Combining one of the world’s most renowned brand names with one of the region’s most accomplished construction portfolios, Samsung C&T (KL) Sdn Bhd continues to contribute to Malaysia’s civil evolution
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Tom Cullum
Between 2012 and 2016, Samsung C&T Corporation’s engineering and construction group subsidiary, Samsung C&T (KL) Sdn Bhd secured six projects simultaneously in Malaysia, accumulating a total contract value close to RM9 billion. Adjacently increasing its workforce to comprise more than 450 dedicated personnel, a subsequent strategic rebranding to Samsung C&T (KL) Sdn Bhd in 2013 has and will continue to see such developments continue in the future as the business looks to better align itself to the values of its parent organisation, and the needs of its clients.
Initially known as Samsung Engineering & Construction (M) Sdn Bhd, incorporated since 5 October, 1990, the business in its current guise remains a 100 percent owned subsidiary of the wider - and internationally renowned - Samsung C&T Corporation. No matter the name though, the vision has remained consistent: “to be responsible for and to deal with all business activities in Malaysia, including to fulfil and to meet all obligations and requirements set by the Malaysian authorities and related business parties”.
Managing Director, Daniel Kim introduces: “Our business operations are fully supported by our regional headquarters based in Singapore and overseen by our Seoul headquarters in term of engineering, financing and management etc. Our business activities in Malaysia offer a full range of services in engineering, procurement and construction in the areas of building, civil infrastructure and energy/power plants; similar to all our offices worldwide.”
In each presence point, Samsung C&T has made a name for itself not just through the end products and stunning constructs, but through its involvement in projects that are vital to each nation’s own economic and social growth ambitions.
“Our focus of interest in Malaysia includes high-rise buildings and large-scale mixed developments (office buildings, residential towers, luxury hotels, shopping malls); energy/power plants (combine cycle gas power plants, coal thermal power plants, hydro power plants, nuclear energy power plants); and infrastructure developments (rail transportation, long-span bridges, dams, ports),” Kim continues.“We are able to provide value engineering, new technologies and a wide range of expertise to support our stakeholders in the construction of challenging and complex projects.
“We are also supportive and respectful of the local business communities and seek to engage in projects where the local market lacks capability and is dependent on our support for technical ingenuity and expertise.”
A melting pot
Clients to have enjoyed this technical ingenuity and expertise over the past 27 years vary from private developers to government bodies; Samsung retaining close engagement, collaboration and communication in every case.
“We listen attentively to our clients’ voices to fully understand and deliver projects which satisfy their needs,” Kim affirms.
And this has been one of the driving philosophies of the business since its inception, channelling the values of its parent organisation into early projects which included the Samsung Electronics Manufacturing Complex at Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban and the Seremban Golf Resort. Five commercial buildings then followed throughout the 1990s including MNI Twins, Lusaka Office Tower, Petronas Tower 2 & Skybridge, Ampang Tower (Menara Maxis), and AIA office Tower; all in Kuala Lumpur.
“The 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers successfully completed in 1997 had become the world’s tallest building at that point in time and also elevated our construction and engineering capabilities in the high-rise building arena,” Kim elaborates regarding the Company’s standout achievement. “During this period, we had more than 400 staff members and was one of the biggest and most active overseas branches.”
The unforeseen 1998 global financial crisis curtailed progress in Malaysia for a 10-year period as attentions turned towards Middle Eastern and neighbouring APAC markets, but by 2010, the country was very much back on the agenda, and from that point on, Samsung C&T hasn’t looked back.
“Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures and we place great emphasis on understanding the needs, values and aspiration of its people,” Kim explains. “In essence, our vision is to become “The Trusted Builder” by operating our business with principles that guide each of our decisions and actions to cultivate trust through long-term relationships and partnerships with our clients and stakeholders; upholding the highest standards of safety, quality and commitment in delivery.
“We assume responsibility for every phase of our work, from conception to completion and we focus deeply on our impact on our clients, communities and the future.”
“We are of the opinion that to win a project we should not limit to compete in price but to also provide technical and commercial value-added, especially via value engineering for the benefits and interests of the client,” Kim states.
This has not only been applied to the aforementioned, iconic Petronas Tower 2 & Sky Bridge, but also to TNB Prai’s 1,071MW combined cycle gas power plant project; further demonstrating the Company’s multi-sector influence. And such an influence can only derive from having one of the most comprehensive and technically astute teams in industry.
Kim continues: “We have very strong engineering and project management team from our headquarters, which always provide full support in term of engineering, financing and management whenever we need assistance. Besides that, it provides a platform to solve and offer advice on all technically challenging issues or problems on site.
“Our project execution team comes with high requirements and standards on safety, quality and commitment in delivery, and not only does this give comfort to the client and their consultant teams, but also eventually cultivates trust amongst the parties which paves the way for the smooth implementation and execution of each project.”
Samsung C&T is currently in the midst of constructing five major projects in Malaysia, leveraging its aforementioned differentiators. These include PNB’s KL118 Tower which, when completed, will become the tallest high-rise tower in Malaysia surpassing the Petronas Twin Towers; the Star Residences in Jalan Yap Kwan Seng which, once completed, will become one of the tallest residential towers in Kuala Lumpur; the Sapura HQ at KLCC Lot 91, a 54-storey office tower with a four-storey convention podium; the UMCity Medini Lakeside mixed development project at Medini, Johor; and the Petronas Regasification Terminal at Pengerang, Johor.
“As the Malaysian Government intends to heavily invest in several major infrastructure-related projects in the coming years, we are very keen for involvement opportunities,” Kim enthuses. “Building and energy/power plant projects have always been our major impetus in Malaysia and there is continued interest in this pursuit.”
Project execution experience
To ensure that every project is delivered on time, within budget, and to the high quality and safety standards expected of Samsung C&T, the Company is just as active on an internal improvement note as it is on the external project front.
Vigorously pursuing strategic investment initiatives that enhance business operations and improve efficiencies is an ongoing process and addresses everything from human capital development, to new equipment and technologies, and facility upgrades.
“We have invested in Building Information Modelling (BIM) to increase work productivity, avoiding preventable rework which provides greater time and cost savings in the long run,” Kim offers as an example. “We also invest in the use of high strength concrete (C95) for our construction methods to further enhance the reliability and safety of the concrete structures, whereby it reduces the congestion of reinforcement and provides better constructability; shortening the floor-to-floor construction time.”
Enacting such innovations is a dynamic Malaysian-based team comprised primarily of local talents from diverse cultural backgrounds. Regularly conducting knowledge transfer programmes to then instil the wider Group’s global experience into these local artisans, the end result is Samsung being recognised as a preferred employer of choice in the region from a career progression, motivation, company passion, and purposeful operations point of view.
As Kim elaborates though, this ethos doesn’t just stop at the Company’s door, but also extends to and throughout Samsung C&T (KL)’s supply chain.
“Through project execution experience accumulated in its 27-year presence in Malaysia, Samsung C&T (KL) Sdn Bhd offers advantages in the hiring of experienced local staff and has also built a strong network of relationships with vendors and suppliers,” he says. “We have advanced integrated supply chain management systems to support our large-scale operation requirements in the region and source from the finest materials and services providers in the market, be it available locally or abroad.
“Our Head Office procurement team have, over the years, also built extensive global supply chain networks and acquired proficiency to procure the highest quality goods and services at competitive prices through corporate partnership arrangements. We also form strategic partnerships with well-established and reputable local firms to support us in our endeavours.”
Total solutions provider
Boasting more than two decades of success in Malaysia, and as one of Samsung C&T’s earliest global offices, the Company’s economic influence in the country is substantial and ongoing. It also serves as an indictment of the Company’s strongly passionate commitment to the support of Malaysia’s long-term future though, and to the country’s infrastructural needs.
Naturally, this becomes the Company’s biggest differentiator when trying to secure new landmark contracts and this authority will only broaden in the years to come as it looks to diversify even more extensively through the refinement of its technological capabilities and impetus.
“We are constantly striving to enhance competitiveness while continuing to ensure customer satisfaction, quality and safety control as a top priority,” Kim affirms.
The latter focus on safety is especially prevalent given the Company’s reputation for providing one of the safest work environments in the industrial community. Having recently been bestowed the HSE Performance Excellence Award from Petronas for achieving 10.5 million safe man-hours with 1,054 lost time injury (LTI) free days at the Petronas Regasification Terminal 2 project in Johor; the Company’s goal to lead by example in exemplifying simultaneous quality and safety has been largely achieved.
This isn’t to say that Samsung C&T (KL) Sdn Bhd will rest on its laurels moving forward though, across either safety or quality parameters.
Kim concludes: “In the future, Samsung C&T (KL) Sdn Bhd will continue to explore new market prospects, strategically invest to increase business operations’ efficiency, and diversify our portfolio to emerge as a total solutions provider with a comprehensive construction value chain that ranges from development, planning, and project management consultancy (PMC) to engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) management and operations.
“We look forward for opportunities to further increase our presence in the region and aspire to become the preferred and trusted builder.”