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One decade engineering a bustling region

By Philippe Le Saux
-    Oct 01, 2013
Credit : GMI Post

(L-R) Nippon Koei LAC President Kevin Tynes, Chairman Takashi Hiruta, and Technical Director Masanobu Shimosaka

Having overseen several infrastructure projects outside Japan, engineer Yutaka Kubota founded Nippon Koei in 1946 to help in the colossal task of rebuilding his war-devastated country, and later exported its services around the world.

Now the largest Japanese engineering consulting firm, Nippon Koei is operating throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. In addition to its traditional focus on hydroelectric development, it also engineers water and sanitation facilities, seaports, highways, bridges, rural development, airports, and urban transport infrastructure.

Nippon Koei started working in Latin America and the Caribbean in the 1970s, and accelerated its expansion with the creation of Nippon Koei LAC in Peru in 2003. Two years later, it moved its regional headquarters to Panama to gain easier access to the rest of the vast region.

“We are looking to expand by opening fixed offices in more countries, not only on a regional basis. In eight years, we have opened seven offices throughout the region, almost an office per year, and we are aiming for more,” said President Kevin Tynes.

“The LAC region accounts for about 10 percent of Nippon Koei’s overall sales, and last year, we represented 20 percent of global profits,” Tynes also said.

With those figures, Nippon Koei LAC has proven to be one of the most important parts of the Japanese company’s overall operations, with the huge success being attributed to its presence in Panama.

Inaugurated by Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli in August 2013, the Juan Dian Wastewater Treatment Plant is the centerpiece of the Panama City and Bay Sanitation Program. Designed, built, and operated by Nippon Koei LAC, it uses activated sludge technology and has facilities to convert wastewater sludge to electrical energy.

In the country, Nippon Koei LAC completed the first phase of a wastewater treatment project, which was inaugurated by President Ricardo Martinelli, together with the Japanese ambassador and representatives of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.

Nippon Koei LAC is also performing studies for a new line for Panama City’s metro system, the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal and another wastewater system in Colon on the Atlantic coast.

Note: This Special Report on Panama originally appeared in The Japan Times on October 30, 2103 (Credit: Philippe Le Saux

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