Hard work since 2009 pays off, builder eyes more projects in South American nation
CEO Casey Choi of SK E&C.(Photo:SK E&C)
SK E&C has been named the priority bidder for a project to build a coal-fired thermal power plant in Chile worth $1.2 billion from E-CL Co., a private power company in Chile, the company said on June 18.
The project involves the construction of two 375-Mw power generators. E-CL is an affiliate of GDF-Suez, the largest private power company in Europe and the largest private power plant operator in northern Chile, the company said.
The coal-fired thermal power plant will be built in Mejillones, Antofagasta State, on the Pacific coast of Chile some 1,200 km north of Santiago, the capital of Chile. SK E&C will take charge of all phases of the project from the design of key equipment such as coal boilers, steam turbines, coal handling facilities, desulfurizing facilities, and others, to the purchase, construction and test-runs, the company said. SK E&C will kick off the construction from the first half of next year and is scheduled to complete it in 40 months. The power from the new power plant will be supplied to coal mines in the region.
SK E&C worked for four years to secure the project starting with a market survey of Chile’s electricity supply. It submitted its original bid in 2011 but had to revise it a number of times due to changes in the project and eventually won the project despite tough competition from builders from Spain and Italy.
But the company won the project due to its superior capacity to undertake such a project along with its advanced technologies, the company said. The KOTRA branch office in Santiago has also been of great help collecting information and inviting a number of key E-CL executives to Korea as well as the conclusion of a partnership agreement to help SK E&C to win the project.
Officials of KOTRA in Chile said it is important to build connections with the private power companies in the Latin American country where the power industry is privatized because the Chilean government plans to invest $100 billion to develop coal mines in the northern region of Chile, which will need some 8,000 Mw of power to operate, thus more coal-fired thermal power plants will be ordered in the near future.
In the meantime, SK E&C signed a contract with JAC (Jurong Aromatics Corpora-tion Pte. Ltd.) in Singapore for a large-scale aromatic plant construction project. The construction cost is $950 million, which is the largest contract a Korean company has won in Singapore.
The large-scale aromatic factory will be built on a 550,000 m² site in the petrochemical industrial complex on Jurong island in Singapore. SK E&C will carry out the project on an E.P.C. basis (Engineering, Procure-ment, and Construction).
A map showing where Mejilliones City is located in northern
Chile and SK E&C won the coal-fired thermal power plant
project to supply power to coal mines in Mejilliones, Chile.
The construction period is 36 months, and when the construction is completed in 2013, the factory will be able to produce 800,000 tons of paraxylene as well as more than 4 million tons of aromatic products and other petrochemical products including benzene, orthoxylene, etc.
This contract is meaningful because the project was postponed due to the global financial crisis and has finally been resumed. SK E&C won the contract for this project in October 2007.
Amid the global financial crisis, SK E&C and JAC had made continuous efforts to resume the project. With the new shareholders and participation of Korea EXIM Bank, Korea Trade Insurance Corp. and global financial institutions such as the Royal Bank of Scotland and ING, the project financing became possible in three years. As a result, SK E&C gained the opportunity to carry out the largest construction project ever won by Korean company in Sin-gapore.