Most people who have witnessed the work of Chinese construction firms in Kenya admire and praise them for their timeliness in completing projects and the quality they deliver. For instance, around 118 Chinese construction companies exhibited their products during the 2017 China Trade Week out of approximately 450 firms that showed up at the forum. This has forced Kenyan construction companies to up their game in an attempt to beat the threatening competition from their Chinese counterparts. Here is a list of Chinese construction companies in Kenya that have landed on major private and government projects:
* China Wu Yi Engineering and Construction Company
* China Jiangxi International Company
* Zhongxing Construction Company
* Hayer Bishan Singh & Sons Limited Construction Company
* Jagir Singh Contractors Limited
* Put Sarajevo General Engineering Company
* Sinohydro Company
* China Roads and Bridges Corporation
Below is detailed information about each of these largest Chinese construction companies in Kenya.
1. China Wu Yi Engineering and Construction Company
China Wu Yi Construction Engineering Company handles international projects as the overseas branch of the Fujian Construction Engineering Group. Engineering News-Record ranked this Chinese firm in Kenya in the list of the 250 leading international contractors in 2012 after it reported a project work worth $334 million. Additionally, a 2013 report showed that as one of the most sought-after Chinese construction companies in Kenya China Wu Yi had 18 projects in the country.
While playing a big role in a highly competitive market alongside local, European, and other Chinese construction companies, China Wu Yi also ranks among the six well-established Chinese construction firms in Kenya. It won four lucrative tenders amounting to Ksh.10 billion in 2017 that helped it to boost its revenue in the construction market of Kenya. The tenders included constructing shopping malls, apartment buildings and office that the company was expected to complete within a period of two years.
Additionally, China Wu Yi was in 2016 awarded another lucrative tender to expand the 25-kilometre Waiyaki Way taking away Ksh.16.4 billion. In a securities filing in January 2018, the company stroke a deal worth Ksh.14.2 billion for road construction and upgrading. These projects have helped this company that tops on the list of Chinese construction companies in Kenya to expand its presence in Africa.
2. China Jiangxi International Company
China Jiangxi was listed among the top 250 largest construction firms with revenue of $392.3 by international project value. In 2013, the National Social Security Fund selected its subsidiary in Kenya to build the 39-storey Hazina Towers Trade Centre worth $68 million that was set to be the tallest building in Nairobi and East Africa. As one of the leading Chinese road construction companies in Kenya, Jiangxi won a tender to construct the 40-kilometre Kakamega-Webuye Road and took home Ksh.4.1 billion in 2016.
3. Zhongxing Construction Company
Zhongxing Construction Limited Company has been listed among Chinese house construction companies in Kenya with a proven track record of quality engineering contracting services. The company contracts a wide range of projects including municipal building, house building and building decoration engineering. For instance, Holy Family Basilica Nairobi contracted the company in 2013 to build the 18-floor Cardinal Otunga Plaza that houses Nairobi Archdiocese office.
4. Hayer Bishan Singh & Sons Limited Construction Company
Founded in the late 1970s, Hayer Bishan Singh & Sons Construction Company is an outstanding structural and civil engineering contractor in Kenya. It employs a matrix-like structure in managing its projects, and this has enabled the company to deliver high-quality works. With its operations spread to Uganda and South Sudan, Hayer Bishan Singh & Sons Construction Company also manufactures and supplies building and road materials, plant hire and pre-cast units.
Hayer Bishan Singh & Sons Construction Company has successfully undertaken rehabilitation and construction projects in areas like roads, airports, causeways, low-cost housing, bridges, irrigation, bus parks and water and sewerage projects. This has made it rank as one of the best Chinese construction firms in Kenya. For instance, the company was involved in upgrading Kisumu International Airport to meet the international standards and the construction of Lake Turkana Wind Power Project and titanium dam in Kwale, Kenya.
5. Jagir Singh Contractors Limited
Jagir Singh Contractors Limited was established and registered in 1988 as civil and building engineering contractor. Founded by Amarjit Singh Chal; an experienced building contractor the company has successfully completed projects in several Kenya’s major towns under the supervision of renown consultants.
Some of these projects that have enabled this company to appear at the top of the list of Chinese construction companies in Kenya include Kericho Commercial Development in 2009/2010, new Co-operative Bank Donholm Branch, Nairobi in 2010, Ngori Hotel in Nakuru and Bata Shop premises in Nairobi in 2010/2011.
6. Put Sarajevo General Engineering Company
Put Sarajevo General Engineering Company delivers integrated fabrication, procurement, engineering, project management, maintenance and construction solutions to clients across the world. It successfully achieves all these through its exceptional personnel, a vast network of resources, agility and dedication to safety. With a promise to offer on-schedule and cost-effective project designing and building services, Put Sarajevo General Engineering Company is listed among the best Chinese house construction companies in Kenya.
Under housing, it provides services like architecture, interior design, planning, construction management, engineering, program management and refurbishing, expansion and renovation of the existing facilities.
7. Sinohydro Company
Founded in 1950 and based in Beijing, China, Sinohydro is Chinese state-owned construction and hydropower engineering firm. In a ranking based on yearly revenue list of Top 225 Global Contractors by Engineering News-Record in 2012, Sinohydro Company ranked at position 14 overall. It has expanded internationally as a leading company that carries the face of China across the world in over 55 countries scattered all over Africa, Asia, South America, Europe and North America.
Among Sinohydro mega projects in Kenya include the recent agreement with the Kenyan government to work on the Nairobi Northern Bypass; a 31-kilometre road project. The project that is set to start off by August 2018 makes Sinohydro one of the latest Chinese road construction companies in Kenya to win the trust of the government because of their reliable services. Once the project is completed, Northern Bypass will help motorist evade the usual traffic jam in the central business district.
8. China Roads and Bridges Corporation
China Roads and Bridges Corporation is among the large Chinese construction companies in Kenya that were the first to venture into the international contracting market. It is also the chief overseas China Communications Construction Company overseas business platform listed as a Fortune Global 500 firm. Some of its undertakings include investment, development and operation of railways, bridges, roads, airports, tunnels and ports, contracting, and industrial park and real estate projects.
Due to its outstanding performance compared to other Chinese construction firms in Kenya, the Kenyan government contracted China Roads and Bridge Corporation to construct Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway with a main line of about 472 kilometres. The entire line was designed based on the Chinese standards and has since proved to be a milestone to the Kenyan government as it has made transportation between the two cities fast, cheap and easy.
The project created over 30,000 jobs to unemployed Kenyans and boosted the country’s GDP by 1.5 percent. As a landmark project, the Standard Gauge Railway is the first of its kind after Kenya and China established the cooperative and comprehensive partnership. It is also the first China-Africa Cooperation project on the three networks of Africa’s industrialization and infrastructure.
More and more Chinese construction companies in Kenya have taken up most of the lucrative construction projects in the country mainly because of their sophisticated equipment, highly skilled personnel, and timeliness. As a result, local construction companies are on the verge of losing and may eventually close their premises if they do not take the right measures that will enable them to beat the competition. These companies have raised their concern as they seek protection from foreign competition to emerge as productive regional and domestic players.
Unlike in the past when ideological consideration motivated the engagement of China with Kenya, today the drive lies on a commercial agenda focused on sustaining rapid economic and industrial growth. Hence, Chinese trade with and investment in Kenya, especially in the construction sector, have significantly increased in the recent past as seen from the above-detailed list of Chinese construction companies in Kenya.