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Hyundai E&C completes 36-km long bridge in Kuwait

Posted May. 03, 2019 08:07,   

Updated May. 03, 2019 08:07


Hyundai Engineering & Construction along with GS E&C have completed the world’s second-longest bridge with a total length of 48.5 kilometers named Sheikh Jaber Causeway. The key part of the bridge spanning 36.1 kilometers, which is comparable to the lineal distance between Seoul and Suwon (about 34 kilometers), has been constructed by Hyundai E&C while the separate connecting section of 12.4 kilometers has been completed by GS E&C. It is only 6.5 kilometers short of the longest bridge in the world, the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge (a total length of 55 kilometers) in China.

Hyundai announced Thursday that an event to celebrate the completion of the bridge was held on Monday in Kuwait with more than 400 attendants. Among them were Sheikh Sabah IV Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait, and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon. Named after the preceding Emir of the Arab country, the Sheikh Jaber Causeway crosses over the ocean, connecting the Shuwaikh Port in the south of Kuwait Bay and satellite city Subiyah in the north. It used to take 70 minutes by car to travel between the two areas, but now it takes only 20 minutes with the newly opened bridge.

Hyundai E&C earned the bridge construction project with a local constructor at 2.62 billion U.S. dollars, which amounts to 3.654 trillion won in the current exchange rate, in November 2013. This was the biggest infrastructure construction project won by a Korean constructor since the Great Man-Made River project (a total of 10.1 billion dollars—3.7 billion dollars and 6.4 billion dollars, respectively for the first and second stage) in Libya conducted by Dong Ah Construction, which was dubbed as the “largest construction since the opening of heaven.” The Thomson–East Coast MRT line project (about 1.5 billion dollars) in Singapore under construction by GS E&C is ranked the third.

Hyundai E&C has built two artificial islands of 330,000 square meters in size, each in the southern and northern ends, to build the bridge. The headquarters in charge of the overall management of the bridge and disaster prevention facilities are constructed on the manmade islands.

The South Korean constructor has also put 1,100 concrete stakes that are 40 to 60 meters in height—taller than an average high-rise building—and three meters in diameter in the middle of the ocean of the Kuwait Bay. Then, 1,000 concrete sole plates, each weighing about 1,800 tons, were built on land and transferred to the ocean for installation. To finish the construction before the agreed date, employees deployed to Kuwait had worked around the clock in two shifts.

“Building on the successful completion of the Sheikh Jaber Causeway, Hyundai E&C will be able to gain an advantageous position in winning additional infrastructure projects in Kuwait and the Middle East going forward,” said Park Chan-su, the head of the infrastructure business unit at Hyundai E&C.

Jae-Myung Park jmpark@donga.com