When Thailand initiated tenders back in 2008 to establish the country’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, a host of global powerhouses threw their hats into the ring to win the $560 million project.
The selection of Thailand’s PTT LNG surprised people because it was a consortium headed by GS Engineering & Construction (E&C) _ Korean builders have never garnered deals on LNG terminals in the global markets.
Some critics raised concerns on whether GS and its partners including the state-run Korea Gas Corp. would be able to complete construction in just 40 months at Mab Ta Phut, about 200 kilometers southeast of Bangkok.
The general belief was that it took typically more than 45 months and up to 50 months to complete LNG terminals.
Yet, GS has dissipated the skepticism in convincing fashions as the Seoul-based contractor is just about to finish the construction of the terminals, which will have an initial capacity of 5 million tons per year.
“We are almost there. The terminals will be accomplished this month to start the test runs in the near future. We are striving to put the facilities into commercial operation this year,’’ a GS official said.
“In particular, we have taken charge of all the processes from the design to the final construction. On the back of this project, we will be able to make a brisk foray into the lucrative gas plant markets dominated by players in advanced nations.’’
After snatching the Thailand deal, GS could have been awarded other projects on the LNG plants elsewhere. For instance, the company minted a $2.2 billion agreement in United Arab Emirates and a $264 million one in Oman both in 2009.
GS regards the LNG plants and terminal businesses as one of its future cash cows on the global scene. The entity has avidly sought after globalization and this year it hopes to chalk up more than half of its orders from abroad.
GS Chief Executive Officer Huh Myung-soo has iterated the significance of becoming a genuine global player.
“GS E&C has established its status as a top-ranking company domestically since its foundation in 1969 by achieving tremendous growth in the fields of architecture, civil engineering, housing, plant, environment and power plant,’’ Huh said on the outfit’s website.
“Through continuous development of its human resources, acquisition of technology, determined challenges and practices, GS E&C has set forth the stepping stones to leap as a leading global company.’’