Hanwha Emergency Management Comm. Chmn. Tours Iraqi City Project Site
Hanwha Investment & Securities Vice Chairman Kim Yun-bae poses with Hanwha E&C
officials at the Bismayah city project site in Iraq where he recently toured on the first anniversary of
the business group’s winning of the massive project. [ Photo on courtesy of Hanwha]
Hanwha Investment & Securities Vice Chairman Kim Yun-bae recently toured the Bismayah city project site in Iraq on the first anniversary of the business group’s winning of the massive project.
Vice Chairman Kim, who also heads the business group’s emergency management committee in place of Hanwha Chairman Kim Seung-youn, visited Hanwha E&C’s Bismayah city project site on June 16 as part of a three-night, four-day overseas trip. He got a briefing on the progress of the city project and lent an ear to the voices of Hanwha E&C employees on the scene.
Kim’s tour of the Iraqi site as the first leg of his overseas trip indicates the business group’s priority in devoting itself to making good on the project, business analysts said.
The vice chairman took a look at the outside fence surrounding the construction site and a precast concrete factory.
He said at a meeting of Hanwha E&C and subcontractor executives, “I’m proud of the construction site, which is working as normal, and enthusiastic executives and staff members.” He added, “Iraq will provide more opportunities in our group’s main areas such as construction and petrochemicals, and I ask you to make concerted efforts so that the successful implementation of this project can lead to the landing of additional business opportunities.”
Hanwha E&C was awarded the $8 billion Bismayah city project, the highest value in the history of Korea’s overseas construction. The money is the equivalent to some 10 percent of the average combined value of overseas construction orders the nation lands yearly. The city project calls for the construction of a new satellite city southeast of Baghdad, six times as big as Yeouido, Seoul. It is so big that approximately 1,500 crews from 100-odd Korean SME materials companies and subcontractors will be involved in the construction of the new city.
The Bismayah city project has been dubbed ‘the Korean overseas construction industry’s second resurgence in the Middle East,’ and the Korean government is paying keen interest to the implementation of the project since it is expected to contribute to creating more jobs in keeping with the Park Geun-hye government’s policy goal of building the “creative economy.”
Shin Wan-chul, Hanwha E&C managing director, told attendees at a seminar on May 3 sponsored by Rep. Lee Jong-jin, who sits on the National Assembly Land, Infrastructure and Transport Committee, that the Iraqi reconstruction project involves some 100 SMEs and 1,500 Korean workers as well as created 550,000 man-days, becoming a model of shared growth among large- and small-sized companies.
Chairman Kim had toiled through the whole process of winning the massive project, which will take seven years to build 100,000 housing units and urban infrastructure, by touring the site on numerous times. Kim made a trip of Iraq and discussed the construction of the city with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamil Al-Maliki last year.
Kim’s positive drive and deep networking with Iraqi ranking officials led to Hanwha E&C’s landing of the city project, but his long-standing absence has had a negative impact on mutual trust and the company has had hard times in garnering additional orders from Iraq, business analysts said. In reality, Hanwha has not gotten any word on additional orders worth some $10 billion to build power plants, refining facilities, schools, and hospitals from Prime Minister Al-Maliki, with which Chairman Kim has been on friendly terms.