Kuwait: The Incredible Shrinking Rehab

by Paul Tarricone, Asst. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 9, Pg. 42-45

Document Type: Feature article


With rehabilitation estimates now just 20% of what they first were, the liberation of Kuwait has not been a cure-all for the construction industry. Firms participating in the emergency restoration have discovered that project management is tougher than the actual construction and engineering. Firms scrambling for work are using varying, sometimes creative strategies to land elusive contracts. There could still be $20 billion in work, but the race to find it will resemble a marathon more than a sprint. The most successful firms to date have been the large companies, such as Blount and Brown & Root, which secured emergency restoration contracts from the Corps of Engineers. Smaller firms trying to latch on have swamped the bigger companies with inquiries, but others have used more daring strategies, such as starting work in Kuwait without a contract. Others have formed joint ventures with partners already established in the region and several surveying firms actually got together and formed a company during Operation Desert Shield. Firms are mostly taking a micro not a macro approach to work. Rather than undertake a massive marketing campaign in Kuwait, they have adopted a project-specific, rifle-shot strategy zeroing in on specific markets, such as hotel rehab, computer mapping and database upgrading and testing of cleanup technologies.

Subject Headings: Emergency management | Project management | Contracts | Rehabilitation | Construction industry | Construction companies | Vegetation | Joint ventures | Kuwait | Middle East

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