Skanska says ‘ambition is to keep projects running’

By Murray Pollok30 March 2020

Skanska AB said its ambition is to keep most of its projects running during the COVID-19 crisis.

Jacob Birkeland, Skanska’s Head of Media Relations, giving a global view on its construction operations, said the company had implemented additional safety precautions for its employees working on construction sites. Skanska operates in the Nordic region, UK, USA and Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.

Residential Liljeholmen2

A Skanska residential project at Liljeholmen, close to Stockholm, Sweden.

”These precautions aim to safeguard our people and mitigate spread of the virus. More specifically, an international travel ban was put into place at the beginning of March, applying to all 35,000 employees.

”We have asked our employees to host existing meetings via digital collaborations tools. We’ve reinforced the need to exercise good hygiene, particularly hand washing, on all construction sites across the Group.

”Finally, we’ve asked any colleagues who show even mild symptoms of illness to stay at home. All to keep our work environments, offices as well as project sites as healthy as possible. At Skanska we work safely or not at all.”

Birkeland said Skanska had more than 130 years experience of managing risk; ”It is in our DNA to analyse different scenarios, develop different strategies, and to act. The conditions are changing from day to day during the current pandemic and we are continuously reviewing our operations to minimise disruptions. This may involve, for example, ensuring functioning deliveries from our suppliers and subcontractors. It has always been our ambition to keep most of our projects running.”

On market demand, Birkeland said it remained to be seen what the long-term impact will be; ”However, urbanisation is a strong underlying driving force and I am convinced that infrastructure, hospitals, schools, homes and green offices will still be needed in the coming years. We will provide our updated analysis and our outlook for the next 12 months in conjunction with our report for the first quarter.”

The company entered its closed period today and will issue its first quarter financial report on 28 April.

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