Hanwha lands $203M for country’s biggest contract
Under the contract, which was signed in April, the construction arm of Hanwha is set to build the basic infrastructure, such as schools, hospitals, gas stations, bus terminals and police stations in the Bismayah New City, 10 kilometers (6 miles) southeast of
The payment, which amounts to 10 percent of the value of the deal, was promised at the point of inking the contract. Hanwha said the Iraqi government’s delivery of the prepayment shows its “strong willingness” to proceed with the state-led project, despite a difficult financial situation due to reduced oil prices.
In August, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said they would spend about $4.4 billion on revitalizing agriculture and housing sectors to create more jobs.
The initial order Hanwha gained in 2012 for the Bismayah project was worth $8 billion. With the additional order in May, the leading builder has accumulated a $10 billion deal.
The new city in Iraq is set to have eight blocks. Construction on the first block, which will accommodate 4,320 households, is currently under way. Nearly 550,000 workers from more than 100 Korean subcontractors are working at the Bismayah site.
Hanwha’s success in winning the contracts came after the group’s chairman, Kim Seung-youn, made constant efforts to establish a trust-based relationship with Iraq. At the height of internal friction and war there in 2014, he visited Iraq to meet with government officials and encourage Hanwha E&C employees who were already working there. At the time, many multinational companies were withdrawing from the region due to the unstable geopolitical conditions and danger.
Kim’s focus on the Middle East construction market goes back to the 1970s. He was a managing director and president of the overseas construction division of the construction company before he succeeded his father in 1981.
His experience at the time has helped him realize the importance of restoration and reconstruction projects in the Middle East.
BY SEO JI-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]