[Sponsored Report] Top exec at Hanwha E&C outlines ambitious plans

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[Sponsored Report] Top exec at Hanwha E&C outlines ambitious plans


Kim Hyun-chung (third from left), CEO of Hanwha E&C and Thamer S. Al-Sharhan, CEO of MARAFIQ shake hands after signing a contract.

Hanwha Engineering and Construction recently announced it is seeking to secure an avalanche of orders and become one of the top 100 global construction companies by 2015, setting an ambitious goal of generating 4.5 trillion won in sales each year.

Kim Hyun-chung, the chief executive officer of Hanwha E&C, outlined these goals at the company’s annual management strategy meeting.

As part of these efforts, Kim highlighted five primary strategies going forward, including one to focus on key areas such as overseas business, civil works and reconstruction projects. Hanwha, he said, also will look to develop new growth engines and boost its competitiveness in the realm of technology as well as increase its involvement in the renewable energy field and public environment engineering in the coming years.

On the international front, the company will focus specifically on bolstering its EPC, petrochemical and gas refinery businesses. Hanwha has already entered several markets in the Middle East and plans to use them as a launching pad to expand into nearby regions including Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Additionally, it will look to carve a niche in other areas of the world such as South America.

Furthermore, the company intends to aggressively pursue the nuclear energy business, which requires advanced technology, techniques and know-how from a construction standpoint. This industry segment is regarded as a rather large potential growth engine of the future, making it a high priority for Hanwha E&C.

The company is working to meet industry standards outlined by the Korea Electric Power Industry Code, which will allow Hanwha to join nuclear power plant projects. Kim is personally leading these efforts, helping to identify potential mergers and acquisitions with companies that have the necessary technology.

His plan involves getting the company to a point where it can compete in the international nuclear power plant market in the future.

Hanwha E&C also plans to diversify its overseas presence by capitalizing on the technology and experience it has accumulated at its current operations abroad. Those overseas divisions plan to share their expertise in winning orders throughout the company and promote the firm’s push to enter markets such as the United States and Southeast Asia.

The company is aggressively pursuing power plants and facilities as well as construction and civil engineering projects abroad. In terms of power plants, Hanwha E&C will expand its international petrochemical operations to encompass gas and refineries processes by leveraging its experience in the Middle East to tap markets in Kuwait, Asia and other areas.

The main focus of these efforts is to win large projects and essentially establish a vast and stable network of overseas operations that will help prop up the bottom line.

Another big focus going forward is real estate development. The company has been gaining traction in this area as of late, successfully carrying out projects in Chicago and New York and spearheading a residential development in Honolulu, Hawaii. In early March, it also signed an investment contract with Chicago’s largest developer, the Magellan Group, to jointly develop the Chicago Village Market. The $57 million project involves building a new shopping district covering 20,000 square meters.

In March the company signed two additional agreements with Magellan Group and BKL to team up on large developments in Asia and the Middle East, and it is working with another company on a project at a U.S. military base in Guam. With these contracts, Hanwha E&C opened the door to the sizable U.S. market.

The company has steadily built its business in the Middle East over the past few years, inking deals to build everything from a power and desalination plant in Saudi Arabia to an oil refinery in Algeria to a plant in Kuwait.

Its total overseas business has increased sharply, rising from 300 billion won in orders and 26.8 billion won in sales in 2007 to 1.12 trillion won in orders and 400 billion won in sales last year, cementing its position as a growing global company.

When Kim first stepped in to helm the company as CEO, Hanwha had roughly 400 billion won in orders. Since then, the company has increased its business to 2.2 trillion won in sales and 4.1 trillion won in orders in 2009.

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