The poet Maya Angelou wrote that as the horizon of the New Year leans forward, it offers us a unique moment of space to place new steps of change. Her message resonates with us as Meridiam prepares to write a new page and place many forward-looking steps along our organization’s journey.
2020 was not the year the world expected, and it called upon us all to bring to the fore the very qualities that we build into our projects and investments: resiliency, sustainability, reinforcement and support of community connectivity and preparation for the future. It was a year of unprecedented complexity and, I’m proud to share, a year of proof of purpose and success for our team.
Meridiam invested over 6 Billion euros in new sustainable and resilient infrastructure projects spanning the full spectrum of our geographies and project types during the course of 2020. Among them, we signed emblematic new contracts in the education space (Wales and Finland), healthcare (hospitals in Spain and Chile), energy transition (universities in the US, biogas in France and the US and Mobility (Africa, Germany, Spain the Czech Republic, Wales).
During the course of this year unlike any other, we manifested successful management of complex situations and challenged assets during a period of crisis. We shaped solutions and solidarity to this crisis and made strong contributions to the recovery through multiple initiatives and projects. Our team, our people across four continents, maintained dedicated focus on our core mission of delivering sustainable infrastructure that improves quality of life.
And even in these unprecedented times, we fully maintained our commitment to continually further our responsibility as a mission-driven company with all of our infrastructure projects measurably contributing concretely to the UN SDGs accompanied by ambitious impact targets set for the next three years. Significantly, our achievements align with a year that marked the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations followed by the fifth anniversary of UN SDGs upcoming in 2021.
In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic The Felix Bulnes, a brand new, state-of-the art hospital in Santiago, Chile opened and welcomed its first patients. This facility is here to serve the health and sanitary needs of 1.2 million people from one of the poorest areas of Chile. And we delivered the LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B, fully outfitted with new COVID19 preventive measures. Despite the pandemic context, we also reached financial close for 8 projects among others close to 100 km of roads in Wales and Germany, schools and daycare centers for over 4,000 pupils in Espoo, the 2nd largest city in Finland, full fiber optic access for 25 municipalities and their 40 000 inhabitants in Germany or a 50-year concession contract to address the University of Iowa’s energy, water, and sustainability goals. And we finally signed new promising successes in Spain with a portfolio of 2 roads, 4 hospitals (more than 3000 beds) and an hydraulic infrastructure projects spread across the country, made great strides in Wales as we will invest more than 1 billion euros in new schools, colleges and roads to boost economic growth and regeneration and create more than 1000 jobs or signed more than 300 kms new roads projects in Kenya, Gabon or Czech Republic that will enhance the economic and social development of the countries while improving safety and traffic conditions and reducing traffic congestion and environmental pollution.
With a new year comes renewed energy and focus, and 2021 promises to be as dense and rich as the year we’ve just completed. Our hope is that leaders across the public and private sector will continue to join us in our vision for the vast, critical development potential that connects infrastructure needs across millions of communities to the renewable energy opportunity, climate change preparedness, job creation, and inclusive development. As we embrace both the global existential climate challenge and one of the most substantive economic opportunities in our lifetimes, one that crosses urban and rural contexts, extending to every corner of the global economy, we must wire up our economies to green, innovative, inclusive and long term investment. In this spirit, Meridiam will continue its unflagging commitment to a sustained pace of investment through the commissioning of numerous new emblematic projects and contracts for the long term and greater good of communities across the globe. I look forward to sharing that news here throughout the year ahead.
From our Meridiam family to you, we wish you a bright, ambitious, fulfilling 2021 filled with success and achievements aligned with the challenges that lies ahead for our world in the coming year.
>> Read the open letter on Thierry Déau's LinkedIn profile