Finally, STX began a mammoth-size construction project in Ghana of Africa. The company held a ceremony to start the construction project to build 200,000 houses in Ghanaian Police Academy in Accra, the capital city of Ghana on January 27 (local time). The participant of the ceremony were, John Atta Mills president of Ghana, Jeong Jong-hwan Korean minister of land, transport and maritime affairs, Lee Hee-beom chairman of STX Energy and STX Heavy Industries, Park Im-dong president of STX Construction, Lee Sang-hak Korean ambassador to Ghana, and Margaret Clarke-Kwesie the Ghanaian ambassador to Korea along with local residents.
The Ghanaian National Housing Project is a huge project to build 200,000 houses in ten major cities in Ghana such as Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi. The project is valued at around US $10 billion dollars, one of the biggest-ever in Africa for a Korean builder. STX is planning to first build 30,000 houses by 2015 with the initiating ceremony as the start of the project. The construction of other 170,000 houses will be completed in accordance with Ghanaian people’s demand for houses grow and the Ghanaian government policies are implemented.
“This project is a truly historic moment when the dream of a ‘Better Ghana’ is realized by the will of the Ghanaian government and the passion of STX,” said Lee Hee-beom chairman of STX Energy and STX Heavy Industries. “We will complete this project successfully so that this project will be a good model for foreign companies to participate with us in future projects developing the African nation.”
The 30,000 houses in the first phase of the project will be supplied to the police officers and the military personnel by the Ghanaian government. In Ghana, a law stipulates that the government should provide housing for its security agency officials such as soldiers and police officers. Over the past two years, the Ghanaian government had difficulties in housing security agency officials due to the lack of houses. So, it is the government’s plan to provide 20,000 houses for the police officers and 10,000 houses for the soldiers.
Out of the other 170,000 houses, 60,000 houses will be funded by Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), and local governments. HFC Bank will supply 110,000 houses to public servants and other people through mortgages.
The Ghanaian government will provide STX with land for this project free of charge as it plans to supply good-quality houses to its people. Therefore, STX will be able to cut down on time and money to secure land. In addition, the Ghanaian government exempts tax on materials for this particular construction project. This is after establishing a special law on the project at its national assembly last August.
STX also secured stable funds for the project. The Ghanaian government will guarantee payment of bonds. STX will also utilize policy funds such as the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) and the Global Infra Fund. The Korean government played a major role in helping STX receive this giant order from Ghana while making steady efforts for developing Africa and other potential regions.
Officials in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, and the Ministry of Knowledge Economy of Korea carried out a lot of diplomatic activities by meeting with high-ranking officials of African nations such as Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“The Korean government’s efforts paid off for Korean companies doing business in Africa,” said an employee of STX. “Korean companies that are making a foray into the African market are able to get a lot of supports from the Korean government.”