Korea General Corporation for External Construction

UPDATE: Lots of great information in the comments.

ORIGINAL POST: According to Naenara (Link won’t work from South Korea):

The Korea General Corporation for External Construction (GENCO) is a professional enterprise for overseas construction.

GENCO has gained a good reputation from many countries around the world as a credible constructor with a long history of 50 years since its inauguration in January 1961.

It has scores of affiliated building enterprises involving a number of designers, building operators and skilled workers as well as foreign languages and other experts.

GENCO has built lots of dwellings and public establishments in Kuwait, and recently completed the 64-storied Al-Fardan Tower, an ordered project, in a short span of time in Qatar.

GENCO is looking forward to contracts for construction projects such as dwelling houses, public buildings, metros, tunnels, bridges, airports, harbours and stadiums in different countries in diverse forms such as the whole construction work and dispatch of skilled workers.

I had assumed that all overseas constructions projects were under the auspices of the Mansudae Overseas Development Group (MODG), but it appears that there is a rival firm picking up construction contracts.  This would not be surprising since the DPRK often duplicates functions so that the leadership is not reliant on a singe source of information and revenue–plus a little competition between agencies offers the employees an incentive to increase profits which they can remit back to Pyongyang.  It could also be the case that th GENCO and MODG have split the market.  MODG sticks to monuments and GENCO sticks to more traditional construction projects.

Pictured below is a Google Earth image of the Al Fardan Towers in Doha, Qatar (25.320952°, 51.529404°):

I am not sure to what extent GENCO was involved in the project. They claim to have built one of the towers, but I find it hard to believe that they built the whole thing lock, stock, and barrel since it would be impossible to develop the necessary skills in the DPRK. Additionally, there are no comparable buildings in the DPRK.  In all liklihood, GENCO is a company that simply provides construction workers who are low cost and travel from job to job remitting their hard currency earnings back to the DPRK.

Here are some, though not all, previous posts about other construction projects by MODG or GENCO.  Although I have not published it, I have an extensive list of these projects on Google Earth.

If a reader is aware of GENCO’s construction projects in Kuwait, please let me know.

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  • Petter

    They appear to be a general contractor or subcontractor of some sort, look up Arab Korean General Contracting in Abu Dhabi, UAE or other companies that appears to be local GENCO subsidiaries. They also hire foreign/local workers for these enterprises. So somebody should have been in contact with them and know a little more about them.

    It looks like Genco Builders & Contractors is their local branch in Qatar I think and that they might have been involved in the Al Sulaiti Tower project in some way probably in making the concrete base of it for some of the buildings I guess that’s just across the Al Fardan Towers. They also appear to have built residential housing buildings in Abu Dhabi. Arab Korean General Contracting appears to have been established in 2001. Can’t guess or gather how important or large (man-force) these companies are though. I think they would treat them like any other low paid foreign workers. Kuwait should be pretty important for them though, reportably there is thousands of N Koreans there. According to reports the workers in UAE have to give up half their pay to the N/DPR Korean authorities and have 150-200 USD left over a month as their pay. From what I gather they are probably the ones that are the highest payed. But the financial crisis that hit that region hard shouldn’t have been fun for them.

  • Schlectowski

    Details of the building indicate that the design expertise was not from North Korea – RWDI Anemos Ltd consulting engineers, Dar Al-Handasah consultants, and architect Arab Engineering Bureau – http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/cx/?id=111579

  • Monique

    The following information is listed on Google:

    Project: Al-Fardan TowersLocation: West Bay, DohaFloor count: 26 + 40Type: Com + ResTotal built up area: 110,116 sq mStatus: Under constructionConstruction start: 2005Construction end: 2006Client: Alfardan Real Estate CompanyConsultants: Arab Engineering Bureau (architectural), Dar Al Handasah – Shair and Partners (structural) and Tekem (services)Contractor: Construction Development Company
    The link for this Ad is:  http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=402212

    I would say that this aspect of GENCO’s multi-facet corporation is listed in the “Partners (structural).

    I find it hard to believe that a corporation would risk their business license and ability to work with other corporations overseas by make a false claim on thier website.  I believe that GENCO is telling the truth on this one.

    In addition, the corpation headquarters is listed in Canada.

    As far as your detailed knowledge on overseas contruction organizations.  It is possible for companies to obtain Defense Logistcal contracts (i.e. U.S. Army) and build infrastructures on military bases using Americans as their labor force.  In this manner they (GENCO) would have to obtain any other authorization or approval.  If they obtain a DOD Defense contract no agreement with DRPK nor MDOG is required.  Be advised that the U.S. mility is currently in Doha, Qatar where the building you question is located. 

    Just giving you some food for thought

    • Monique

      ERRORS IN INITIAL POSTING!  Here is the same information with corrections reposted:

      The following information is listed on Google:Project: Al-Fardan TowersLocation: West Bay, DohaFloor count: 26 + 40Type: Com + ResTotal built up area: 110,116 sq mStatus: Under constructionConstruction start: 2005Construction end: 2006Client: Alfardan Real Estate CompanyConsultants: Arab Engineering Bureau (architectural), Dar Al Handasah – Shair and Partners (structural) and Tekem (services)Contractor: Construction Development CompanyThe link for this Ad is: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/…I would say that the Korean aspect of GENCO’s multi-facet corporation is listed in the “Partners (structural)”.I find it hard to believe that a corporation would risk their business license and ability to work with other corporations overseas by making a false claim on thier website. I believe that GENCO is telling the truth on this one for that reason alone.In addition, the corporation headquarters is listed in Canada.As far as your detailed knowledge on overseas contruction organizations. It is possible for companies to obtain Defense Logistcal contracts (i.e. U.S. Army) and build infrastructures on military bases using Americans as their labor force. In this manner they (GENCO) would not have to obtain any other authorization or approval. If they obtained a DOD Defense contract no agreement with DRPK nor MDOG is required. Be advised that the U.S. military is currently in Doha, Qatar where the building you’re questioning is located. Just some food for thought.

  • Monique

    The following information is listed on Google:

    Project: Al-Fardan TowersLocation: West Bay, DohaFloor count: 26 + 40Type: Com + ResTotal built up area: 110,116 sq mStatus: Under constructionConstruction start: 2005Construction end: 2006Client: Alfardan Real Estate CompanyConsultants: Arab Engineering Bureau (architectural), Dar Al Handasah – Shair and Partners (structural) and Tekem (services)Contractor: Construction Development Company
    The link for this Ad is:  http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=402212

    I would say that this aspect of GENCO’s multi-facet corporation is listed in the “Partners (structural).

    I find it hard to believe that a corporation would risk their business license and ability to work with other corporations overseas by make a false claim on thier website.  I believe that GENCO is telling the truth on this one.

    In addition, the corpation headquarters is listed in Canada.

    As far as your detailed knowledge on overseas contruction organizations.  It is possible for companies to obtain Defense Logistcal contracts (i.e. U.S. Army) and build infrastructures on military bases using Americans as their labor force.  In this manner they (GENCO) would have to obtain any other authorization or approval.  If they obtain a DOD Defense contract no agreement with DRPK nor MDOG is required.  Be advised that the U.S. mility is currently in Doha, Qatar where the building you question is located. 

    Just giving you some food for thought

  • Monique

    The following information is listed on Google:

    Project: Al-Fardan TowersLocation: West Bay, DohaFloor count: 26 + 40Type: Com + ResTotal built up area: 110,116 sq mStatus: Under constructionConstruction start: 2005Construction end: 2006Client: Alfardan Real Estate CompanyConsultants: Arab Engineering Bureau (architectural), Dar Al Handasah – Shair and Partners (structural) and Tekem (services)Contractor: Construction Development Company
    The link for this Ad is:  http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=402212

    I would say that this aspect of GENCO’s multi-facet corporation is listed in the “Partners (structural).

    I find it hard to believe that a corporation would risk their business license and ability to work with other corporations overseas by make a false claim on thier website.  I believe that GENCO is telling the truth on this one.

    In addition, the corpation headquarters is listed in Canada.

    As far as your detailed knowledge on overseas contruction organizations.  It is possible for companies to obtain Defense Logistcal contracts (i.e. U.S. Army) and build infrastructures on military bases using Americans as their labor force.  In this manner they (GENCO) would have to obtain any other authorization or approval.  If they obtain a DOD Defense contract no agreement with DRPK nor MDOG is required.  Be advised that the U.S. mility is currently in Doha, Qatar where the building you question is located. 

    Just giving you some food for thought

  • Monique

    Here’s another truth.  I’m not too worried about the North Korean economy.  I was stationed in South Korea for a total of 5 years.  Let me tell you how North Korea is holding American hostage buy its’ purse strings.

    As you know the Korean War does not have a Peace Treaty; hince the standoff at the DMZ.

    North Korea will not allow America to dig for bodies on the North Korean side.  There are POWs Prisioner of War that are dead and their remains just so happen to be on the North Korean side. Again, North Korea will not allow America to dig over there.

    However, whenever they need money $$$ they contract with America for approximately $2,000,000.00 USD to allow America to dig.

    As a result, of this financial hostage by North Korea we have found American deceased veterans over in North Korea.  Whenever there is a “Fallen Commrade” Service in Yongsan Korea we the soldiers are informed about these services.  I personnally attended two of them.

    One piece of American body part was found in one case; it was a finger (just one finger) yet it was in a full casket with the Army flag over it.  The Army was able to identify the finger and was shipping the casket off to next of kin.   

    So we military Americans in South Korea know that North Korea only allows us to dig for our vetrans in North Korea when they need some money.  It is $2 million everytime.


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