LIG links Mongolian steppe

By Kim Tae-gyu

LIG Engineering and Construction (E&C), one of the top-tier builders here in Korea, is changing the face of the Mongolian landscape, creating a highway, which traverses the central Asian country.

The Seoul-based company said Wednesday that the construction works are faring well to pave a 176 kilometer-long two-lane road from Choir, situated around 260 kilometers southeast of Ulaanbaatar, to Sainshand adjacent to the capital.

This May, LIG E&C won a $43.87 million order for the road in a hard-fought contest involving global players from China and Russia. The entity broke ground of the Mongolian government’s biggest-ever construction project in September.

``The jobs are underway as planned. We will complete them by 2012, which will substantially improve transportation in Mongolia as well as help the country preserve its ecologically-significant prairie,’’ LIG CEO Kang Hee-yong said.

As of the end of 2009, Mongolia had some 200,000 kilometers of roads across the nation with a mere 5 percent of them sealed. Hence, vehicles cannot run during the rainy season.

This devastated the prairie because motorists tend to drive on the pastures during the monsoon seasons. The Choir-Sainshand connection is expected to reduce such headaches to a large extent.

The road does not just concern Mongolia’s domestic issues but is also related to the so-called Great Asian Highway that involves more than 30 countries to connect Europe and Asia by land transport.

LIG CEO Kang said that the company will continue to strengthen its footing on the global scene, especially in nearby Asian countries, in the future.

``The sky’s the limit for the potential of Mongolia. We will impress it through completing the highways in perfect fashion,’’ said Kang who took the reins of the corporation last year.

``From the perspective of a builder, central Asian nations including Mongolia are rich in upside potentials. Because the infrastructure is not well established in the wide territory, their prospects are good.’’

Kang’s top priority in globalization is to be woven into the cultural fabrics of targeted countries to gain local relevance.

``We need to optimize systems tailored toward each country, taking advantage of local staff, facilities and resources. This will minimize risks while maximizing efficiency,’’ Kang said.

``Based on thorough research, we are required to understand targeted markets to come up with tailor-made strategies. We should not blindly seek short-term benefits, to become the real partners of our customers.’’

Established in 1967, LIG E&C has remained a first-string constructor in Asia’s No. 4 economy. It is widely known by its brand LIGA.


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