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Construction in Hong Kong/Macau - Key Trends and Opportunities 2014

Hong Kong's construction industry registered strong growth during 2013.  This was principally driven by a number of large infrastructure development projects undertaken and funded by the government. The construction industry is set to grow further during 2014/15, which will be comprised of a combination of on-going and additional infrastructure projects, as well as new government measures to increase land supply for around 40,000 public housing flats every year until 2017 and a number of other major building construction projects. 

The range and variety of different projects currently being constructed within Hong Kong means there are ample job opportunities for construction professionals with a variety of project expertise. Quantity Surveyors and Engineers looking for job opportunities in Hong Kong or Macau have an excellent choice of projects/developments which they can be involved with. So, let’s run through the range of projects in Hong Kong/Macau, and the opportunities available for construction professionals.

MTRC Projects:
When discussing construction projects in Hong Kong, MTR is a buzz word often associated with the construction market boom, and rightly so. New MTR lines and MTR extension projects have been some of the key landmark construction projects in Hong Kong. The new Shatin to Central Link project is itself worth over HK$20 Billion. These projects are massive in scale and include a variety of works such as: Tunnelling, Stations, Fit Out, Signalling, Systems and MEP components.

Hong Kong is well known for its extensive network of tunnels, which include MTR lines, road/bridge networks and drainage/water treatment tunnels. One of the most recent tunnel construction projects confirmed is also the largest contract sum ever awarded in Hong Kong: In August 2013 a major Hong Kong based contractor secured a US$1.53bn contract to design and construct a 4.2km undersea road tunnel in Hong Kong. The project will include building a twin-tube tunnel. Two tunnel-boring machines will be used for the tunnel, which will be 50m below sea level. The project is expected to be completed in 2018. Quantity Surveyors and Engineers with tunnelling expertise are highly sought after in Hong Kong and there will be plenty of tunnelling work to go around for the foreseeable future!

Due to the geography of Hong Kong, bridges play a key role in connecting road and rail networks. There have been several large scale bridge projects throughout the last 20 years in Hong Kong, one of the largest being Stonecutters Bridge, which is a high level cable-stayed bridge and is one of largest of its type in the world. Built at a cost of HK$2.76 billion it was completed in 2009 although financial closure has taken much longer. Construction professionals wanting to be involved with large scale bridge projects need look no further than Hong Kong: The Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge is a live construction project which consists of a series of bridges and tunnels that will connect Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai, three major cities on the Pearl River Delta in East Asia, and will provide excellent job opportunities for Commercial and Engineering professionals alike.  The proposed 50 km (31 mile) link is expected to cost US$10.7 billion and is one of the world’s largest bridge projects.

Along with all the Civil and MTR projects in Hong Kong, there is also a thriving build construction market. New MTR stations are of high value and complexity.  There are also various large-scale residential and healthcare projects in Hong Kong including both public and private sector works. The build construction market is also particularly flourishing in Macau, where mega scale Casino and Hotel developments dominate the landscape. One such project is the Wynn Cotai: a HK$25+ Billion casino and hotel development. The construction works involved will be extensive and include ground works, piling, sub structure, cladding, fit out, landscaping and MEP elements. Construction professional from Commercial Managers to Construction Managers who have experience in large scale Casino/Hotel developments will be right at home working in Macau and will no doubt be in demand over the next few years.  Such projects in Macau create vacancies in Hong Kong as a result of the fluid labour market between both areas.

MEP Projects:
Possibly the most sought after specialisation, MEP Quantity Surveyors and MEP Engineers are in high demand in both Hong Kong and Macau. Hong Kong has a variety of projects requiring MEP expertise, ranging from MTR stations, Data Centres and the HK$6.2 Billion Midfield Airport project. Macau also needs MEP specialists to assist with the large scale MEP fit out of the mega casino/hotel developments. Due to the limited expertise within the local labour market there are currently numerous opportunities for MEP Quantity Surveyors from the UK and other overseas locations. 

In Summary: Hong Kong/Macau Job Opportunities:
This truly is a boom time for the construction markets in Hong Kong and Macau, with further large scale projects on-going and planned for 2014 and beyond there is a high demand for Quantity Surveyors and Engineers all of levels to move these projects forward. So whether you’re a seasoned expert or just beginning your career as a construction professional, Hong Kong and Macau can provide the perfect next career move. If you would like to find out about the opportunities available please get in touch and one of our expert consultants will be in contact to discuss your next job move.

Tim Cole
Recruitment Consultant
Maxim Recruitment
Hong Kong & Asia Region

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