GS Engineering and Construction Co. clinched a huge project to build an oil exploration facility in the South Pars gas field region in Iran known for its great gas reserves by signing an MOU for the project estimated to be worth $2.4 billion, the company said on May 3.
The South Pars gas exploration facilities expansion project is separate from the projects signed by the Korean firms in the wake of President Park Geun-hye’s recent visit to Iran, which are valued at some $37.1 billion, the company said.
The project is part of Iran’s ongoing South Pars gas exploration facility project’s 11-14 stages, involving the construction of a marine gas exploration structure and an LNG liquefaction plant project on land. GS Construction will take charge of the on-land part of the project.
The construction company plans to use the LNG liquefaction technology developed jointly with Korea Gas Corp. while working on the project. The South Pars Project’s 14th stage work is being carried out by an Iranian company, but GS Construction is slated to take charge of wrapping up the project to complete the work.
President Lim Byung-yong said, “We plan to work on securing more projects on plants and infrastructure in Iran with the South Pars Project as a base for our offensive strategy to win more projects in Iran. As companies around the world rush to take on new business opportunities in post-sanctions Iran, South Korean builder GS E&C is out to regain its former presence in the country where it has built up a solid track record in the construction segment.”
The South Pars reservoir is shared by Iran and Qatar. The Iranian part is divided into 24 phases. The 1.6-trillion won the South Korean firm will receive is equivalent to 77 percent of the total construction, the statement said.
The Iranian construction market has remained virtually untapped since international sanctions took effect in 2010.
Having successfully carried out major projects in Iran before, GS Group’s construction unit expects to gain an upper hand in winning fresh deals in the country.
GS E&C has completed five construction projects totaling some 2.4 billion won ($2 million) since establishing an office there.
The firm’s most notable achievement is the South Pars natural gas field development phase 9 & 10 project, which was completed in 2008.
The South Pars gas field is the world’s largest natural gas field and is shared by Iran and Qatar. It is thought to hold at least 9.2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Iran has plans to develop the gas field in 24 phases.
The Iranian government had ordered the swift completion of the phase 9 & 10 project at the time, as hundreds of people in the area had died during the winter of 2007 due to an energy shortage there, according to GS E&C.
The firm reportedly received high regarda upon the project’s completion in 2008, for having completed the facility’s construction before the winter as requested.
As Iran reopened its doors to the outside world with the official lifting of sanctions last month, GS E&C said it was well prepared to regain its former leadership in the Iranian construction sector.
GS E&C reportedly began preparing for its return to Iran starting from 2014, when early signs of the country’s economic reopening began to emerge.
Freed from economic constraints, Iran is geared to make big investments to tap into its vast petroleum reserves, signaling a range of new plant construction orders up for grabs, particularly those linked to the expected resumption of the South Pars project.