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Rodio Swissboring: Geotechnical engineering and specialized construction with solid global support

With a wide presence across Central America, Rodio Swissboring is an outstanding partner for the civil engineering and energy sectors, taking care of specialized tasks in underground construction, maritime engineering and tunneling


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Rodio Swissboring started more than 60 years ago, when the company opened in El Salvador as the Swissboring Overseas Crp. Ltd. The company’s history goes back to 1930s Switzerland. After the first projects were completed in El Salvador, the company’s headquarters moved to Guatemala in 1970, and new offices opened in the rest of the Central American countries through the years.

Once in the 21st century, the company’s partnership went through changes, ending up in Soletanche Bachy owning 100% of Rodio Swissboring from 2015 on, with the latter bringing leadership in geotechnical engineering, mining, maritime engineering and specialized civil engineering to the French group’s leadership.

“Since our beginnings, we have taken part in different stages during the construction of the main infrastructure projects in the region”, said Federico Rosenberg, Regional Director for Rodio Swissboring in Central America, which has also taken part in important projects in other regions, precisely in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Mexico.

Rosenberg, a geologist and civil engineer graduated from Texas A&M. “I’ve been part of the group for 30 years. Had my start in Spain holding different positions, from project engineer, engineer in charge of machinery, production manager, CEO at Guatemala and finally as the regional director for the last ten years,” Rosenberg commented.


Federico Rosenberg, CEO

Engagement in important projects in the region

Rodio Swissboring’s involvement along the Central American market through the years has taken place in projects for both the private and public sectors. This market shares plenty of features, but it also presents different conditions, and its constant evolution demands adaptability and versatility.

“One of the key aspects to maintain ourselves at the forefront of the market is focusing on our clients’ needs, bringing as many innovative solutions as possible,” the executive declared.

Rodio Swissboring engages in high-scale projects such as the Panama Canal, taking part in the canal’s recent expansion and its new third set of locks, as well as laying the foundations for the third bridge across the artificial waterway; also in Panama, the company worked in Line 1 of the Panama Metro rapid transit system. In San José, Rodio Swissboring was in charge of the excavation and protection of the basements at the building of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica. Also in the Costa Rican capital, the company laid down the foundations and built the slope protection at the new US Embassy in Tegucigalpa (Honduras); both of these last processes were also performed at the new US Embassy in Guatemala, as the next headquarters for the US in these two countries are currently under construction.

Avant-garde procedures

Rodio Swissboring has brought to the territory a wide array of procedures and techniques supported by late-generation technology, such as introducing ground improvement to Central America. Ground improvement is becoming a standard procedure in complex grounds, using a proper technique according to the land’s conditions. Rodio Swissboring relies on support from sister company MENARD when a plot of land must undergo such a specialized process. MENARD, also a Soletanche Bachy company, is a global leader in ground improvement and is constantly investing in avant-garde machinery and equipment to perform these tasks.

Other specialized procedures also carried by Rodio Swissboring in Central America is tunnel and microtunnel boring and construction, with support from BESSAC, another sister company specialized in these kind of projects, useful for the mining, energy and transportation sectors as well as for public waterworks, to name a few.

Partners and purveyors: beyond mere commercial transactions

Machinery, tools and equipment stand out from Rodio Swissboring’s supply chain. The company takes part in projects which demand specialized procedures in construction, mining and the energy sectors, among others; thus requiring unique machinery and equipment with certain features and capabilities, taking Rodio Swissboring into joining manufacturers in their R&D department, engaging with design and upgrades to equipment for required, specific functions.

“We deal with the subsoil and all of what’s below the surface, where conditions are always changing; there will always be some improvement to adapt ourselves to it and optimize our performance,” Rosenberg summed it up.


Part of a global network of mutual support

The heralded support Rodio Swissboring receives from other Soletanche Bachy companies such as BESSAC and MENARD, among others, displays the advantages of being part of a solid group with global presence. There is technical and logistic support and plentiful resources, besides relying on a wide network of experts sharing experience, processes and new techniques. On its behalf, the Central American operation of Rodio Swissboring is highly specialized in mining and geothermal exploration and also offers support to other companies in the Soletanche Bachy Group.

“We have a fine-tuned network. Most companies have a specialty in a specific area and support each other,” the regional director commented.

Another advantage shared by every company in the group is that personnel receives specialized training, which is considered a crucial factor for the success of Rodio Swissboring.

“We regularly send our staff either to train based in specific programs in technical or operational areas or in other group companies, thus creating important opportunities for development,” Rosenberg explained.

Links to the community: education and environment

Rodio Swissboring’s CSR efforts are focused on programs related to education, a crucial factor for every country’s development.

The company is also developing an action plan with the main purpose of reducing its carbon footprint by 30% before 2030.

“Our global group policy is this important commitment to the environment, which increasingly impacts our operation,” the executive pointed out.

Up next: a wager into project continuity

2021 is foreseen as a very interesting year for Rodio Swissboring, facing different projects both for the private and public sectors which had to be stopped or started during 2020 and which certainly will go on during 2021, which means the company will certainly be engaged in infrastructure mega projects for transportation, energy, mining, maritime engineering and tunneling -to name a few-, both on its own and also with support from other Soletanche Bachy companies.

“We foresee 2021 as a very interesting year with a lot of challenges. Our main goal is to become more consolidated in the region and keep taking part in important projects as general contractors,” Federico Rosenberg finalized.


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