Stantec to Acquire ZETCON Engineering

Karlsruhe Light Rail - ZETCON Engineering's Project

A global leader in sustainable design and engineering, Stantec, has signed an agreement to obtain ZETCON Engineering, a 645-person engineering company headquartered in Bochum, Germany. ZETCON was founded in 1973 and has built a reputation as an industry leader in infrastructure planning, inspection, project management, and construction management.

The acquisition of ZETCON gives Stantec a powerful platform focused on infrastructure. ZETCON has a total of 13 offices covering all central German metropolitan areas. The company has vast industry expertise in bridge certification and assessment, project and construction management of tunnels, roads, and rail infrastructure, plus building condition assessments, certifications, and improvements.

Combined with Stantec’s global knowledge and capabilities, ZETCON’s national presence and expertise in the German market will deliver the opportunity to diversify the business further and grow in other sectors over time. However, Stantec’s global expertise in water and power engineering, buildings, advanced manufacturing, and environmental services also offers potential for growth in the German market.

The German construction market is the most considerable in Europe at EUR427 billion in 2022. There is constant high demand for the renovation of German infrastructure, especially bridges, tunnels, railway construction, and power grids, all stress areas of ZETCON.

Germany is scheduling substantial upgrades to aging infrastructure while extending its transition to sustainable energy sources. For instance, the Federal Transportation Route Plan 2030 outlines a EUR270 billion investment in roads, railways, and waterways, while the German transmission grid is envisioned to need a EUR240 billion investment leading up to 2045.

Gord Johnston, Stantec president and chief executive officer, stated: “ZETCON gives us a significant foothold in Germany, a large economy with massive infrastructure needs over the coming years,”

“Expanding our presence in Europe has long been an ambition for Stantec, and this acquisition will set us up for long-term growth in the region.”

In addition, Caspar Tillmann, ZETCON chief executive officer, expressed: “Stantec is a renowned global engineering firm that brings the clout to help us grow in a fragmented German engineering market.”

He also noted: “Joining Stantec will expand the range of services we can offer our clients, give us the capacity to work on larger, more complex projects, and give our employees the opportunity to partner with best-in-class global expertise.”

ZETCON’s portfolio of experience concentrates on infrastructure projects for public clients like Deutsche Bahn, federal real estate agencies, public utilities, airports, and network transmission operators. Over 95 percent of the company’s business resides with public sector clients.

Projects in ZETCON’s portfolio comprise:

  • Construction supervision for the EUR750 million light rail tunnel development in Karlsruhe city. ZETCON is supervising structural engineering work plus the building and railway operations technology installation via the inner-city tunnel and seven underground stations.
  • Construction oversight for the EUR700 million Wehrhahn Line, a new double-track light rail tunnel through the heart of Düsseldorf. The 3.4-kilometer line contains six underground and two aboveground stations and requires a high degree of coordination within the city’s dense downtown commercial district.
  • Project leadership for the EUR700 million Südlink project, a 700-kilometer underground transmission line that will allow the German energy transition, linking North Sea wind power to the south of Germany. ZETCON supervised the work of five specialized firms mapping the 1,000-metre-wide corridor while also overseeing scheduling and cost control, risk management, and contract management.
  • Independent engineer for the EUR600 million expansion of Highway A6. Provided under a public-private partnership model, the project involves expanding the number of lanes from four to six, new construction of a 1,300-metre bridge, replacement of 36 bridges, and upgrades to eight bridges.

The acquisition of ZETCON is compatible with Stantec’s strategic effort to develop in pivotal global markets, building a platform for long-term organic growth. The acquisition is anticipated to close in January 2024.

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