Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thai companies win major Nigerian engineering contract


PHUSADEE ARUNMAS

A consortium of leading Thai architectural and engineering companies yesterday signed a deal with Supra Energy and Power City, the developer of the 48-billion-baht Energy City in Lagos, Nigeria, to handle the project's master plan and architectural design.

The value of the contract was not disclosed, but a source close to the deal said the Siam Design Consortium would earn several million baht.

Siam Design Consortium includes five architectural and engineering companies: Dhevanand Co, Siam Oriental Development, Ongsa Architects, RAFA Design Office, and EEC Engineering Network.

Notable projects by the consortium to date include Suvarnabhumi Airport, the Dubai Metro, the Asian Games Village in Doha, Qatar, and the Millennium Hilton in Bangkok.

The Energy City, located in the Badagry Division of Nigeria's financial hub, would be designed as an ''eco-city'' with a focus on the efficient use of energy, electricity, water, waste water treatment and cooling.

A green integrated utility system (GIUS) would be the system model for sustainable project development with resources recycled as much as possible.

According to Lai Mohammed, director of Supra Energy and Power City, the Energy City will be a fully integrated business centre for the oil and gas industry, providing world-class facilities such as a convention centre, hotels, luxury villas, schools, mega-malls and medical facilities.

The 670-hectare site aims to increase investment in the country, and is positioned to be the first integrated energy hub in the region.

Construction would take about three to four years.

Chalay Kunawong, an architect with Ongsa Architects, said the contract would also help enable Thai architects and engineers to secure more overseas contracts in Asia and the Middle East.

He said the consortium expected to use the services of related Thai construction material firms and contractors.

According to Mr Chalay, construction is booming, particularly in the Middle East, as the region is gearing up to shift to real estate and tourism to offset depleting oil reserves.

However, he warned that to ensure success, Thai architects and engineers must upgrade their standards and be flexible to meet customer demand.

Sathirut Tandanand, managing director of Dhevanand, said the contract was expected to pave the way for Thai operators to win contracts in other mineral-rich African countries including Benin, Cameroon and Co

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