Daewoo Engineering & Construction (President Seo Jong-uk) won a project in Algeria worth $350 million involving the recovery of an 18-km long stream cutting across the Algerian capital of Algiers to improve the quality of water in the stream and create cultural and rest facilities along the stream. Daewoo won the project in a consortium with a local construction company, which will take charge of 30 percent of the project.
Daewoo officials said the company has been put in a good position to win additional related works that may be as large as $19 billion. The Ministry of Environment and the Korea Environment Technology Institute (KEIT) have been closely involved in the project.
The project is significant as it is the first one involving dredging streams in a city and was won in cooperation between a private construction firm and a number of government organizations.
The Environment Ministry in January 2010 held a meeting with the Algerian government on tap water and stream clearance projects in which the project to improve the quality of water of the El Harash Stream was a main subject among six topics discussed for cooperation between the two government ministries. The agreement was hammered out with the Algerian government agreeing to the use of the Korean technologies that went into the Han River Restoration Project and others over a 20-year period under the master plan to improve the quality of water of the El Harash Stream. Daewoo was selected as a company to join the project in partnership with local builders following a consultation with the Algerian government.
The Algerian stream has been polluted with industrial wastes and garbage for decades and has never been dredged or cleaned up, while public demand for the recovery of the river has been mounting.
The Algerian government chose Korea over European countries, highly valuing the Korean experience of river dredging and waterway restoration projects. Algeria, with its 2.38 million square km of land, is the second biggest country in Africa, 10 times bigger than South Korea, and has the 16th largest oil reserves in the world. Its economy has grown 5 percent annually on average in recent years and the government has been spurring the construction of infrastructure, leading to an expansion of large construction project orders from Algeria in recent years.
A number of projects related to improving the quality of water in streams are expected to follow, such as sewage water treatment facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, and stream water control facilities, among others, with the Algerian government allocating some $19 billion to all of the projects.
Officials of Daewoo Construction said their experience building over 92 environmental facilities in Korea helped to win the project in Algeria, putting the company in a better position to win the related projects in the African country in the days ahead.
Daewoo, since winning the first construction project in Ecuador in 1976, has been winning and completing various construction projects overseas, in particular, Nigeria and Libya, African countries where no other Korean builders have ever done business, completing more than $21 billion worth of construction projects in the region.
Daewoo became the first Korean builder to export technologies related to environmental facility construction and to export nuclear power plant construction know-how from Korea when it built an experimental nuclear power plant in Jordan.
This year, the company set its target for overseas construction projects at $6.4 billion. #