Tenerife-born Daniel Fariña (San Cristóbal de La Laguna, 1973) debuts on Tuesday as general director of CDPQ Infra, the infrastructure division of the public pension fund of the Canadian province of Québec. Deputy general director since November last year, this industrial engineer –Extraordinary End of Degree Award 1999– formed at the ULPGC will now have only the president and CEO, Jean-Marc Arbaud, above him.
CDPQ Infra plans, executes and operates large transportation projects. Of the more than 273 billion euros (more than 400 billion Canadian dollars) invested in this vehicle, created in the 1960s to make profitable the money that Quebecers have left when they reach retirement age, Around 41 billion euros (60 billion Canadian dollars) are allocated to financing infrastructure. No other institutional investor reaches that sum.
The vehicle has 41,000 million euros invested in major works
Examples of the presence of CDPQ are the Heathrow airport (London), the Sydney metro (Australia) or the Eurostar, the train that connects London with Brussels, among others. As for CDPQ Infra, it now has on its hands the challenge of successfully implementing, putting into operation and managing the fully automatic – driverless – light rail with the greatest coverage in the world.
With 67 kilometers, the deployment of the REM (Réseau Express Métropolitain) runs through the extensive Montreal region. In addition, adapting to the harsh climatic conditions of the area, which include temperatures of up to 30 degrees below zero in winter.
Nothing new for Fariña, who Throughout his entire working life he has been in charge of taking large projects from the idea to leaving them in the hands of the managers. In the case of REM, it defines it as a “public-public” collaboration project. Because? Because the investment fund is and so are the institutions that endorse the work. “By taking the train you are making your future pension profitable,” explains the Canarian engineer.
The Auckland example
It is not something new for Daniel Fariña, who already He was in charge of the business plan and development of the light metro in the New Zealand city of Auckland between the months of June and November of 2019. The design of the route, the stations, the urban integration of the project, the development plan accepted by the community…
A hallmark of his work career, which has spent in large companies such as OHL –today OHLA–, where he was director of Concession Projects and even represented it on the boards of directors and steering committees in which public-private collaboration projects were undertaken.
Before coming to CDPQ, Daniel Fariña has already had great experiences in Canada. Between 2011 and 2017 he was general director of the CHUM hospital concession, the largest in Canada and also the largest hospital concession in North America. At that time, he directly reported to the board of directors about the course of the project, from the planning phase and definition of the business plan (tender), to the construction, in which more than 4,000 workers were involved; the start-up, until the subsequent commercial exploitation.
His first great experience in Canada was creating the largest hospital in the North American country.
International experiences accumulate in your resume. Already From the beginning of this century (2001-2006) he became project manager of the hospital centers that Hospiten developed in Mexico (Cancún and Riviera-Maya) and the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo and Bávaro).
Milestones like this earned him the position of deputy director of Foreign Expansion at Icex. In this public company he was responsible for the General Directorate of Infrastructure Projects in African countries receiving Spanish aid. He structured multilateral agreements between the Government of Spain and countries on the neighboring continent and was responsible for project managers and teams deployed to recipient countries.
His closest family lives in Tenerife and he studied engineering at the ULPGC
Now he has REM in his sights. Already with the first 17 kilometers in operation As of this year, another 50 kilometers are missing and the completion of the project is expected to arrive in the immediate years. From the general direction that he exercises as of Tuesday, Daniel Fariña will be one of the most responsible for this.
While, Out of the corner of his eye he looks towards Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where his mother and two brothers live. It has changed the mild winters of the Canary Islands for the abundant snow of Canada. Judging by the trajectory of his career and even if the earth pulls, for the moment it is worth it.