Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. (Hyundai E&C) went overseas for construction projects in 1966, undertaking the construction of the Pattani-Narathiwat Highway in Thailand. The company had won the competition with some 30 foreign construction firms, which was a great feat for Hyundai E&C at the time, as it was then a construction firm from a developing country. Hyundai E&C had to deal with one mistake after another during process, with practically all of its equipment too old to be used.
The company bought a number of new bulldozers for the project, but they often broke down because the inexperienced heavy equipment engineers did not know how to drive them well.
They needed Ascons for the pavement of the highway, but the production of the material fell short, which needed to be replaced with dry pebbles from streams around the country. Ascons were in demand as sand and pebbles needed for the pavement of the highway were too wet in the rainy Thailand.
They tried to dry them with heaters, but the late Chairman Chung Ju-yung thought they should not use burning expensive oil in the oil-burning heaters, instead putting them on steel plates and dry them.
They did as they were told by the chairman and saved money. In the end, the company was able to complete the highway project in Thailand, paving the way for Korean builders to make the successful advancement into overseas construction market. Hyundai E&C, which celebrated its 70th anniversary on May 25, is often compared to the company which created “something” from “nothing.”
The company has undertaken 821 construction projects in 59 countries so far and earned $122.7 billion while completing 3,600 construction projects at home.
The company will put on the market the Hillstate Songdo The Terrace in Songdo International City, Songdo, Incheon, for sale this month, made of 2784 apartments in various sizes. The model house is located on 177-17, Harmony-ro, Yeonsu District, Incheon City. Phone 032-881-1000 for detail. The builder worked on civil and engineering projects at first, but has now expanded its construction sectors to include electric, plants and all other construction sectors to be a top builder in Korea.
The Seosan Landfill Project should be counted among the projects that helped the company turn around as the top integrated construction firm in Korea as the landfill area nearly was as large as 1 percent of total land space in Korea. It was a tough job to prevent the sea water form rushing on the shore as the incoming waves were too fast and powerful. The company utilized oil tanks, along with mud and pebbles, to contain the sea water that swept through the area as suggested by the late chairman Chung, which cut the project period to only 36 months. The construction technique was later named “the Chung Ju-yung Construction Technique “in the construction industry in Korea.
Other overseas construction projects that cannot be left out of the company’s history include the South Par 4 and 5 Stage Projects, which were worth $1.6 billion to be counted as the largest single project that the company undertook overseas, next to the Jubail Industrial Harbor Project in Saudi Arabia that the company worked on 1976.
The company became an affiliate of the Hyundai Motor Group in April 2011 and its total overseas projects amounted to $10 billion, putting the accumulated overseas projects to be worth around $100 billion in 2013.
Last year, the company netted $1 billion in profit, a first for a construction firm in the country. “On the strength of our vast business performance experience, advanced technical manpower and extensive overseas knowhow, Hyundai E&C is demonstrating world class skills in project implementation in industrial plant construction projects,” according to the company. Starting with the construction of the Danyang cement factory in 1960s, when Hyundai Engineering and Construction built a mill for Pohang Steel as well as the Daesan oil refinery and petrochemical complex, it has accumulated a wealth of technologies and experiences in Korea.
“We expanded our business overseas in the 1970s, and are internationally recognized thanks to our gas and oil petrochemical refinery construction work with Yanbu NGL Sea Terminal in Saudi Arabia, a natural gas refinery in Malaysia, the South Pars gas treatment facility in Iran, the Qatar fertilizer plant (stage 5 & 6) and other projects.”