Fri, 08/11/2019 - 16:46
Current Issue 34
Cyfield Group is Cyprus’s most vertically integrated construction company, its enormous pool of machine and human assets enabling it to execute all project types with the client front and centre
Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Ryan Gray
The country’s economy is growing at around four percent a year, almost twice the EU average, a trend driven in no small part by a vibrant property market which expanded by six percent in 2018. Indeed, it is estimated that some €8 billion of large-scale construction projects are seeking investors from all around the world.
For companies such as Cyfield Group, the present day represents a time of tremendous opportunity.
“The economy is now booming again with an increase in the level of construction and industry in all the cities,” comments George Chrysochos, the firm’s CEO.
“Our group, having foreseen the change that would ensue following the crisis, designed and produced a new generation of real estate creating completely new projects satisfying current and future needs of more sophisticated investors.
“These new projects are modern high-rise buildings, villas and luxury apartments in prime locations offering great views, latest technology, high grade specification and are environmentally friendly. Because of this increase many foreign investors have come back to the island, investing in properties as well as other sectors in the economy – and this momentum is expected to continue for a number of years.”
George Chrysochos is a second-generation CEO of his family’s business, inspired to continue the hard work of his parents having been brought up with the firm ever since it was founded in 1990.
Today, Cyfield Group is also completing projects in nearby Greece and in Egypt, its expertise spanning the full spectrum of works, from all kinds of infrastructure and residential to commercial and office builds.
The fact it is able to deliver a full spectrum of construction projects owes itself to a fully integrated structure with enormous in-house resources and expertise, what Chrysochos believes stands it apart from others in the field.
“The excellent reputation that Cyfield Group enjoys in the market derives from the innovation of its designs, the quality of its construction, the reliability in the delivery of the projects and the transfer of title deeds, as well as its strong financial base,” the CEO adds.
“We are vertically integrated which gives us an advantage in terms of cost, quality and turnaround times. This allows us to execute on time, on budget and to the highest standards in a client-first way.”
Central to this capability is an unrivalled fleet of machinery, the largest of any operator in Cyprus.
From milling machines, excavators and quarry machines to earthworks dumpers and pre-cast concrete equipment, Cyfield can draw on a formidable arsenal of assets collectively worth tens of millions of euros. The last two years alone have seen the company invest €10 million, with another €7 million set to be spent by the early part of 2020.
Its busy workshop ensures such equipment is kept in running order, a vital component of the Cyfield setup which keeps downtime to a minimum, further evidence of its client-centric approach to doing business.
This relies on skilled engineers, which prompts Chrysochos to outline the importance of finding and developing skills across the entire organisation.
“Because the company and the industry are so busy, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find skilled and experienced personnel – buildings, engineers and other technical people,” the CEO adds. “We have had to find talent from other countries, which can present a challenge as they do not always stay here for the long term.
“Once employees are with us, however, we do our best to make sure they stay. We run training programmes and have courses in all sorts of topics, form construction methodologies and machinery controls to contract law.
“As a construction company, we have to be very agile and be ready for spikes in demand –for example, two years ago high-rise projects were not happening in Cyprus, and now they are popping up like mushrooms. This means we must develop and build up the necessary skills quickly, whether it be high-rise or energy, which is our next big focus.”
While its people and equipment enable Cyfield to operate as a fully integrated enterprise, Chrysochos also acknowledges the importance of a reliable partner and supplier network.
“We are rooted in the construction industry in Cyprus and therefore have deep ties with our partners,” he continues.
“While we are vertically integrated and manage a lot in house, we still rely on others to succeed. From banks and insurance companies to subcontractors and equipment suppliers, it is vital to work with the right partners in order to deliver projects successfully. We value skills, quality and loyalty above price.”
This approach to business has resulted in 30 years of designing and executing landmark projects across Cyprus.
The most iconic of these, according to Chrysochos, is set for completion in late 2019 and located in the capital city, Nicosia, on its most prestigious street.
Simply named 360 due to its unmatched views, it is a residential development surrounded by the old town and commercial business district standing at 34 storeys high, the landscape visible for miles in all directions. It is the tallest building in Nicosia.
“360 offers a new standard of living and creates a completely new lifestyle,” says Chrysochos. “Some characteristics of the building include smart technology, top quality materials, 24-hour concierge service, security and maintenance, and a whole spa floor with swimming pool, gym and residents club.
“Our presence in Nicosia is strong with a large range of villas and urban apartments, all with high quality materials and designs and energy efficiency. Being the capital, and financial and educational centre of Cyprus, the city offers the best and ideal location for investment and the rental needs are expressed by local demand.”
Over in Limassol on the south coast, Cyfield has embarked on an altogether different project – the construction of the Limassol Arena, a 15,000-seater football stadium.
A project very much in the spotlight thanks to the country’s love of the sport, it is a government-backed scheme costing €33 million euros, due for handover during 2022.
“It may be smaller than some of the mega stadiums in Europe, but for Cyprus this is a significant stadium,” Chrysochos says. “It will be fully covered and meet UEFA category four standards, meaning it can host important matches. There will also be a big VIP focus, with around 800 VIP seats set aside.”
Nearby is another exciting development and a key strategic shift for Cyfield in the form of the Power Energy Cyprus (PEC) gas power plant in Mari-Vassilikos.
The PEC station is expected to be fully operational by March 2022 and will have a capacity of 260 MW. Now fully underway, several key milestones have already been hit, including earthworks and preparation, dykes for diesel tanks with capacity of 8,000 tonnes, and perimeter fencing.
As the EPC contractor on the project, Cyfield has also invited three OEMs (General Electric, Siemens and Ansaldo Energia) to tender for the power island equipment procurement and detail engineering. The plant will operate with a new combined cycle technology, with two or three natural gas turbines and one steam turbine.
“Power plants are the most complex and sophisticated construction projects,” the CEO explains. “So, we have decided, as ambassadors of development and innovation, to change the economic map on our island, and to become the first private company to produce and market electricity to consumers in Cyprus, through our new efficient power plant.”
The station’s performance will be much higher than the existing one, leading to a significant reduction in the cost of electricity and supplying as much as one third of Cyprus’s electricity needs.
“In addition to lowering costs, it will also have multiple benefits for the environment,” Chrysochos continues. “Station emissions will meet European 2020 targets, limiting NOx and SOx emissions below 50 parts per million.
“The expected carbon dioxide emissions are estimated to be 50 percent lower than the average current emissions of electricity production in our country. This again has a monetary impact, as the country will save on the hefty fines and tariffs it is paying for CO2 allowances.”
PEC will also create new employment positions for 300 people during construction and operation.
In the area of renewable energy, Cyfield has also been an active participant, the company engaged in photovoltaic power plant projects since 2015.
Expanding capabilities in the area of energy generation is a key priority for Cyfield as Chrysochos and his leadership team gear up for the future.
Although plans are afoot to grow its presence in Greece and Egypt, its core focus will remain on Cyprus, the home market representing a sustainable and safe path forwards, especially given the country’s economic revival in recent years.
Indeed, the company is ready to deliver on any construction challenge, from high-rise to highway, the CEO full of confidence as he concludes the conversation by reinforcing Cyfield’s commitments to clients and outlining the bright prospects that lie ahead for his country.
“No matter what we do and where we invest, we will never deviate from our core values and stay true to serving our society and the environment we work in, with the utmost respect to our people and all our stakeholders.
“Cyprus is one of the safest countries in the world. It is also famous for its hospitality and beauty. It is a European country with a friendly Mediterranean outlook where all visitors are treated with kindness and respect. Its robust and growing economy provides investors with sustainable returns.
“Investing in Cyprus has never been easier or safer.”