Kumho Engineering and Construction Co.(Kumho E&C) succeeded in living up to its reputation as one of the most ambitious builders across the world. The construction company started making a name for itself as a landmark builder when it constructed the Seoul Center One Building, the World Central International Airport in Dubai and the Ho Chi Minh Kumho-Asiana Plaza.
The company did not stop there. Kumho E&C continues to erect monumental buildings in such countries as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Vietnam, and the words “the biggest” and “the tallest” were often associated with the mega-projects the company completed.
Kumho E&C, which was born from the Cheil Civil Engineering takeover in 1967, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. On the occasion, it has embarked on a mission to be a five-century enterprise. Kumho profited enormously in Saudi Arabia taking advantage of the Middle East Construction Boom of 1970-1980, making a huge contribution to the growth of the Korean economy.
In the 1990s, the company boosted its reputation further as the builder of such landmark structures as airports, water treatment facilities and industrial plants, accumulating technology and experience in such large infrastructure projects, taking its due place as a renowned builder in Korea and overseas. Kumho E&C reputation, however, took a hit in 2009 when it was put through the court managed work-out program due to the slowdown in the construction market at home and abroad. The company was able to graduate from the work-out program through strenuous efforts in 2015 and began to dream about becoming a leader to usher in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
In 2012, Kumho E&C built the 40-floor Time Square in a plush boulevard in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Nguyen Hue Street. It was good enough to change the skyline of the area. The structure, with offices and apartments, has long been known as having the most luxurious apartments, offices, hotel and shopping mall facilities in town.
Kumho E&C opened its first office in Ho Chi Minh City in 1995. Since then it has continued to build huge building complexes in Vietnam, including the Kumho-Asiana Plaza and the Sunrise City, among others.
The first complex the company erected in Vietnam was the Kumho-Asiana Plaza consisting of three buildings for residences, a hotel and offices. Its cost was estimated to be around $225 million or 264.2 billion won when the project was being drawn up.
The company used a new construction technology to build the complex, which gained it some notoriety. The company’s technology allowed it to build concrete pillars some 60 meters underground to prevent sub-surface water from seeping into the base of the complex. The company first completed the ground floor, then built the underground pillars, followed by the basement floors, which cut the overall construction period.
The reputation the company has built in Vietnam is well-known among the Vietnamese people. When the company got into a liquidity problem, Vietnamese people voluntarily asked if they could do anything to help the company to solve the liquidity problems. Kumho's strongest suit lies in the construction of airports, as it was engaged in the construction of a number of huge airports in Korea including Incheon Int’l Airport; the Yangyang Int’l Airport in Yangyang, Gangwon Province; Jeju Int’l Airport on Jeju Island; and Muan Int’l Airport in Muan, South Jeolla Province.
From early on, the company was prepared to build airports thanks to having Asiana Airlines as an affiliate. The company took care of everything from design to construction, when building Muan Int’l Airport, and the experience Kumho gained helped it to advance overseas.
The company won the contract to build Dubai World Central Int’l Airport in 2007, then considered the largest such project in the world. It also came at a time when it landed contracts to build Dubai World Central Int’l Airport Control Tower Project, proving that Kumho Construction has been winning global recognition in airport construction. The company’s designed the control tower like a Dhow, the shape of the sails of commercial Arabian vessels in ancient times to remind the proud Arabic tradition to the world.
The total costs for the Gimhae Int’l Airport expansion project would be around 3.4 trillion won; the cost for the 2nd Jeju Int’l Airport would be around 4.1 trillion won; the cost for the relocation project for Daegu Int’t Airport would be around 7.3 trillion won; and the cost for the relocation of the Gwangju Int’l Airport would be as much as 6 trillion won, which shows that Kumho Industry has more good years ahead.
Kumho E&C has also been doing well in the residential housing construction sector in Korea. The company built the Hannam The Hill Apartment, the units for which are priced at 80 million won per 3.3 square meters, making them the most expensive apartments in the country.
Richensia, a 65-storey apartment building in Gyeonggi Province, the highest building west of Seoul, is further evidence that Kumho has been successfully active in the residential housing construction sector.
Kumho E&C plans to secure Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in its customer analysis, cost estimation and safety management, with Kumho-Asiana Group embarking on a goal to be a leader in the introduction of the 4th Industrial Revolution in Korea. The company will also import an ICT system to boost safety and defect management. President Suh Jae-hwan promised to lead moves to recover trust for Kumho E&C through reform management and the achievement of management targets. He will solidify the company’s foundation with strong professionalism and expand the value chain to ensure stable growth.