Webuild: building Australia’s tomorrow

When Italian infrastructure giant Webuild (previously Salini Impregilo) was awarded the $5.1 billion contract to build Snowy 2.0 earlier this year it was a win to build much more than Australia’s biggest hydroelectric power station.


Everything we do is about building for tomorrow. With every infrastructure project our objective is to build shared, sustainable, long-lasting value for our clients and for the community


It is an ethos that has served Webuild well for over a century.

Milan-based Webuild traces its origins to 1906. It entered the Australian market in 2013 – although companies that formed the current Webuild made their mark in Victoria in the 1970s with construction of the iconic Melbourne Metro underground rail loop.

Webuild owns 65% of the Future Generation joint venture that won the civil works and electromechanical component of the Snowy 2.0 project. The remaining 35% is held by Australian engineering company Clough.

Snowy 2.0 will increase the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme’s generating capacity, currently 4100 megawatts (MW), by 2000 MW. Webuild will link the existing Tantangara and Talbingo dams by excavating a series of tunnels and building a hydroelectric power station with pumping facilities located nearly one kilometre underground.

The Snowy 2.0 contract consolidates Webuild’s presence in Australia, taking Australia’s share of the company’s commercial pipeline from 1.5% in 2018 to 12%.

Webuild re-established its connection with Australia in 2013 when it was awarded the NSW Government contract to design and build the 270-metre curved, cable-stayed skytrain bridge and 4km-long viaduct, the centrepiece of the Sydney Metro Northwest rapid transit link.

Webuild was awarded the 2018 Project of the Year for the now-completed Sydney skytrain bridge by influential US industry magazine Engineering News-Record.

The judges’ winning criteria included “benefits to the local community and dedication to quality, innovation and safety, with a special emphasis on the diversity of global project teams and their collaboration”.

Webuild traces its origins to 1906


Sydney Skytrain Bridge wins major award

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In Perth, Webuild is building the Forrestfield‐Airport Link, a rail link connecting the city centre with the eastern suburbs and Perth Airport. Webuild is the lead partner (80%) in the joint venture with Perth-based contractor NRW Holdings (20%) that was awarded the design, construction and maintenance contract by the WA Government in 2016.

The Sydney and Perth projects will improve each city’s public transport network “in a sustainable way, making it easier to connect to and from the city”, according to Marco Assorati.

When we plan and design infrastructure we always have in mind the needs of end users because they are the true owners of these projects, whether it’s today’s end-users or future generations. When we design infrastructure for today we also imagine the end-user of 2060".

Sustainable transport solutions are about transforming local communities and making the places we live in better, not just in terms of getting from A to Z but also enhancing the overall experience and amenity of urban living in a way that is innovative and sustainable”.

A showcase example of infrastructure projects transforming local communities and creating sustainable employment and growth opportunities is the Victorian Government’s High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMT) Project.

In 2016, the Evolution Rail consortium was awarded the $2 billion contract for the delivery of 65 new high-capacity trains over six years and the construction of maintenance facilities in Pakenham East, in Melbourne’s south-east, and Calder Park on Melbourne’s north-west fringe.

The consortium comprises ASX-listed Downer Group, China’s CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles and Melbourne-based public infrastructure investor, developer and manager Plenary Group.

The fleet of trains will be built at Downer’s Newport railyard in Melbourne’s west using 60% local content, including componentry manufactured in the Victorian regional centres of Bendigo and Morwell. The project will directly create 1100 highly-skilled jobs with at least 15% of the workforce comprising apprentices, cadets and trainees and 7% of jobs for disadvantaged workers.

Plenary specialises in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects. Its international PPP portfolio consists of 48 projects. Fourteen of those, worth $16 billion, are in Australia, including the HCMT project, the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and Casey Hospital.

Damien Augustinus, Managing Director, Origination, with Plenary, says PPP projects are “all about outcomes for the community”.


For instance, the soon to be complete expansion of Casey Hospital is an important piece of health infrastructure for Casey and Cardinia in Melbourne’s south-east, significantly increasing the hospital’s capacity in one of the fastest-growing communities in Victoria


Plenary partnered with the Victorian Government on the original Casey Hospital in 2004 as part of a 25-year PPP contract. In 2017, the Plenary Health consortium was contracted to design, build, finance and maintain the $135 million expansion for 10 years, aligning with the remainder of the original 25-year contract.

That’s the rewarding part of what we do, providing real benefits to the community for the long term,” Augustinus says. “With all our PPP projects, we become very much part of the communities we work in, making significant contributions to people’s lives at a community level”.

As a member of the Netflow consortium contracted by the Victorian Government to design, build, finance and maintain the 260km Western Roads Upgrade, Plenary is playing a key role in supporting the rapid population growth in Melbourne’s west, including the creation of jobs for local workers and growth opportunities for local businesses

The 23-year, $1.8 billion project will create 1200 jobs, with at least 10% of those for apprentices, trainees and cadets and a further 10% for “priority jobseekers” such as transitioning automotive workers, Indigenous Australians, people from a refugee or culturally-diverse background, and at-risk or unemployed youth.

As part of the consortium’s “Partnering Beyond Roads” initiative Netflow has partnered with diverse community groups for the life of the Western Roads Upgrade including the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation (supporting newly-arrived migrants and refugees), Western Health (supporting patients experiencing hardship) and Western Chances (providing scholarships for disadvantaged youth).

Whatever the project, we are there as part of the community, partnering with local organisations to effect long-term change in the community,” Augustinus says.

Rick D’Ovidio, director of Melbourne civil contractor Civilink, says providing traineeships to local youth is one of the most rewarding aspects of the company’s engagement with the community.

By providing access to various courses, as well as on-the-ground training and development, we ensure that we have the skilled workforce we need today as well as provide young people with the skills to further their careers and pursue other opportunities in the industry in the future”, he says.

D’Ovidio says the company is structured and resourced to ensure that it excels as a major service provider to both the public and private sectors.


Victoria is going to get bigger in the next 5-10 years and there will be lots of infrastructure activity in that time. We are constantly developing our workforce, including managers and future leaders, to ensure we have the skills and expertise to make the most of those opportunities


Webuild: building Australia’s tomorrow

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