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Sembawang E&C bags $400m IR contract

SEMBAWANG Engineers and Constructors (SEC) has been awarded a $400 million contract by Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd to build the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort’s (IR) North Podium comprising the casino, theatres and retail arcade.

But with a construction period of just 15 months, pressure will already be on Singapore’s biggest construction company to start work soonest possible.

Saying that the timeframe is ‘pretty tight’, SEC president and CEO Alwyn Bowden added: ‘The Marina Bay Sands (MBS) North Podium is a fast-track project which will require our dedicated attention.’

In November 2007, SEC was also awarded a $463 million contract for architectural, civil and structural works at the Bayfront MRT station in Marina Bay.

Mr Bowden added: ‘We are especially well placed to handle (the MBS) project as we are also constructing the new Downtown Line Bayfront MRT station in Marina Bay, which will connect directly to the resort’s MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) centre.’

The MBS project involves building the substructure and superstructure of the North Podium, and will have four upper levels and a four-storey basement.

Work is expected to start this month and is set for completion in April 2009.

Apart from maintaining a 24-hour construction site, fast-tracking construction will also require coordination with various parties involved who will invariably have inputs. Mr Bowden explained that they have to ‘make sure changes do not impact on construction process’.

On the complexity of the project, and the possibility of delays, he said: ‘We have tried to cover whatever eventuality that may arise.’

As far as equipment and building materials are concerned, Mr Bowden is confident that its supply chain management has sources and prices under control. ‘We have not found materials to be a problem,’ he added.

Mr Bowden could not say how many other construction companies had been in the running for the coveted contract, but he did say that there was ‘an emphasis on price’, when it came to bidding.

However, with construction company services in high demand at the moment, the days of ‘razor- thin margins’ are over.

Mr Bowden added: ‘For construction companies, the volume (of work) means that one can look around and be a bit more choosy.’


Source: Business Times 15 Feb 08


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