POSCO E&C leads projects in Latin America

By Seo Jee-yeon

Builder seeks to diversify portfolio beyond steel mill, power plant construction

  • Published : Jun 2, 2014 - 20:50
  • Updated : Jun 2, 2014 - 20:51
It would be an understatement to say 2013 was a watershed year for POSCO Engineering & Construction, which has the ambitious goal of becoming one of the world’s top 10 global builders by 2020.

The accumulated overseas orders for the company in Latin America, one of the builder’s key target overseas markets, exceeded $10 billion last year, according to the International Contractors Association of Korea, using data compiled between 1965 and 2013.

The $10.1 billion was a record for a South Korean construction company. 

Among the total, South Korean builders received a cumulative $24.4 billion in Latin American orders, indicating that POSCO E&C was a dominant player in the region. Altogether, the company heralded a 41.4 percent market share by order volume.

“The company’s seven-year-long effort to gain a strong foothold in Central and South America bore fruit faster than expected,’’ a POSCO E&C executive said.

The construction arm of POSCO, the world’s sixth-largest steelmaker, has a strong edge in constructing steel mills and power plants. Based on this strength, the company entered the Latin American energy plant market in 2006 with a $600 million rolling mill construction deal from Brazilian CSS. 
The Kallpa combined cycle power plant with an 830-megawatt capacity is located 60 kilometers south of Lima, Peru. POSCO E&C completed the $350 million plant construction project in 2012. (POSCO E&C)

POSCO E&C’s businesses in Latin America were highlighted around the world in 2011 when the builder won a more than $4 billion project to build the Brazil CSP Steel Plant Complex, the largest-ever steel plant construction order in Brazil.

“The company took the unbeaten path at a time when other builders were making a rush for the Middle East,” the company said of its success in Latin America.

On the back of this regional success, POSCO E&C’s top management was able to spur expansion into other regions.

“Asia, in particular, is an important market that we believe will contribute to raising the proportion of overseas sales to 70 percent from the current 49 percent,’’ a company official said.

“The company is currently diversifying its business portfolio into other areas beyond the energy sector, including urban development and other civil sectors.’’

Vietnam is cited as one of the builder’s key target markets in Asia. Since entering Vietnam in 1995, POSCO E&C has built two landmark structures ― the Diamond Plaza complex, its first luxury shopping center in Ho Chi Minh City, and the Poslilama Steel Plant in Long Than, 60 kilometers from the capital.

Last year, the builder won a $48.69 million project to build a highway in Ho Chi Minh from Dau Giay Highway.

By Seo Jee-yeon (