Jun 9, 2021

Webuild wins US$1bn contract to extend Brenner Base Tunnel

2 min
Webuild, in collaboration with Implenia, is constructing a 23km extension to the Brenner Base Tunnel after winning a US$1bn contract.

Webuild, Italy’s largest construction group, has won a US$1bn contract to design and construct a new section between the Brenner Base Tunnel and the commune of the Ponte Gardena located in the Italian Alps. The project will be completed as a partnership between Webuild and the Swiss engineering firm, Implenia. 

The work for the 23km-long expansion was commissioned by the state-owned rail operator Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) and will include interconnections, situated underground, at Ponte Gardena. 

What will the Brenner Base Tunnel project aim to achieve?

According to Webuild, the aim of the project is to “quadruple capacity on the Verona and Fortezza line, located along the Munich-Verona railway corridor. This will reduce travel times for trains carrying both goods and people. 

To achieve this, Webuild will adopt a standard exceeding the speed and performance limits of the existing railway line, which restricts trains to travel at fairly low speeds, especially where there are inclines. Webuild currently holds a 51% stake in its partnership with Implenia. 

In a statement, Webuild announced that the contract was the latest in a series contributing to improving the sustainable mobility of Italy, and would promote the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, which will attempt to “boost” Italy’s economy post-COVID, while also modernising the country’s infrastructure. 

Webuild’s other Brenner projects

Webuild is also working on three major construction sites for the Brenner, an iconic project for sustainable mobility in Europe. The company said: “The sites include Mules 2-3, the main section at the Italian end of the tunnel; Tulfes-Pfons, which includes underground civil works; and the underground crossing of the Isarco River near the southern exit of the Brenner before the Fortezza station”. 

Upon completion the Brenner Base Tunnel railway will be a total of 64km long, making it the longest in the world. It also expects to create around 150,000 jobs.


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Jul 28, 2021

Sonnedix starts construction of 50MW solar plant in Spain

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Sonnedix Los Frailes will be built on an 111-hectare site and marks the company's largest project in Spain

Sonnedix has started building a 50MW solar PV plant in Badajoz, Spain.

Sonnedix Los Frailes will be built on a 111-hectares, becoming the largest project built by the IPP in the country, where it has operated since 2010. With over 110,000 monocrystaline solar panels, the project will connect through a transmission line to the Vaguadas substation.

During construction, Sonnedix will create approximately 250 new jobs in Badajoz, in line with its ESG standards and commitment to improving the life of the local community.

Once operational, Sonnedix Los Frailes, which is being developed in collaboration with Viridi RE group, will produce approximately 102,000 MWh per year, capable of powering more than 36,500 homes with clean electricity and avoiding over 24,000 tons of CO2.

Axel Thiemann, CEO of Sonnedix, said: “We are excited to start the construction of our largest project to date in Spain, a milestone that highlights both our strong commitment to the Spanish market, and our potential to expand our platform worldwide. We are very proud of our hard-working and committed team in Spain, which has doubled in the last year, and we look forward to continue developing and acquiring solar PV projects in the country, playing an important role in the energy transition, as well as the post-pandemic economic recovery.”

Last June 2020, Sonnedix signed a 10-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Europe´s largest producer of renewable energy and leading PPA provider Statkraft for the supply of 100 GWh of energy per year, making it the IPP’s first PPA for a grid-parity project in Spain.

Sonnedix is one of the leading solar IPPs in Spain, with over 1GW of capacity, including 365MW operational, 50MW under construction, and a development pipeline of over 600MW. Currently it has almost 2GW under operation or construction across eight countries, plus more than 2GW in the pipeline.

According to SolarPower Europe, Spain is expected to have a total installed solar PV capacity of 29GW by 2024 in the medium scenario, making it the second largest solar market in Europe. Renewables produced 50.7% of Spain’s electricity in May, generating 10% more gigawatt-hours year-on-year.

The Spanish National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) targets 74% of renewable electricity generation and 39.2 GW of PV capacity by 2030.

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