SK Engineering and Construction Co. announced on Dec 21 that it completed the construction of the Eurasia Undersea Tunnel, which stretches 5.4 km under the Bosphorus Strait connecting Europe and Asia.
The new undersea tunnel, the first double-deck undersea tunnel in the world built exclusively for vehicle traffic was opened officially for traffic in a ceremony held Dec. 20 in Istanbul, Turkey, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leading a group of dignitaries. They included, among others, Chairman Choi Kwang-yeul of the SK Group Social Contribution Committee and former president of SK Construction; Korean Ambassador Cho Yoon-soo to Turkey; a number of Turkish government officials; Istanbul City officials led by Mayor Kadir Topbas; and SK Construction officials attended the ceremony.
"Praise be that we are part of a country and a city that connects two continents," said Erdogan. Erdogan has said he is aiming to build a "new Turkey" with transformed infrastructure in time for the 100th anniversary in 2023 of the foundation of the modern state by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
He said a trip through the tunnel would cost 15 lira ($4.25) until the end of the year, with all the revenues until then going to families of victims of the coup and those who helped defeat it.
The Korean construction firm won the contract to build the undersea tunnel in partnership with Yapi Merkezi and kicked off the construction in 2013 at the cost of $1.24 billion. The two partner firms later set up the Eurasia Tunnel Operation Construction and Investment (ATAS).
After the completion of the project, the company will run the tunnel for the next 24 years and five months, when the tunnel’s operational rights will be transferred to the state. Officials say the Eurasia Tunnel will provide a solution to Istanbul’s traffic problems by decreasing travel times on the route from around 100 minutes to 15 minutes between the Kazlıceşme district on the European side and the Goztepe district on the Asian side.
Since its establishment in 1977, SK E&C has been pursuing sustainable growth and stability, along with its consistent efforts to achieve the happiness of humanity and a better world, and gained a good reputation for its excellent technologies and construction capability in the various industries, such as power plants, civil infrastructure, architecture, and housing.
SK E&C will convert from quantitative growth to qualitative growth, and from Global EPC to Global TSP (Total Solution Provider) and will make a leap to accomplish the vision of ‘Global Top Tier City Developer & Infrastructure Builder.
SK E&C is renowned for its plant business around the world, from feasibility studies to design, procurement, construction, and all cycles to provide customer value as a Total Solution Provider, upgrading the status of the company.
“In Korea, we contribute to economic growth and industrial development by diversifying our business from electricity, logistics, energy, chemical, and batteries to renewable energy and semiconductors,” according to the company. “In the world, we raise the best value while competing with advanced enterprises on even ground, embracing all business areas of the value chain, including oil and gas plants, global plant EPC projects, development projects, and O&M projects.”
SK E&C says it is the first Korean company that entered the LNG business in the U.S. and the oil sands market in Canada, which allows it to flourish in the global market and become a top-tier global company in the plant industry.
Top leaders including engineers of SK Construction assigned to the construction of the Eurasia Undersea Tunnel under the Bosphorus Strait off Turkey led by President Choi Kwang-cheol, celebrate the completion of the tunnel at an official ceremony held by Turkey led by President Recep Tayyp Erdogan on Dec. 20 in Istanbul, Turkey.(Photos: SK E&C)