PwC strengthens infrastructure advisory with experts in Southeast Asia

04 December 2018 Consultancy.asia

PwC in Singapore has strengthened its infrastructure advisory line with the addition of tech and engineering experts Euan Low and Helen Steward – the pair having been lured across from successful long-term careers at Mott MacDonald.

Following more than two decades in total spent each at engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald, most recently as senior leaders for the Asia Pacific, engineering and technical experts Euan Low and Helen Steward have crossed to PwC’s Southeast Asia Capital Projects and Infrastructure advisory team – in what the firm says is a response to continued growth and market demand.

“Southeast Asia’s rapid growth has outpaced its infrastructure development, resulting in a widening infrastructure gap which is stifling the region’s economic growth,” explains PwC partner and Asia Pacific Capital Projects and Infrastructure Leader Mark Rathbone. “Not only does this limit the path to growth and prosperity, it also increases the vulnerability of cities to climate and demographic change along with other risk exposures.”

Rathbone furthers that these factors call for a massive push to invest, build and upgrade local regional infrastructure, with the Big Four professional services firm bringing in Low and Steward to boost its local capacities in the domain. “I am confident that the expertise and experience that Euan and Helen not only allow us to better support our clients, but also to the development of much-needed infrastructure in the region and its wider economy.”Helen Steward and Euan Low - PwC

Helen Steward

Listed on Linkedin as ‘Co-lead Southeast Asia Capital Projects Services’ for PwC, Steward initially joined Mott MacDonald in 1991 for six years as a senior consultant in the UK, before spending nearly four years from 1997 to 2001 as a technical cooperation officer in Zimbabwe for the UK government’s Department of International Development. In 2004, Steward rejoined Mott MacDonald, for ten years as Projects Director in London.

Since then, Steward has been with the firm in Singapore as its Asia Pacific Infrastructure Finance Practice lead, responsible for development and risk management, while also serving as Resource Manager for Southeast Asia and Global Account lead for the Asia Development Bank – for which the firm has provided services to on projects such as the ‘Tolo 1’ wind-farm project in Indonesia’s South Sulawesi. 

Euan Low

Prior to commencing his new advisory role with PwC based in Singapore, Low, who holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering with the University of Cambridge, spent the past 20 years straight with Mott MacDonald as the firm’s Country Manager for Japan, together with acting as its Asia Pacific Infrastructure Advisory Services Director for the past six and a half years – supporting projects in the renewables, water supply and sanitation, ports, freight and transportation, and oil & gas segments among others.

According to the firm, the addition of the former Mott MacDonald leaders will expand its infrastructure team’s capabilities to include technical and commercial advisory services – creating ‘viable projects through definition, development & procurement of social and economic infrastructure’ – in turn enhancing PwC’s Southeast Asia Infrastructure Initiative, which seeks to harness outbound investments from China, Japan, South Korea and Australia in support of local projects.

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Surbana Jurong strikes deal to develop shipping corridor across Mexico

19 April 2019 Consultancy.asia

Singapore-headquartered urban and infrastructure consultancy Surbana Jurong has been appointed as a master-planner for the Interoceanic Corridor project in Mexico.

At 40 kilometers wide and 300 long, Mexico’s slated $150 million Interoceanic Corridor will dissect the country’s Tehuantepec isthmus to connect its Atlantic and Pacific coasts – with the aim of facilitating trade and fast-tracking local economic growth. Now, the project has a new and far more distant connection, with the involvement of Singaporean-headquartered infrastructure consultancy Surbana Jurong.

Striking a deal with the Mexican state governments of Veracruz and Oaxaca, Surbana Jurong will develop a strategic plan for the Interoceanic Corridor as well as provide master planning on two associated special economic zones, in what the rapidly growing firm states is a significant milestone in its international aspirations – which over the past few years have already seen its presence grow to 130-plus offices in more than 40 countries.

“We are privileged to be appointed as master planners for the Interoceanic Corridor project. Surbana Jurong has a strong track record, having delivered master plans for projects in over 30 countries and are pleased to contribute our expertise towards Mexico’s development success,” said Surbana Jurong Group CEO Wong Heang Fine on helping to unlock the region’s economic potential.Surbana Jurong strikes deal to develop interoceanic corridor across MexicoAccording to the firm, the agreement will see Surbana Jurong perform a detailed review of the Interoceanic Corridor including its broad socio-economic benefits to the region and potential growth industrial clusters, with the strategic plan comprising of recommendations on market positioning and development directions, proposals for utilities and services infrastructure, and zoning plans to identify land use distribution along the corridor.

In addition, the firm will devise the master plan for two economic development areas along the Interoceanic Corridor in the states of Veracruz and Oaxaca, guiding the physical development of the two industrial sites through planning of land use, infrastructure, utilities and transportation – with the aim of “creating a conducive environment for investment and providing a quality living environment for the people that live and work there.”

“We are pleased to see the partnership continue to make progress since we started this conversation a few years ago,” said Khor Aik Lam, Latin America Regional Group Director of Enterprise Singapore, which helped facilitate the deal. “The strong commitment and joint efforts from all parties have culminated in this milestone venture to bring Singapore’s economic development capabilities to Mexico.”

Connecting the ports of Salinas Cruz on the Pacific coast and Coatzacoalcos on the Atlantic, the local Interoceanic Corridor is one of a number of proposed or under development cross-continental shipping routes to rival the Panama Canal, including routes across Guatemala and Nicaragua – with the contemporary race harking back to the 19th Century when a number of American industry and shipping titans fought to be the first.