Contractors barred following Four Rivers collusion

21 October 2013

The South Korean state agency, the Korean Water Resources Corp., has banned ten contractors from being awarded government projects for up to 15 months following allegations of price collusion. The companies are accused of fixing prices on the Four Rivers Restoration project.

The most heavily penalised contractors are Daelim Industrial, GS Engineering & Construction (E&C) and Hyundai E&C, which have been barred from winning government contracts for 15 months. Lesser bans have been given to Hanjin Heavy Industries, Keangnam Enterprises, Kumho Industrial, Kyeryong Construction, Samsung C&T, Samwhan Corp and SK E&C.

Several of the banned companies were charged last month by the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office in Seoul for bid rigging on the KRW 22.2 trillion (US$ 20.5 billion) project.

The Four Rivers Restoration project was a scheme to rehabilitate South Korea’s main waterways, the Geum, Han, Nakdong and Yeongsan Rivers, and their tributaries. It was launched in January 2009 and reached completion in October 2011, and was designed to secure water resources for the country, prevent floods, improve water quality and protect river ecosystems. The scheme saw some 929 km of rivers restored and a series of 14 reservoirs constructed.

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