On March 26, Samsung C&T Engineering & Construction (E&C) Group won the contract to build a section of the Cross Island Line in Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system. This line, the eighth in the MRT system, connects the eastern and western parts of Singapore, and this section, dubbed the CR112 project, consists of an interchange station connected to an existing station and a 1.79km-long tunnel around the residential Hougang area.
Samsung C&T E&C Group was successful in winning this contract thanks to its relevant experience constructing underground infrastructure in Singapore and its excellent project management ability. Let’s take a closer look at what supported the company to win this bid.
Related experience: Source of competitiveness
In order to excavate the underground tunnel for project CR112, the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) method will be used for the entire section. The TBM digs a tunnel all at once, making its cross-section circular, while removing rocks and debris from the front via conveyor belt. Importantly, it minimizes the environmental impact of noise and vibrations while increasing safety, as the circular shape of the resulting tunnel keeps it stable. For long tunnel projects, the construction period is shortened and costs are reduced.
Samsung C&T E&C Group has completed several tunneling operations using a TBM for underground infrastructure projects in Singapore, including the T307 project and a Cable Tunnel. In the T307 project case, it succeeded in excavating a 2,687 m long underground tunnel by the TBM without any accidents.
The company has also previously conducted subway construction near the site of project CR112. In 2002, it completed an MRT station and underground tunnel in the North-East Line, which was called the C703 project. The CR112 project includes the transformation of that station to an interchange station.
Based on all these experiences, Samsung C&T E&C Group prepared a competitive construction proposal and succeeded in winning the contract and the trust of the client.
Proven project management ability: Driving force of success
Because of the location of a residential town near the site of the CR112 project, it is important to communicate with residents and stakeholders, as well as to construct safely in a small area of land.
Samsung C&T E&C Group has already carried out similar projects in Singapore. The Thomson-East Coast Line T307 project was executed in an area near large buildings and luxury houses, as well as busy traffic. The company took pains to engage with stakeholders like residents and related authorities by forming a team devoted to the task of communication.
Also, it utilized Building Information Modeling (BIM) for planning construction and employed the top-down method that finishes the ceilings of the subway first before continuing with the lower sections. As a result, the number of necessary road diversions was reduced, speeding the construction process and minimizing disruption to the local community.
Last year, the site received 3 awards from Singapore’s Land & Transport Authority (LTA) at the 2020 Annual Safety, Health and Environmental Award Convention (ASAC): the Construction Safety Excellence Award, the Accident-Free Recognition Award, and the Workplace Health Award.
When executing the T313 project, Samsung C&T E&C Group was required to divert waterways and roads several times during construction. In order to achieve this, the team had to convince and gain the individual approval of water, power, telecommunications and road authorities in advance, and quickly complete the tasks within a limited time.
This project also won recognition at the ASAC, this time in two categories: Construction Safety Merit and Accident-Free Recognition. Also, the project achieved 10 million accident-free work hours last November.
As can be seen, proven project management abilities were a major driving force to win this latest contract.
Samsung C&T E&C Group has completed or is currently carrying out 15 projects ordered by the LTA in Singapore. Project CR112 started in March this year and is set to be completed by December 2029. A Samsung C&T official said, “In winning this contract, we have proved our competitiveness in carrying out infrastructure projects in Singapore,” adding, “We will repay the client’s trust by safely executing this project.” We can look forward to seeing more of Samsung C&T E&C Group’s work appearing on the infrastructure map of Singapore in the future.