 30 years in Norway and abroad. With the upcoming market described above and the already well-known trends and changes, Nordic Infra offertheir support to the players in this market. The business idea is to provide strategic advice, guidance and support to Norwegian and international customers, both on the client side and contractor side, as well as technical consultants. This could be international players in addition to all the Norwegian players.
It is difficult to get into all markets, also the Norwegian. You have a national industry that wants to protect its market, you have the language, you have the
”Norwegian way of building roads” that may require local knowledge, you have ”the Norwegian tunnel competence” within drill & blast and of course you have Norwegian rules and regulations. In addition, you will meet a client changing from handling mostly national suppliers, to become a client also for international suppliers. The Norwegian infrastructure industry is growing in a change process and need international players to reach their targets. They have capacity, they have heavy technical and professional skills, they have a international supplier network, design expertise and experience in working with major infrastructure projects around the world. They could be the perfect match in the Norwegian infrastructure market, but they need knowledge about Norway and the market. Nordic Infra will clearly be able to cover that need. Nordic Infras strategic advising can support in early phase evaluation towards Norwegian clients and their upcoming projects. In addition, support and guide international companies to set a plan for Norway, made possible with network and expertise, and to help to link them and the Norwegian market and find a way through the challenges listed above.
Nordic Infras operational advising offers a ”project headquarter services” for its customers. They offer management for hire of all categories of white collars a project needs. In addition, these resources can be supported by experienced resources placed at Nordic Infras HQ.