Having marked four decades of successful operations in Latin America and the Caribbean, Japan’s largest engineering consulting firm, Nippon Koei has once again set another milestone. The company recently assumed the role of project manager of Panama’s long-awaited Metro Line 3 project, which will use Japanese monorail technology in connecting Panama City to its western suburb.
Nippon Koei Latin America-Caribbean has taken charge of designing, subcontracting and supervising the construction of the landmark project, which will connect the capital Panama City with its western suburb. The monorail, the first of its kind in Latin America, is seen as the model to follow by the rest of the region.
“We would like to participate actively in railway sector projects in other Latin American countries. Nippon Koei has executed similar projects in other regions, particularly in
Asia, and our experience on the Panama Metro Line 3 project should be a good start to expand in the Latin America region,” said Nippon Koei LAC President Makoto Nakao.
With Latin America accounting for 18 percent of total international sales of the Nippon Koei Group as of the last fiscal year, the Japanese consultancy is steadily strengthening its position in the region, as demonstrated by its performance in Panama.
“We expect to actively expand our business in each country in the region. There is huge demand for infrastructure in those countries that show relatively good macroeconomic performance such as Peru and Colombia. Those countries have many opportunities for us to contribute,” Nakao said.
In Panama, Nippon Koei has been also involved in key projects. With the completion of the initial phase of the Juan Diaz Wastewater Treatment Plant, Nippon Koei LAC immediately started work on the second phase in May 2015.
Aside from its work in the water and sanitation sector, which the group has strongly promoted, Nippon Koei LAC is also further increasing its participation in the railway and geothermal sectors, having secured a contract to develop a geothermal plant in Bolivia.
Meanwhile, the sharp increase in the number of public-private partnerships for infrastructure in Latin America has caught the group’s interest. “In addition to infrastructure projects financed by public funds, there is a trend in which the private sector also takes a leading role in infrastructure development. We are working on several of these projects in both Central and South America, and we want to continue to expand our participation in such private sector projects,” Nakao said.