China Civil builds on saudi boom

November 2014

China Civil Engineering Group, a top Chinese engineering construction corporation, is cashing in on Saudi Arabia’s construction boom, by building on its core strengths in the railways and civil engineering sector.

Capitalising on its three strengths of technical know-how, financing and cost-effectiveness, the company is currently involved in a number of high-profile projects, the company’s general manager Wen Wu says in a report in the Saudi daily Arab News.

Amongst its current projects are Phase One, Package One of the Haramain High-Speed Railway between the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah; construction of a tunnel at the intersection of King Abdulaziz Road with Palestine Street and Al Hamra Street in Jeddah; and civil and track works from the Az Zabirah Junction to King Khaled International Airport (from Ghassim to Riyadh).

China Civil is also constructing a bridge at the intersection of Arafat Road with Al Kharj Road in Riyadh as well as three bridges at the intersections at Abu Bakar, Hamza and Prince Muteb in Najran.

Established in 1979 as what was once the Foreign Aid Bureau of the Ministry of Railways of China, China Civil evolved into a large-scale state-owned enterprise with the Chinese National Super Grade qualification for railway project contracting. It is now considered a pioneer in international contracting and economic cooperation.

The company has been listed among the world’s top 225 international contractors for many years by the Engineering News Record (ENR).

“Since it completed the Tanzania-Zambia Railway, the biggest economic-aid project undertaken by China in 1960s, the company has been in constant development. At present, its business scope covers project contracting, civil engineering design and consultancy, real estate development, import and export trading and hotel management,” says Wu.

China Civil’s business activities have spread to more than 60 countries in Asia, Africa, America, Europe and Oceania with overseas offices or subsidiaries established in more than 40 countries and regions.

“In recent years, we have achieved rapid development, undertaking numerous key projects ranging from railways, light rail, expressways to bridges, buildings, and municipal works,” says Wu.

The company has signed contracts for many large-scale projects in the past few years, such as Algeria’s 175-km double-line electrified railway project worth $2.19 billion; Abuja-Kaduna (worth $850 million) and Lagos-Ibadan (worth $1.487 billion) railway modernisation projects, Badagery Express Road ($941 million) and the $13.1-billion coastal railway in 2014, all in Nigeria; Ethiopia Mieso-Dawanle-Djibouti Port railways ($1.98 billion); Chad railway network EPC project ($5.631 billion) in 2011; and Niger Railway ($998 million) in 2012.

By the end of 2012, the company had 242 projects with a total contract value of $19.2 billion on its order books, with deals worth $7.46 billion having been newly signed. In that year, it had a core staff strength of more than 4,000 and over 15,000 foreign workers.

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