- Practical help to people affected by the earthquake of August 24 in central Italy
- Salini Impregilo among the global leaders in the fight against climate change
- Gibe III, energy for development
- The protection of water in major US cities
- The New Panama Canal, an example of technological and environmental excellence
- Metro Riyadh, leader in environmental sustainability and safety at work
Practical help to people affected by the earthquake of August 24 in central Italy
Following the earthquake that hit central Italy on 24 August 2016, the Salini Impregilo Group decided to express in a practical way its solidarity with the population, donating a school in the earthquake zone, in Valfornace, Marche region.
During 2016, Salini Impregilo worked together with the Italian association responsible for Civil Defence and the representatives of local authorities to carry out the feasibility study of a school building for the children living in an area of the Marche region that no longer had a school. The building, whose cost was borne entirely by Salini Impregilo, covers a total area of over 500 m2 and can accommodate about 100 children and teenagers, with ten classrooms for the nursery, primary and secondary schools.
The Group also actively supported its staff by participating in an initiative by Confindustria and the national trade unions that launched an "Intervention Fund for the people of Central Italy". This initiative gathered voluntary contributions from workers equal to an hour’s work, with a matching contribution from their employers. In this way employees were able to demonstrate their support for the earthquake victims at a very challenging time.
Salini Impregilo among the global leaders in the fight against climate change
As part of the 2016 CDP Climate Leadership Awards, Salini Impregilo was recognized among the most responsible companies in the world in terms of sustainability.
It was recognized by CDP and Borsa Italiana for its strategy and actions taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change. This prestigious award includes the Group's inclusion in the Climate "A List" of the CDP, the international non-profit organization that manages the global platform for measuring the environmental performance of over 5,000 companies around the world and is used by over 800 investors representing $100 thousand billion in assets.
Salini Impregilo supports its clients in the realization of projects that contribute to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, with hydroelectric plants that produce renewable energy, metro lines that reduce the use of private vehicles in favour of more sustainable mobility, and the many green building projects built by the Group that have received international recognition. One of the latest is the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center in Athens, designed by Renzo Piano, which obtained the LEED Platinum certification and has recently been awarded the prestigious 2016 Global Best Project Award from ENR (Engineering News-Record), as well as the Sidney Northwest Metro project, which was recognised as "Leading" Infrastructure Sustainability Design by the ISCA (Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia) for its innovative design solutions developed to address climate change.
Gibe III, energy for development
With the doubling of the population expected by 2050 and about 620 million people who currently live without a reliable source of electricity, Africa has huge energy needs.
To face this challenge, many African countries are developing large investment plans, aimed at using the available renewable resources efficiently, avoiding what has already been experienced by Western countries in recent decades as they fuelled their growth through the exploitation of fossil energy, causing significant environmental problems.
The energy produced from hydroelectric sources is amongst the most reliable technologies of this kind, as it ensures energy security that is not dependent on intermittent renewable sources (solar, wind), without taking water resources away from the environment and without emitting pollutants and/or climate-altering substances into the atmosphere.
The Ethiopian Gibe III stands out among the hydroelectric plants recently commissioned in Africa. Opened in late 2016, it is the most important plant in the country, with an installed capacity of 1,870 MW and an annual production of 6,500 GWh of electricity. The plant will increase the domestic production of electricity by over 85%.
The dam, standing at a height of 250 metres, is currently the tallest RCC (Rolled Compacted Concrete) structure in the world, all the more remarkable since it was built in a remote area with unique logistical and technical challenges. Gibe III, along with the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project also under construction by Salini Impregilo, it reflects the country's ambitious goal to reach an installed capacity of 40,000 MW by 2035.
In the various stages of construction, the project employed about 20,000 people, the vast majority of them Ethiopian nationals, along with professionals from 32 other countries worldwide.
Gibe III has been designed and built with great care in terms of the effects on local communities, in order to mitigate its impacts and enhance its benefits. The creation of the reservoir will develop fishing, diversifying not only the local economy but also the inhabitants' nutrition, with positive effects on their health. In addition, the system regulates water flows, providing the downstream communities with much more water than they used to obtain during the dry season, and avoiding the flooding that habitually affected the valley during the rainy season.
The project has been criticized by some NGOs that feared Gibe III could have an impact on the traditional agriculture practised by some of the lower Omo valley communities and reduce the levels of Lake Turkana. In this regard, it should be noted that these risks were properly identified by the client during the project's Social and Environmental Impact Evaluation, and Salini Impregilo provided its technical support to develop special exhaust valves inside the dam, properly sized to recreate in a controlled and non-destructive manner the river's periodic flooding, which allow the communities to continue practising their traditional agriculture methods.
The client, responsible for managing the plant, put these valves into operation during 2016, after an extensive consultation process with local communities. With regard to the levels of Lake Turkana, the publicly available satellite data demonstrates that even while filling the reservoir, the lake always remained above the long-term average level (related to the last 25 years). For more information, please see the section 5.3 - "The dialogue with local communities."
The protection of water in major US cities
Many major Western cities, which have developed over the past centuries, are now home to a growing population, putting a strain on infrastructure and basic services.
The city of Cleveland, in the United States, for example, dumps about 16.6 billion litres of wastewater (excluding rain) into Lake Erie each year, - an amount greater than that permitted by the Clean Water Act. In addition, during the summer rains, the rainwater tends to clog the sewer system, forcing the city to divert it together with the wastewater into Lake Erie, in order to prevent flooding of roads and damage to treatment plants.
However, this practice results in the contamination of the lake's water, with problems for aquatic wildlife and public health, so much so that the city's beaches are usually closed for several days.
For this reason, the Clean Lake Project was launched in 2011, as part of a broader effort to store, manage and treat wastewater and reduce the pollution levels in the lake. The investment, which will be amortised over the next 25 years, plans to reduce the annual volume of sewage poured into the lake by 1.8 billion litres. According to the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, the local water authority, this means that over 98% of rainwater and wastewater that now ends up in the combined sewer system will be treated and made safe.
The project, one of the city's largest infrastructure projects, includes the construction of eight tunnels and the modernization of three treatment plants. The Dugway Storage Tunnel is part of the project and involves the construction of a tunnel that will allow the catchment and storage of 214 million gallons of stormwater and its subsequent transfer to the Easterly Sewage Treatment Plant.
The construction, which will be completed in 2020, is entrusted to a joint venture that includes Salini Impregilo and S.A. Healy, a subsidiary of Lane Construction, a company that is also part of the Salini Impregilo Group.
This is the latest in a series of projects implemented by the Group and focused on environmental protection. For example, the Anacostia River Tunnel is under construction in Washington DC, to allow the Capital of the United States to reduce the wastewater that flows into its rivers. The project, part of the ambitious "Clean Rivers Project" launched by the Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) of the District of Columbia, involves the construction of a hydraulic tunnel running mostly under the Anacostia, a tributary of the Potomac river in Washington. The tunnel will channel wastewater and stormwater separately, to avoid polluting the rivers during the floods (Combined Sewer Overflows or “CSO”) that occur during periods of heavy rainfall.
Once the project is completed in 2025, at an estimated cost of $2.7 billion, DC Water estimates that the volume of wastewater in the rivers will be reduced by 96%, from 4.8 billion litres in 2008 to 185 million litres.
The New Panama Canal, an example of technological and environmental excellence
Inaugurated on 26 June 2016, the New Panama Canal, one of the most complex and ambitious engineering projects in the world, completed by Grupo Unidos por el Canal, an international joint venture which saw Salini Impregilo engaged as strategic partner.
The new Canal allows the passage of Post-Panamax ships, sea giants almost 366 metres long and almost 49 metres wide with a draught of about 15 metres, able to carry more than 12,000 containers, increasing commercial traffic in response to the developments and continued expansion of the sea shipping market.
The passage of larger ships aims to attract the international trade routes, raising the business turnover of the canal from the current $2.5 billion to $6 billion annually.
In addition to being an example of technological excellence and a source of income for the country and its inhabitants, this impressive and complex facility also has a high environmental value.
While allowing Panama to maintain its role as major hub of world maritime trade, this project obviates the need for Post-Panamax ships to circumnavigate the South American continent, significantly reducing fuel consumption and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. It has been estimated that opening the New Canal will result in a reduction of approximately 160 million tonnes of CO2 in the first 10 years of operation.
The passage of Post-Panamax ships will triple the cargo in transit through the canal, increasing from 5,000 to 12,600 TEUs (6-metre equivalent unit containers).
The new Panama Canal has a system of 16 gates designed ad hoc (eight on the Atlantic side and eight on the Pacific), weighing between 2,500 and 4,000 tonnes each and up to 33 metres tall. Opening and closing them, accompanied by filling and emptying the special water reservoirs created alongside the Canal, lifts the vessels up to the level of Lake Gatun and subsequently lowers them back to sea level. To enter Lake Gatun, ships are lifted 27 metres, and the same process is repeated in reverse when they exit. The movements of the gates are an extraordinary example of mechanics and technology, because every manoeuvre that allows the passage of ships must be performed with pinpoint accuracy, and each lock only has five minutes to accomplish it.
The studies conducted from the very beginning of the project design phase made it possible to develop the project's sustainability strategy in order to mitigate the impacts on the territory, the environment, and the population. Particular attention was given to the issue of reducing the consumption of water from Lake Gatun, which occurs during the ships' transit stages.
A new system was developed for this purpose, known as Water Saving Basins, which allows the recovery and partial reuse of the water from Lake Gatun through the introduction of auxiliary basins. This has resulted in a water savings of 60%, and a transit which previously used around 500 million litres of water now requires around 200 million litres.
 Source: Panama Canal Authority, website
Metro Riyadh, leader in environmental sustainability and safety at work
Through the creation of more than 400 km of metro lines, Salini Impregilo has contributed through the years to the development of urban mobility in many cities, improving their citizens’ quality of life and who thus benefit from fast and efficient links, reducing traffic congestion and air pollution.
It continues to do so today in many parts of the world, including Riyadh, where the Group leads the ArRiyadh New Mobility (ANM) consortium engaged in the construction of the metro system's Line 3. This is the longest and most important line of the Saudi capital's new metro network project, commissioned by the ArRiyadh Development Authority, worth about $23.5 billion, with six lines that will cross the city along 176 km.
Line 3 runs for about 42 km from East to West across the city, and consists of a surface line, concrete viaducts, tunnels, and 22 technologically advanced stations, built while implementing mitigation measures to reduce the construction's environmental impact.
In particular, the Western Station and Downtown Station will undergo LEED certification for their design and construction. The LEED standard is the energy and sustainability certification standard most widely used in the world, a system that evaluates sustainable infrastructure recognizing the achievement of certain credits in the different areas of sustainability upon achieving particular requirements.
In addition to the eco-sustainable design and construction, the project has made its mark locally due to the strong attention paid to the issue of health and safety. An initiative called the Golden Rules was launched during 2016, establishing 12 golden rules aimed at reinforcing and spreading the culture of safety and preventing accidents at work. Through specific actions for raising awareness and training workers, the accident rates have seen a significant improvement, leading to the completion of 15 million hours worked without accidents as of March 2016; a very important record for the Group.
The validity and effectiveness of this initiative is underlined by the fact that it was taken as an example and implemented by other companies engaged in the construction of the Riyadh metro system, in order to improve the levels of safety on the worksite.