Consolidated Contractors Company – Building a New Future

As the largest construction company in the Middle East, Consolidated Contractors Company has modified its business model to prepare for the post-Covid market conditions.

Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) ranks amongst the top 25 international contractors, with offices and projects in over 40 countries. With its origins going back to 1952, the company has developed into a market leader with its hallmark on prestigious, multi-billion construction projects in the region and beyond.

“We have been partners to governments and private players to help complete complex construction projects of strategic importance,” says Samer Khoury, CCC’s Chairman and son of the founder.

Recent highlights include participation in a $10 billion project for lines 1 and 2 of the Riyadh metro network that will form part of the six-line metro system running for a total length of 176 kilometres across the city and include 85 stations; as well as participation in the construction of the Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC) at Abu Dhabi airport. This world-class building was designed to accommodate up to 27 million passengers annually in order to meet the future needs of one of the fastest-growing airports in the world. The construction contract for this landmark project worth $3 billion was signed between Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) and the TAV-CCC-Arabtec Joint Venture.

But it has not been all about profit and growth. CCC’s solid sustainability strategy and focus on green construction has become a corporate and economic advantage with proven business cases and a heightened sense of responsibility. The many environmental industry awards CCC has won reflect its long-term commitment to embedding sustainability into all aspects of its work.

Mr Khoury explains that sustainability, together with CSR, are key aspects of the business, and environmental aspects are reflected in most of the company’s projects. Just recently, CCC has been given an award for its work on the Msheireb Station, the cornerstone of Doha Metro in Qatar, receiving two prestigious Green Building certifications: LEED Gold and GSAS 5 Stars. Another remarkable project that the company completed, the Palestinian Museum in the town of Birzeit, north of Jerusalem, opened in 2016, received the highest LEED certification in the Middle East.

CCC has also won awards for its Ghazeer gas field project in Oman, completed ahead of time. Although the project was expected to begin production in early 2021, the first gas from the field has been delivered four and a half months early. “For delivering this major project ahead of schedule, CCC received a letter of thanks from Oman’s Minister of Oil as well as the company management, and at the same time collected two awards – for Quality and Safety, having recorded approximately 19.6 million man-hours without a lost-time injury,” says Mr Khoury.

Changing the game

Still, he admits that despite its impressive footing, the company has not escaped the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is now important to analyse the changes in the construction industry to make sure that the sector is better prepared for similar scenarios in the future.

“While the construction sector has been less affected than others, scars from Covid-19 run deep. At the beginning of 2020, CCC was involved in hundreds of construction projects in some 40 countries, but basically, in 2020 our business has been cut by half compared to last year – from a $4 billion turnover down to $2 billion, and from 140,000 people worldwide down to 70,000.”

“The bottom line is that most jobs have been significantly delayed. As clients now push for completion, we need to work with all the safety regulations, and, to increase safety further, have introduced a number of our own additional rules and safety procedures. For example, we have installed cameras at site entrances that also measure the personnel’s temperature, and provided flu jabs for everyone.”

“Many of our projects are strategic governmental projects and CCC will deliver these projects in accordance with the new safety guidelines protecting all stakeholders during these difficult times.”

Travel restrictions and supply chain disruption have also made construction companies look closer to home, Mr Khoury points out.  While most companies used to procure materials from abroad, mostly from Europe and China now they are looking at alternative sources.

“We have to look local. Maybe we will not be able to secure the very best quality, but at least supply will not be affected. The projects just need to get finished with what is available locally, so that the investment is not lost or delayed.”

Leaner and more resilient

On the social front, the company has faced the Covid-19 challenge upfront – recognizing the significance of diagnostic testing, CCC recently donated 60,000 testing kits to assist with the COVID-19 screening necessities in Palestine, Jordan, Egypt and Kazakhstan. Additionally, in Lebanon, CCC donated 5 ventilators to the Ministry of Health to support the most pressing needs of local hospitals, and 4 ventilators to Palestinian hospitals located near refugee camps to benefit vulnerable sections of society. Also, the company handed over to the authorities some construction camp facilities to assist with the quarantine needs of suspected Covid-19 cases.

Mr Khoury affirms that the company is well aware of the key role its people play in both handling the coronavirus and keeping the business going. “CCC core family values and principles define the framework of our global operations, and our commitment to growth is firmly linked to our commitment to our employees’ continuous development and rewarding careers. Because we are a family-owned company, we have very special relationships with all of our employees. Their loyalty and their skills are core to our progression, and their safety in these difficult times continues to be of paramount importance to us.”

Looking ahead, contractors including CCC have been re-thinking and re-evaluating their internal processes, to make sure they are best adapted to the “new normal”. “We all wish to prevent the situation that happened this year – a 50% drop in revenue is just scary,” notes Mr Khoury. “After much consideration, we have somewhat restructured the company to make it leaner and more efficient. This is not only to offset the impact of the coronavirus but also to increase its competitiveness in the future.”

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