Namkwang Engineering & Construction, a South Korean company which has recently been stepping up efforts for inter-Korean economic projects, plans to form a joint venture with a North Korean firm for construction works in the North and other countries.
Namkwang E&C CEO Lee Dong-chul told reporters Tuesday that his company, along with 516 Construction Company in the North, will seek to win construction orders in foreign countries including Angola as well as North Korean cities such as Gaeseong and Pyongyang.
“We signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for joint projects with the North Korean firm late last month,’’ he said in a press meeting. “They could be operated in the form of a joint venture, depending on the final agreement to be signed early next year.’’
Lee added that Namkwang would largely provide capital and construction technologies to the proposed joint-venture company while the North Korean firm would supply labor.
Founded about 50 years ago, 516 Construction Company is the only construction firm in the North Korean border city of Gaeseong where an inter-Korean industrial complex is located. It has constructed apartments in the city with more than 3,000 workers.
“Currently, the firm is building a steel-frame factory in the Gaeseong Industrial Complex including reinforced concrete, tiles and plaster work under a contract with us,’’ Lee said. “Maybe we can take part in construction works in Angola and Libya jointly.’’
Namkwang, which recently got government approval for cross-border projects, has invested some 7.6 billion won ($8.23 million) since October to build the steel-frame factory which would be used for the second-phase construction of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex.
Lee said that his company would also redouble efforts to get more orders for overseas construction in such countries as Angola, Libya and Vietnam next year. Namkwang has received orders worth $1.1 billion along with NIEC, a joint venture in Angola, since 2005.
Established in 1947, Namkwang has carried out a lot of large-scale projects in South Korea and also advanced to foreign countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Philippines for construction of buildings, roads, dams and harbors on the back of its unique technology.