There's a new construction powerhouse on the block and it's worth $32bn
Newly-merged China Railway Construction Corporation, the world’s second largest railway manufacturer, opens for trading. Following the recent union of China’s two biggest railway equipment manufacturers, CSR Corp Ltd and China CNR, China Railway Construction Corporation started trading in Shanghai and Hong Kong on June 8.
The debut caused a 12 percent increase in the dual-listed company’s Hong Kong share price. With a market capitalisation of $130bn, the CRRC is bigger than other giants Siemens, Alstom and Bombardier, coming second only to General Electric. The railway industry’s new titan has a total revenue stream of $32bn and a workforce of 118,000.
An aggressive global strategy is said to be in place as CRRC aims to compete in Africa, Latin America and South-East Asia. Given its mammoth size, CRRC has impressive economies of scale at its disposal, which will give it a highly competitive advantage in overseas markets. Within the international setting, this edge balances the superior quality and technology offered by global rivals, thereby giving CRRC time to catch up on this basis also.
“It used to be that CSR and CNR were competing against Bombardier and Alstom; now it has become China versus everybody else,” Alexious Lee, Head of Industrials Research for CLSA told Bloomberg. “China’s products may not boast high-end specifications, but they provide value for money.”
State-owned CNR already began an assertive push into new markets when it won a rolling stock contract with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority last October. The $567m deal was the first of its kind in the US and a symbolic achievement for the Chinese market. CNR had won the contract to supply trains for the Boston railway system by offering the cheapest price in comparison to the other four bids on offer, indicating a sign of things to come in terms of CRRC’s approach.
The deal was backed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the time, who will make overseas sales pitches on behalf of CRRC also, with a particular focus on emerging markets.
Given its business model and the proactive support of the Chinese head of state, it seems that a new era is underway for the industrial railway industry. If CRRC is successful in pushing traditional players aside and stepping up in their place, the global market is indeed headed in a new direction.
China’s Broad Group builds 10-storey apartment in 28 hours
The China-based manufacturing enterprise Broad Group has managed to construct a 10-storey steel apartment building in just over a day. Constructed in the city of Changsha in China, the company used bolt-together modular units known as its “Living Building System”.
A video time-lapse showing the build process. Video: Broad Group.
Broad Group, a manufacturing company based in Changsha, constructs a range of air-conditioning, heating, and prefabricated structural units. It accomplished the challenge in 28 hours and 45 minutes, enlisting help from three cranes and an on-site workforce.
Broad Group’s “Living Building” system
Designed to be easy to transport and install, Broad Group’s “Living Building” system uses components that are able to fit into a standard shipping container, and then be bolted together when they reach the site. Ductwork and wiring are fitted directly by the factory, the company said.
As part of the system, Broad Group’s B-Core steel slabs are used as structural elements which, the company claims are 10-times lighter and 100-times stronger than conventional slabs. The company also says they have the ability to resist earthquakes and typhoons, and that it costs less than a carbon steel building and has low energy consumption.
Broad Group also says that buildings of up to 200 storeys, supertall towers, could be built using the same modules due to the B-Core steel slabs’ strength and lightness.
Other Broad Group projects
Broad Group has completed other significant projects in the past. In 2012, for instance, it attempted to build the tallest tower in the world in Changsha at 838m, which would have made it 10m taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The company claimed it could have made the building, named Sky City, in just eight months. However, due to not receiving approval, it was never built.
In 2015, the company accomplished another “speed-build” challenge, constructing a 57-story tower using the “Living Building system”. It was completed in just 19 days.