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Six emerging market building projects to watch in 2015

The International Monetary Fund predicts that 70% of world growth will come from emerging markets in the coming years, and building and construction is going to be a big driver of it. Over half of the world’s construction work already takes place in emerging markets, and this share is only going to go one way.

Here are six projects from emerging and growing markets around the world that are set to make headlines in 2015:

The KL118 Tower (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

The KL118 tower, named after the city it is in and the number of floors it will have, is a $1.4bn skyscraper project that will surpass the Petronas Twin Towers as Malaysia’s tallest building when it opens in 2020. The Malaysian government was not at all involved in the decision to build KL118, which will offer 400,000 sqm of residential, office and hotel space – it is an entirely commercial project commissioned by Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), the country’s biggest fund management company.

In June 2014, the Finnish company Kone won a contract to supply the tower’s 105 elevators and escalators. More key deals for the tower were to be announced by the end of 2014, but this has been extended to the second quarter of 2015, giving potential contractors more time to prepare their bids. The tower’s owners have made it a condition that any foreign bidders form a 60-40 joint venture with a Malaysian company. 

National Capital Integrated Coastal Development Project (Jakarta, Indonesia)

When a 2007 flood breached Jakarta’s sea defences for the first time, planners in Indonesia's capital fully woke up to the fact that without action, it could find itself submerged in a matter of decades. Plans were put in place, committees were formed and experts were consulted for the next six years (during which the water got in again, in 2013, flooding a river and causing $580m worth of damage), and finally in October 2014 Indonesian officials unveiled a huge flood defence and land reclamation project, the National Capital Integrated Coastal Development.

As well as a $263m sea wall, the most eye-catching part of this grandiose and long-term scheme (pencilled in for a 2030 completion date) is a plan to create 17 artificial islands.  Not only would these islands and the wall protecting them serve as a barrier for the rest of Jakarta, they would also offer a chance to build houses, offices and facilities for up to a million people. Estimates of the total spend on the islands project range from $40 billion to $50 billion, with building work forming a large part of that.

While the islands plan still requires fine-tuning, it could help Jakarta’s authorities address rising seas and a rising population in one spectacular project.

Bilkent Integrated Healthcare Campus (Ankara, Turkey)

36 medical facilities are currently under development in Turkey as part of a $10bn healthcare investment programme begun in 2003. The biggest of them all is the Bilkent Integrated Healthcare Campus – an enormous, 1.2 million sqm hospital complex that will be serving 35,000 patients a day when construction is finished in 2018. Employing 4,100 medical staff, it will be the biggest hospital complex in Europe and one of the biggest in the world.

As well as keeping a rising population healthy, building Bilkent will help Turkey capitalise on the country’s increasing popularity as a destination for medical tourism. Nearly 200,000 tourists came to the country for surgical treatment in 2013, according to statistics from the World Tourism Organisation, mainly from western Europe, North Africa and Azerbaijan.

$250m of Bilkent’s $1.3bn price tag has been put up by a loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US government’s development bank, which expects there to be solid US procurement associated with the project.

European Grand Prix construction (Baku, Azerbaijan)

After being removed from the Formula One calendar in 2013, the traditionally nomadic European Grand Prix will make a return to the season's fixture list, and Azerbaijan is set to host the rebooted race at the brand new Baku Street Circuit.

The circuit itself will be constructed near Baku Boulevard and - similar to the Monaco and Singapore Grands Prix - will utilise the city's road layout to create a winding course offering an alternative to traditional purpose-built racetracks. To complement the circuit, a new grandstand will be built at the finish line, as well as an expansive paddock area for drivers and constructors, and new facilities for visitors designed to compete with the very best that F1 has to offer.

Baku has established itself as a key destination for major sporting events – as well as the Grand Prix and at least one game of the 2020 UEFA European Championships, the city will host the 2015 European Games in June. A number of facilities have been constructed or revamped for the Games, including four ‘clusters’, 18 competition venues, an Athletes’ Village, and several temporary venues.

The Yekaterinburg-City complex (Yekaterinburg, Russia)

Its Moscow counterpart, the Moscow-City business zone, is home to four of Europe’s five tallest buildings, and now the Yekaterinburg-City skyscraper development is back on track, it could be set to define the skyline of Russia’s fourth-largest city.

The previous plans for Yekaterinburg-City, five towers in total, were a casualty of the 2008 global financial crisis that hit Russian construction hard, and they were cancelled and replaced by a 20-floor hotel and plans for a 209-metre apartment complex. Now, the ambitious project has been brought back to life by the German architects Werner Sobek, who proposed in late 2014 to build six more mixed-use towers (three 27-storey structures, and three more of 62, 60 and 51 floors) and three shopping centres on the Yekaterinburg-City site, centred on a cultural complex.

While there is still some way to go before building can start, these new plans could help Yekaterinburg solidify its status as Russia’s leading regional skyscraper-builder.

Khazar Islands (Baku, Azerbaijan)

The final project on this list is another Baku entry – Khazar Islands, a plan to create a development of 41 artificial islands south of Azerbaijan's capital. The numbers involved are huge – $100 billion total spend, 150 schools, 150 bridges, one airport, one racetrack, 410,000 sqm, and 1 million residents when the megaproject is completed by 2020. If this was not enough, the islands will also house the tallest tower in the world, the Azerbaijan Tower, which will be over a kilometre tall and cost $2bn to build.

Azerbaijan has been busy promoting the project to international firms and investors for the past few years, and the contracts and tenders are now starting to come in. The Czech construction firm PSJ signed a €395 million deal in October to develop one of the 41 islands, with construction scheduled to begin in spring 2015, and the owners of the project, Avesta Concern, have announced that a Turkish company has been engaged to put up six buildings on the development.

With the owners already putting some of the 250,000 apartments on the soon-to-be-developed islands up for sale, 2015 will be a busy year for the project and for the international companies helping to make it a reality.


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RUSSIA

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Venue: CROCUS EXHIBITION CENTRE

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Tanya Aleksankina

International Sales Manager - Interiors sectors

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