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Plant Construction Pioneer with 72 Years History
As Korea’s first plant exporter and overseas project manager, the plant construction company is rewriting its history by obtaining a lot of recognitions from overseas countries, especially from Saudi Arabia, a plant construction powerhouse
Plant Construction Pioneer with 72 Years History
  • By matthew
  • June 29, 2011, 16:26
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Established in 1939, Daelim celebrates its 72nd anniversary on October 10 this year. According to the Construction Association of Korea, the company has the longest history in the local industry.

On January 28, 1966, Daelim won the Rach Gia Port Pile Driving Project awarded by the Office in Charge of Construction (OICC) of the US. Navy at the expense of US$877,000. In early February of the same year, it remitted a deposit worth US$45,000 to The Bank of Korea, becoming the country’s first construction company to obtain foreign money via overseas operations. In addition, it was Korea’s first construction firm in the Middle East and Korea’s first plant exporter. It established its Saudi Arabian branch in November 1973 and won Aramco’s US$160,000-worth deal to install boilers at an oil refinery. Dong Ah Construction and Hyundai E&C, two other pioneers, entered the market one year and two years later, respectively.

Since then, Daelim has been at the forefront of Korean builders’ foraying into the Middle East market. It was selected to lead an oil shipment facility project in June 1974 and another boiler installation project in July of the same year, both launched in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, it successfully entered the Kuwaiti market on the first day of 1975, when it began machinery maintenance at an oil refinery situated in Shuaiba.

Exactly eight months later it set another trail-blazing record by advancing into the African continent as an oil refinery builder in South Africa. Since then, Daelim has stood out in overseas construction, building plants, dams, roads, ports, public housing complexes etc.,in 24 countries around the world, such as the United Arab Emirates, The Philippines, China, India and Thailand.

In 2010, Daelim won overseas construction orders worth 3.4 trillion won in total, including that for the Yanbu Oil Refinery. At present, the company is involved in 18 projects. In particular, Daelim is moving ahead with eight projects, worth US$6.5 billion in aggregate, in Saudi Arabia, the biggest plant market in the Middle East.

Clients worldwide have placed great trust in the Korean builder. The high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant project launched in 2008 by Kayan of Saudi Arabia is just one example. A Chinese constructor was initially supposed to work on the facility with an annual capacity of 400,000 tons. However, Kayanasked Daelim to take over, claiming that it was the only company capable of meeting the construction deadline and the client’s demands. Daelim took the project over and successfully completed it in December 2010, living up to the expectations of the client.

The IBN Zahr Utilities & Offsite Project is another example. The undertaking to establish a polypropylene production plant and auxiliary facilities in the Al Jubail Complex was chosen as the project of the year in 2008 by Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), a state-owned enterprise from the Middle East nation, for its excellent project management and swift progress. Meanwhile, Daelim applied whole new production technologies to the Saudi Kayan Polycarbonate Project, which was being conducted in the same industrial complex, in order to boost the stability, eco-friendliness and energy efficiency of the manufacturing processes.

Building on such accomplishments, Daelim became a winner yet again in July 2010 during the tender for the Aramco Yanbu Oil Refinery project worth over two trillion won. Industry insiders are forecasting that the corporation will continue to distinguish itself for a long time down the road.

Daelim’s plant business arm has enjoyed high annual growth rates since it topped one trillion won in overseas order acceptance back in 2006. This year, in an effort to nurture new growth drivers and diversify its portfolio, Daelim is newly tapping such markets as nuclear and other types of power generation, industrial equipment, energy and the environment. It is going to make the most of its experience and expertise in the Middle East in order to solidify its market presence there, while continuing to knock on the doors of new markets via thorough risk and market analysis.