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Main Page arrow News arrow Rönesans, the 8th largest contracting company in Europe, constructs 'container cities' for 10,000 earthquake survivors

Rönesans, the 8th largest contracting company in Europe, constructs 'container cities' for 10,000 earthquake survivors

28 April 2023
At 5 am on February 6, 2023, a 'crisis group' led by Erman Ilıcak, founder of Rönesans Holding, and İpek Ilıcak Kayaalp, Chair of the Board of Directors, was formed in response to the 7.7 earthquake centered in Pazarcık affecting 11 provinces. At around 1:30 pm, search and rescue operations were initiated by the employees of Rönesans Group in the 11 provinces affected by the earthquake disaster, which by this point had suffered a 2nd major earthquake in the region, this time centered in Elbistan with a magnitude of 7.6.
- 8,500 Rönesans Holding employees were in the region when the earthquakes struck.

A total of 2,000 people from the group's subsidiaries immediately volunteered to go to the affected region. Search and rescue teams were formed, and 147 pieces of essential construction equipment were dispatched to the area. On the first day, 90,000 meals were provided.

The group's senior management team played a crucial role in bringing a search and rescue team from France to the earthquake-stricken zone.

Rönesans teams announced the figures after the search and rescue operations were completed:

- The Rönesans teams were able to rescue 189 earthquake victims alive from under the rubble.

 The group transported 254 truckloads of critical relief supplies to the region, while the food support team provided a total of 1 million meals.

Considering the size of the housing problem in the earthquake zone, the crisis group emphasized Rönesans' expertise in this field:

- Rönesans can establish living spaces for up to 25,000 people, including engineers, architects, and construction workers, in construction sites with extremely challenging weather and geographical conditions.

 The crisis group contacted coordinating governors and AFAD representatives to establish container cities in Erman Ilıcak's hometown of Malatya as well as Adıyaman.

- Rönesans took action to establish more than 2,000 living units in container cities in Malatya and Adıyaman, which will provide shelter and living space for 10,000 people affected by the earthquake.

The previous day, a ceremony was held with the attendance of Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Malatya Governor Hulusi Şahin, Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Selahattin Gürkan, AK Party MP Öznur Çalık, İstanbul Başakşehir Mayor Yasin Kartoğlu, and Erman Ilıcak to distribute the shelter units in the Malatya container city established by Rönesans for the earthquake victims.

On the same day, in the evening, İpek Ilıcak Kayaalp organized a meeting to provide updates on the efforts and activities of Rönesans Holding and its group companies in the earthquake-stricken region. Joining İpek Ilıcak Kayaalp were Rönesans Holding Board Member Emre Baki, Engineering Group President Serdar Binzet, Construction Group Project Director Tolga Yapıcı, and Health Group Deputy General Manager Mehmet Karakuş.

İpek Ilıcak Kayaalp stated that containers were sent to the region immediately after the first earthquake struck from their construction sites.

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- We are currently creating cities in Malatya and Adıyaman that will consist of over 2,000 containers in total.

We delivered 504 containers to AFAD in Adıyaman and also made deliveries in Malatya. In total, we have completed 1,435 containers.

İpek Ilıcak Kayaalp noted that once an additional 673 containers are delivered by the end of June, the container cities will be able to accommodate 10,000 people:

- We don’t perceive these areas where 10,000 people will live as temporary shelter centers; we designed them as permanent living spaces with social facilities.

During the conversation, İpek Ilıcak Kayaalp also provided information about Rönesans Group and its global position:

 - Besides Türkiye, the Netherlands is also an important hub for us. We have direct operations in 30 countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Our group currently has more than 18 thousand employees from 64 different nationalities.

- We are currently ranked 24th globally and 8th in Europe in the ENR (Engineering News Record) 'World's Top 250 International Contractors' list. 

- Last year, we achieved a turnover of EUR 4.1 billion, and we anticipate reaching EUR 5 billion by the end of this year. 70% of our turnover is generated from our international operations.

- Our asset size has reached USD 7.5 billion, and the total size of our ongoing contracting projects is EUR 5 billion.

Despite the common perception that Rönesans Holding mainly focuses on public works in Türkiye, it is worth noting that 70% of its EUR 4.1 billion turnover comes from international operations.

Rönesans' actions in the earthquake zone also reveal that social responsibility projects are clearly a big priority for the company.

Hospital operations should be uninterrupted during an earthquake disaster.

Rönesans Holding Engineering Group President Serdar Binzet reported that they utilize the most cutting-edge technology in their construction projects:

- There is an Allianz Tower located in Ataşehir, İstanbul. We received a letter of appreciation from the Japanese for the building.

He cited the Başakşehir Çam ve Sakura Hospital as an example:

 - At Başakşehir Çam ve Sakura Hospital, we have installed the most advanced seismic isolators in the world. The primary objectives when constructing a hospital are to guarantee the building's structural integrity and, ideally, uninterrupted operation during an earthquake. These objectives are only attainable by implementing the latest scientific and technological advancements in the design and construction phases.

Priority was given to women and children

According to İpek Ilıcak Kayaalp, the Chair of the Board of Directors of Rönesans Holding, the needs of women and children were given top priority when planning the container cities in Malatya and Adıyaman:

- We collaborated with UNICEF and UNFPA in designing the container cities. Based on the identified needs, we have included social facilities; the architectural design of the projects was also planned accordingly.

- We have created spaces for skills training and workshops to facilitate women's economic and social participation. We will support UNICEF's "Child, Adolescent, and Family Support Center" in the Malatya container city.

The more than 200 buildings that we built in the earthquake zone prior to the disaster are all fully intact

İpek Ilıcak Kayaalp, the Chair of Board of Directors of Rönesans Holding, provided the following information regarding the buildings that the company constructed in earthquake zones:

 - Rönesans Holding built over 200 buildings in 10 of the 11 provinces affected by the earthquake prior to the disaster, all of which are in excellent condition.

- Despite being located almost on top of the fault line, the shopping mall in Kahramanmaraş did not sustain any damage during the earthquake.

- The City Hospital in Adana was one of the safest treatment points during the earthquake and received patients from all over the region.

Link to the news
: Ekonomim

About Rönesans Group

Rönesans Holding, the conglomerate's top investment entity headquartered in Ankara, is the 38th largest international contracting company globally and the 9th largest in Europe. With operations spanning 30 countries across Europe, Central Asia, and Africa, including subsidiaries such as Ballast Nedam in the Netherlands and Heitkamp Industrial Solutions GmbH in Germany, Rönesans has been operating as the main contractor and investor successfully for 30 years in construction, real estate development, healthcare and energy. Putting resilience and growth through innovation at the core of the company, with a priority on sustainability and social development, Rönesans has developed projects supporting students with scholarships, academic platforms and initiatives; been a signatory of the UN Global Compact since 2015; and a signatory of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles since 2016.

Under the leadership of its president, Erman Ilıcak, Rönesans, along with its partners GIC, Meridiam Infrastructure, Sojitz, Samsung C&T, TotalEnergies, and IFC of the World Bank Group (minority shareholder in the group), has invested more than EUR8 billion into pioneering projects globally.

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