STX is hoping to diversify its business in Ghana, where the company successfully signed a US$10 billion deal in December 2009 to build 200,000 housing units. The company is seeking to advance into industries there, including plants, energy, shipbuilding and distribution. On April 4, STX signed an MOU with the government of Ghana at the STX Marine Center in Jinhae, South Gyeongsang Province in the presence of 50 people, including STX Chairman, Kang Duk-soo and Ghana’s Vice President, John Dramani Mahama. With the signing of the MOU, STX will work together with the government of Ghana to seek more business opportunities there, a place often referred to as the land of opportunity due to its abundant natural resources. Areas of cooperation include energy resources development, such as petroleum and gas, as well as government projects such as the modernization of refineries.
Through the signing of the MOU, the government of Ghana promised to provide land to build plants and construction infrastructure for the company’s housing projects, as well as actively supporting STX in terms of taxes and obtaining necessary licenses and approvals. STX will also cooperate with the government of Ghana in nurturing technology professionals there by participating in the establishment and operation of a tentatively called, “Korea-Ghana Occupational Training Center,” in an effort to nurture professionals in construction, welding, machinery, electricity, civil engineering and distribution. The company plans to construct 200,000 housing units in ten cities around Ghana, a US$10 billion project, and use the MOU as a foundation stone for additional projects in Ghana in the future. “STX will work to create a ‘Better Ghana’ by successfully completing apartment housing projects as well as constructing national infrastructure,” said Kang.
On March 31, Kang met with Joseph Kabila Kabange, President of the People’s Republic of Congo, Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, foreign minister of Congo and Christophe Ngwey Ndambo, the ambassador of Congo in Korea, during their visit to STX’s Offshore & Shipbuilding shipyard in Jinhae. The Congolese President showed great interest in the company since STX is actively expanding its presence in Africa. He revealed that he has great expectations about the projects STX is working on in Africa. Kang and the President talked about the development of mineral resources, electricity generation business and ports during the meeting.
Meanwhile, Kang and Sauli Niinisto, the chairman of the National Assembly of Finland held a meeting at Lotte Hotel in Seoul on April 1, with high executives of STX Offshore & Shipbuilding and STX Business Group, and councilmen of Finland and the ambassador of Finland in Korea present. STX was the only private company this group of visitors from Finland met during their very tight schedule in Korea, highlighting their interest in STX which is actively promoting businesses in Finland through STX Europe.
STX owns three shipyards in three cities in Finland, including Helsinki, Turku and Rauma, and builds various types of vessels there, including large cruise ships, ferries, offshore support vessels, battleships and icebreakers.