GS Engineering & Construction Corp. (GS E&C) headquarters in Seoul. [Photo by Yonhap]
South Korea’s leading construction company GS Engineering & Construction Corp. (GS E&C) is expected to be suspended from operations for 10 months following a recent collapse of an underground parking lot at an apartment complex it built in Geomdan New Town in Incheon near Seoul.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport said Sunday that it plans to impose administrative penalties on companies responsible for the design, construction, and supervision in the collapse of the underground parking lot at the Geomdan apartment building.
GS E&C and its contractors will be suspended for up to 10 months as a result. Eight months of suspension will be imposed by the land minister, and the additional two months will be issued by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
Under the country’s framework on construction safety, the land minister can impose a penalty in case of poor construction caused on purpose or by negligence.
An eight-month business suspension is the maximum level of discipline that the minister can levy for a defective construction site without a fatality. If the disciplinary action takes place, GS E&C will not be able to receive any new orders for private apartments including reconstruction and redevelopment projects as well as overseas orders for plants and social overhead capital (SOC) projects involving roads and airports during the period.
The construction industry estimates that GS E&C, which ranks fifth in the industry with a construction capacity valued at 9.59 trillion won ($7.23 billion) this year, will lose trillions of won if it is kept from winning deals for 10 months.
“We apologize once again for failing to meet social expectations and responsibilities,” the company said on Sunday.
The Land Ministry unveiled on the same day that some interior walls were found to lack concrete strength based on its detailed safety inspection of the Geomdan apartment complex. No additional missing beams, however, were found at 83 other construction sites where GS E&C is engaged in the country.
By Yeon Gyu-wook and Choi Jieun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]