Bei­jing Ur­ban Con­struc­tion Group: Co­op­er­a­tion through Lo­cal­i­sa­tion

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Pan Yingzhao, pol­ished by Mark Zuiderveld

BUCG is ren­o­vat­ing the Mal­dives air­port to meet de­mands in air trans­porta­tion and in­crease lo­cal tourism.

The Mal­dives re­minds peo­ple of co­conut trees and their shad­ows, clear wa­ters and the white sandy beaches. Now, as trav­ellers around the world fly above Malé, the cap­i­tal of the Mal­dives, they see through the cab­i­net win­dows not only pic­turesque scenery but also BUCG'S logo. Bei­jing Ur­ban Con­struc­tion Group (BUCG) Com­pany Lim­ited is here hav­ing ren­o­va­tion and ex­pan­sion works on the air­port to bring about a brand-new air­port to meet a grow­ing air trans­porta­tion busi­ness de­mand and to drive devel­op­ment of lo­cal tourism. BUCG faces dif­fer­ent ge­o­log­i­cal con­di­tions and build­ing re­quire­ments from those in China and needs to over­come all sorts of en­gi­neer­ing and tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties. How­ever, they have greater ex­pe­ri­ence and think­ing on how en­ter­prises achieve lo­cal­i­sa­tion, serv­ing the lo­cal area and pro­mot­ing the re­gional econ­omy.

Re­claim­ing Land from the Sea

“Is the Mal­dives a coun­try along the Belt and the Road?” asked Pres­i­dent Ab­dulla Yameen of the Mal­dives be­fore meet­ing Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping at the Nan­jing Youth Olympic Games in Au­gust 2014. Yes, the Mal­dives, the renowned “Coun­try of Thou­sands of Is­lands,” will be a point of great sig­nif­i­cance along the “Mar­itime Silk Road.”

One month later, on Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping's visit to Mal­dives, un­der the wit­ness of the lead­ers of both coun­tries, BUCG and Mal­dives Air­port Com­pany signed the Pre­lim­i­nary Agree­ment on the Ren­o­va­tion and Ex­pan­sion Project of the Ibrahim Nasir In­ter­na­tional Air­port, mak­ing BUCG the gen­eral con­trac­tor of the largest build­ing project since the Mal­dives

was founded. On April 6, 2016, a grand com­mence­ment cer­e­mony was held in Malé.

Ac­cord­ing to one of­fi­cial in charge of the In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness De­part­ment of BUCG, this project is an F+EPC project (Fi­nance+ En­gi­neer, Pro­cure and Con­struct), con­sist­ing of var­i­ous con­struc­tion ar­eas in­clud­ing a recla­ma­tion project, em­bank­ment project, run­way and tar­mac, fuel tanks and plane re­fu­elling pipe­lines, the nav­i­ga­tional light­ing aid project, and the air­freight ma­te­rial ware­houses. Many con­struc­tion con­tents are not only a first for BUCG but also for Chi­nese con­struc­tion en­ter­prises.

This has posed some dif­fi­cul­ties to the BUCG, renowned as “a State Builder” within the con­struc­tion in­dus­try, which has par­tic­i­pated in na­tional key projects like Ter­mi­nal 3 of Bei­jing Cap­i­tal In­ter­na­tional Air­port, the Ji­nanQing­dao High Way, and the Na­tional Sta­dium.

Recla­ma­tion is the first chal­lenge.

The recla­ma­tion for this air­port is the first co­ral is­land recla­ma­tion project for Chi­nese en­ter­prises in South­ern Asia. In the early phase, BUCG had done lots of re­search and anal­y­sis. As the Chi­nese con­struc­tion in­dus­try was not in­volved in recla­ma­tion, a de­sign plan sim­ply based on China's ge­o­graph­i­cal and cli­matic con­di­tions didn't work there. This poses a chal­lenge to the en­ter­prise's project man­age­ment and com­mu­ni­ca­tion with an in­ter­na­tional project owner. The Chi­nese man­age­ment team in the Project De­part­ment has taken the ini­tia­tive to have in­ter­na­tional bridg­ing, in­te­grate do­mes­tic and for­eign re­sources, and en­gage AECOM, an in­ter­na­tional team for de­sign con­sul­ta­tion. Sub­con­tract­ing of the de­sign, recla­ma­tion, and site, as well as sea ex­plo­ration have in­volved first-class re­search institutes, de­sign acad­e­mies and com­pa­nies in China. Af­ter tri­als of stan­dards and de­sign, BUCG has worked out a lo­cally suitable en­gi­neer­ing de­sign plan and over­come tech­ni­cal chal­lenges. “All sorts of stan­dards and reg­u­la­tions, whether com­ing from China or for­eign coun­tries, are all equal. How­ever, the best is the one that suits the lo­cal­ity,” said one em­ployer in Project De­part­ment.

In July 2016, ren­o­va­tion and ex­pan­sion of the Mal­dives Air­port be­gan. Yang Yang, deputy di­rec­tor of the Party-pub­lic Work Of­fice of the In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness De­part­ment of BUCG, who once vis­ited the con­struc­tion site, sighed be­cause, dif­fer­ent from the con­struc­tion scenes of a group of Chi­nese work­ers, the recla­ma­tion scene has ma­chin­ery work­ing in re­place of the labour in­ten­sive con­struc­tion. Ma­chines like the sand boats, the bull­doz­ers, and the ex­ca­va­tors are per­form­ing their du­ties to col­lec­tively com­plete a se­ries of works in re­treat­ing and lev­el­ling sands. It is said that by Fe­bru­ary 2017, the recla­ma­tion has fin­ished 70 per­cent and will have com­pleted by the end of June. Other de­signs for foun­da­tion treat­ment, hy­drol­ogy re­search, fuel ware­houses and re­fu­elling pipe­lines are also un­der­way.

Mal­dives Gets Eco­nomic Up­lift

A coun­try with thou­sands of is­lands in the In­dian Ocean, the Mal­dives is glob­ally fa­mous for its tourism and renowned as “a pearl dropped by God.” So far, it has de­vel­oped about 120 tourist is­lands. With an out­put oc­cu­py­ing one third of its GDP, it of­fers 80 per­cent of its for­eign cur­rency earn­ings, while tourism is its main eco­nomic pil­lar.

Due to its ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion, air trans­porta­tion is the ma­jor means for trav­ellers for the en­tire Mal­dives, with the Ibrahim Nasir In­ter­na­tional Air­port as its ma­jor gate­way. As lo­cal tourism has been fur­ther de­vel­oped and

fa­cil­i­ties im­proved, the num­ber of trav­ellers in the fu­ture will main­tain a higher growth rate. It is es­ti­mated that by 2040, pas­sen­ger vol­ume of this air­port will ex­ceed 12 mil­lion peo­ple. Be­cause of its lim­ited scale and hard­ware con­di­tions, the air­port has been op­er­ated in a state of sat­u­ra­tion, un­able to sat­isfy quick growth in needs of air trans­porta­tion busi­ness and pos­ing a se­vere threat to so­cioe­co­nomic devel­op­ment.

Against this back­ground, it is ur­gent to im­ple­ment the air­port's ren­o­va­tion and ex­pan­sion project. It will not only sat­isfy in­creas­ing lo­cal avi­a­tion de­mand but also re­spond to needs of an over­all devel­op­ment strat­egy of the Mal­dives. One of­fi­cial said that fos­ter­ing tourism as its pil­lar in­dus­try was needed to re­verse its out­dated air­port fa­cil­i­ties. The cur­rent 4E run­way is only suitable for mid­sized air­craft like the A320, A300 and oth­ers. The ex­panded run­way is ex­pected to reach the F Level to ac­com­mo­date larger air­craft like the A380, with im­proved trans­porta­tion and re­cep­tion abil­ity.

In re­cent years, docks on more than 50 is­lands across the Mal­dives have been ren­o­vated, with shipping lines dredged. Af­ter ren­o­va­tion and ex­pan­sion, the air­port will have unique mul­ti­modal trans­porta­tion, able to con­duct an in­ner trans­fer of in­ter­na­tional flights, do­mes­tic con­ti­nen­tal flights, sea­planes and speed boats. To reach the Mal­dives, a pas­sen­ger can choose to take a sea plane or a speed boat, play­ing a pos­i­tive role in pro­mot­ing tourism and re­lated busi­ness in the Mal­dives.

In ad­di­tion, air trans­porta­tion makes it eas­ier to go be­yond ge­o­graph­i­cal lim­i­ta­tions and par­tic­i­pate in in­ter­na­tional divi­sion of labour and the in­ter­na­tional econ­omy. Af­ter the air­port's ren­o­va­tion, the Mal­dives will en­hance its abil­ity in at­tract­ing and gather­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity on a global scale. For this, min­is­ter for Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment of Mal­dives, said at the com­mence­ment cer­e­mony that the new air­port will bring a net rev­enue of more than US$4.7 bil­lion to the lo­cal area. At the same time, the con­struc­tion project will pro­mote the lo­cal econ­omy and gen­er­ate around 9,000 jobs. Af­ter its com­ple­tion, it will gen­er­ate about 75,000 jobs for lo­cal tourism and re­lated in­dus­tries, in­creas­ing the employment rate by 20 per­cent.

Achiev­ing Lo­cal­i­sa­tion

The ren­o­va­tion and ex­pan­sion of the air­port will play a pos­i­tive role in de­vel­op­ing lo­cal tourism, air trans­porta­tion in­dus­try, and re­gional econ­omy, tack­ling un­em­ploy­ment and in­creas­ing its in­ter­na­tional com­pet­i­tive­ness. As not only an ex­em­plary project for con­duct­ing co­op­er­a­tion and ce­ment­ing the tra­di­tional friend­ship of both coun­tries, it is also an iconic project of the 21st-cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road for both coun­tries.

This is just one of many of BUCG'S out­bound en­gi­neer­ing projects of­fer­ing ser­vices to lo­cal pro­duc­tion and liveli­hood and pro­mot­ing the lo­cal econ­omy. Oth­ers in­clude the Te­heran Metro in Iran, Kuala Lumpur

City Cen­tre in Malaysia, China-as­sisted Sierra Leone Fixed Biosafety Lab­o­ra­tory, Al­ge­ria Opera House, Costa Rica Po­lice Academy. For over 20 years, BUCG'S staff have es­tab­lished overseas projects with both in­spi­ra­tion and per­spi­ra­tion, con­tribut­ing to the devel­op­ment of that coun­try or re­gion and wit­ness­ing a deep-rooted friend­ship be­tween Chi­nese and peo­ple from other coun­tries.

Presently, BUCG has overseas projects in 21 coun­tries, among which in­clude 12 coun­tries along the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. BUCG has also won the bid of the fifth sec­tion of the ex­press­way project in East Kal­i­man­tan Prov­ince in In­done­sia. This project has a to­tal length of 10.941 kilo­me­tres and as for its de­sign, is bidi­rec­tional with four lanes. Af­ter its com­ple­tion, it will link Sa­marinda, the cap­i­tal of East Kal­i­man­tan and Ba­lik­pa­pan, the sec­ond largest city of the prov­ince, pro­mot­ing in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity within the prov­ince and the re­gional econ­omy.

In June 2016, the As­tana Light rail project in Kaza­khstan be­gan. As a key project of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, it has gath­ered in­ter­est from mul­ti­ple Chi­nese en­ter­prises, with BUCG un­der­tak­ing sub­con­tract­ing of de­sign and civil en­gi­neer­ing. With a to­tal length of 22.4 kilo­me­tres, this project is the first ur­ban light rail in the coun­try, pass­ing by key ar­chi­tec­tural build­ings like the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent, Abu Dhabi Plaza, Min­istry of De­fence and scenic spots, and con­nect­ing the As­tana World Expo Park to be com­pleted this year. Af­ter the com­ple­tion of this project, it will be­come the most tech­no­log­i­cally rep­re­sen­ta­tive ur­ban trans­porta­tion project in Kaza­khstan and even Mid­dle Asia.

As BUCG par­tic­i­pates in more overseas con­struc­tion projects, mak­ing a project sus­tain­ably pro­mote lo­cal devel­op­ment and truly achiev­ing co­op­er­a­tion and win­ning as ad­vo­cated in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive has now be­come a prime power for BUCG to en­hance its ca­pac­ity in build­ing and shift its orig­i­nal project man­age­ment phi­los­o­phy.

“In the past, when we un­der­took some projects in un­der­de­vel­oped coun­tries, we adopted con­struc­tion and man­age­ment meth­ods used in China and fol­lowed draw­ings. How­ever, most of the coun­tries along the Road and Belt Ini­tia­tive are emerg­ing economies, with a fast growth rate and their own tech­ni­cal stan­dards and de­sign reg­u­la­tions. How to merge with them and achieve lo­cal­i­sa­tion is a new is­sue the Chi­nese con­struc­tion in­dus­try has to face.” From the per­spec­tive of many em­ploy­ees in the In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness De­part­ment of BUCG, forg­ing an in­ter­na­tional con­struc­tion team, re­spect­ing lo­cal val­ues, le­gal sys­tem and employment and oth­ers are key el­e­ments in en­sur­ing a smooth run of the project.

This is out­stand­ing in ren­o­vat­ing the Mal­dives Air­port. In the Project De­part­ment are not only Chi­nese em­ploy­ees from BUCG, but also con­struc­tion pro­fes­sion­als from Aus­tralia, France and other coun­tries, and lo­cal per­son­nel un­der­tak­ing the recla­ma­tion. In In­done­sia's ex­press­way project, BUCG and two In­done­sian com­pa­nies formed a con­sor­tium to un­der­take the project, thus hav­ing fully re­alised the lo­cal­i­sa­tion so as to bet­ter com­mu­ni­cate and un­der­stand lo­cal needs dur­ing con­struc­tion.

So far, the key projects re­lated to Belt and Road Ini­tia­tives un­der­taken by BUCG are or­derly un­der­way. “The chal­lenges met dur­ing con­struc­tion also present op­por­tu­ni­ties for the growth of the com­pany.” The BUCG staff said that, dur­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of each project, BUCG will have mu­tual re­spect, mu­tual trust and mu­tual learn­ing of civil­i­sa­tions with the project own­ers, while also im­prov­ing BUCG'S pro­fes­sional abil­i­ties, de­sign and man­age­ment phi­los­o­phy, project im­ple­men­ta­tion and man­age­ment abil­ity, to closely fol­low na­tional poli­cies and be­come a pi­o­neer of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

Opera D'al­ger, con­structed by Bei­jing Ur­ban Con­struc­tion Group, is a best per­for­mance venue in the coun­try

BUCG par­tic­i­pated in the con­struc­tion of the Pearl Build­ing Project in Kuala Lumpur

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