Intrakat’s administration is methodically moving towards the establishment of the company as a leading force in the construction industry, by actively claiming a significant share of the projects that are expected to be announced by 2022, worth more than €10 billion. A company that is now forging its own new “path”, which is described in by the CEO of Intrakat, Petros K. Souretis, and has Energy, Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), Public Works, and targeted real-estate as its development axes.

An Interview with Thanassis Mavridis and Antiopi Schoina

-Having implemented the biggest private project of recent years in Greece (Fraport), can you draw us a “picture” of your cooperation in the period following these investments in Greece? Apart from Fraport, and according to your experience, which other similar companies do you consider as possible candidates for cooperation, and for what kind of projects?

We are proud to have completed such a complex and important project, thus proving internationally that Intrakat, as an EPC contractor, is able and prepared to overcome challenges and achieve partnerships with International Groups. We firmly believe that our cooperation with Fraport has paved the way for new collaborations in the field of aviation infrastructure. Our attention has now been directed to the greatest project, “Hellinikon”. By concluding a long phase of demolitions, we are now ready and eager to contribute substantially to the success of this ambitious project.

-Following the latest developments in the infrastructure sector, do you opine that the upcoming projects will lead to new alliances, joint ventures, or even mergers? And if such things happen, will Intrakat be present, and under what circumstances?

The projects that seem to be coming create new perspectives in the industry. We are currently in a period that foretells a great upsurge in construction activity. The Ministry of Infrastructure, under K. Karamanlis, is laying the groundwork for large infrastructure projects in the next three years, both Public and PPPs, that will exceed €10 billion in total.

This will trigger changes in the industry. The situation is dynamic and we are open to new challenges with a consistent strategy.

-What share of these projects are you objectively claiming? What are your expectations from this “slice of the pie”?

Intrakat has the requisite know-how, knowledge, and experience to claim a significant share of the projects expected in the near future. Today, our backlog amounts to €600 million. If the aforementioned projects of €10 billion are eventually initiated, we expect that by the end of 2022 our backlog will have amounted to more than €1 billion. A backlog, which will be formed by Public Works, PPPs, Concessions but also by Energy and the Environment.

-Said strategic alliances and partnerships could also involve large foreign construction groups, and what role do you think they will play in the € 50 billion-worth “pie” of PPPs and infrastructure projects?

The presence of foreign groups in the construction sector of Greece is quite scarce, limited only to projects that have significant financial requirements. This means that the potential of Greek construction companies is very competitive and that the narrow profit margins of the projects did not favour the activity of foreign construction groups in our country. Nevertheless, the emergence of many large concession projects and PPPs, demanding the contribution of significant own and loan funds, will open the way for the participation of foreign groups.

Intrakat, like most of the major construction companies, is in the process of exploring strategic partnerships.

-You announced future mergers and partnerships, regarding which you are already in discussions, and made it clear that Intrakat is changing and evolving into something greater. What is a possible timeframe for the implementation of this strategy?

We aspire that by 2022 Intrakat will have completed its transformation into a new company, that will aim to design and develop products of its own expertise, in order to capitalize on the capital gains that will emerge, for the benefit of its shareholders.

-Do the said mergers only concern companies that already have a shareholding relationship with Intrakat, or will they also happen through acquisitions? In what sectors do you think you need support and where could partnerships arise from?

As I already told you, the situation is dynamic and INTRAKAT will be based on 4 development axes:

a) Public infrastructure projects

b) Concession projects and PPPs

c) Energy and environment

d) Targeted real-estate

In terms of know-how, knowledge and experience, our group has now the needed potential and infrastructure to adequately meet the upcoming requirements.

-The energy sector, regarding which you recently announced the merger with GAIA ANEMOS S.A, is at the moment a hot spot for the whole industry. What is your MW goal for the end of the 8-year period? Are there licensed companies available for acquisition or projects available for licensing? Domestic competition and big foreign players, who lately have strengthened their presence, account for a highly competitive environment. How will you overcome the challenges posed by such competition? Possibly through collaborations, and if so, where should we expect them?

We decided to merge with GAIA S.A, a company we knew well due to our cooperation in the field of energy and new technologies. The most important thing is that INTRAKAT acquired a team of 30 people with great expertise and experience in the field of design, construction, and operation of energy and environmental turn key projects.

Today, we have 93MW ready for construction and by 2024 solar parks of 200 MW and wind farms of 200 MW as well will be ready for construction. After 2024, a pipeline of RES projects with a total capacity of 600MW will be available for construction.

Strategic partnerships with international investors in the energy sector are indispensable and there are relevant processes towards this direction. In terms of competition, it seems that the environment of RES has changed. The capital gains of the past do not exist anymore, while there is a shift towards energy storage technologies through RES. As I told you, we focus on the design-implementation and operation of energy and environmental projects. We believe that we have a comparative advantage in this field.

-During your recent presentation you talked about international funds and investors. Are you thinking of entering the market with a bond? What are the funding lines that will support your plan?

Given the excellent market circumstances, all the known financial leverage and fundraising tools are being considered. Concession and energy projects, as well as PPPs, require significant own and loan funds

The very positive aspect for INTRAKAT is that Greek banks and foreign financial institutions and investment funds show great interest and find the Greek perspective appealing for investment products in energy, PPPs, and real estate in tourism infrastructure. At the end of 2021, the way for all this will have been paved.

-In which major infrastructure, restoration, and PPP projects do you want Intrakat to be present and how do you think these will affect the market in general?

As for Public and PPP projects, INTRAKAT will participate competitively in those related to public infrastructure, services, and high technology projects, such as smart solution, NGA networks, etc. I believe that once again construction activity will become the means that will channel the available support funds from the Recovery Fund and from the new NSRF (ESPA) to the market, thus becoming a key pillar of development.

-What are your goals in real estate and what is your activity in this field so far?

In real estate, our orientation and the main focus of the group concern tourist properties mainly in two areas. In Attica, because the values remain stable, and in Mykonos, because there are great surplus values.

Particularly in Attica, we have invested in the tourism hotel sector, such as the listed building on Kolokotroni Street, which is being constructed by Intrakat and is expected to operate as a 5 * boutique hotel and restaurant by the end of the year. It is worth noting that it will be the first hotel and restaurant in the world to operate under the brand name Xenodocheio Milos.

In Mykonos, during the second trimester of 2022, the luxury resort developed by our Group is expected to start operating, located in an area of 25 acres west of Kalo Livadi beach.

The investment amounts to about €100 million, while the project is developed by INTRADEVELOPMENT, constructed by INTRAKAT, and will operate under the auspices of London Regional Hotels, a company with particular experience in managing luxury hotels in Europe and America.

-What is your course so far based on, and what is your relationship with Dimitris Koutras?

I have always believed that real success must be based on consistency, hard work, and good human resources.

We have invested in all this but the most crucial thing is that we’ve always had the support of the Intracom Group.

As for Dimitris Koutras, Chairman of Intrakat, our relationship was and still is a relationship of trust, appreciation, and cooperation.

For all of us who started from construction sites, the personality of Dimitris Koutras was the status quo of the construction industry, since he created the largest construction group in the country and left his mark on the largest and most innovative public projects and concessions.

We still have a lot of interesting things to do together.

-Will the general course of Intracom and Intralot affect the course of Intrakat?

My most fortunate time was in 2003, when at the age of 33 I found myself next to the Chairman Mr. Sokratis Kokkalis, who honored me with his trust.

The business maturity I gained next to him was unique. He has always been and still is the ultimate practical, sensible, innovative, and entrepreneurial mind.

As you understand, having absolute confidence in his actions, I believe that the plans and strategies of Intrakat and all the other companies of the Group will be crowned with absolute success very soon.