By Zhang Yuwei, China Daily, March 14, 2012 —
Yuan Ning (left) talks to Joseph Catapano (middle), a project manager with China Construction America, and another colleague in front of the models of the headquarters of China Central Television and the Beijing National Aquatics Center at their Jersey City office in New York. [Sun Peng / China Daily]
Yuan Ning is leading the charge on a host of infrastructure projects
When Yuan Ning came to the United States to lead the local operation of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation in 2001, he made a big decision on how the company should navigate the US market.
"We should stay on the general contracting side and be practical about our operations in the US market," said Yuan, 47, sitting in his office at China Construction America headquarters in Jersey City, New York.
This decision led the wholly owned subsidiary of its Chinese parent, China’s largest State-owned construction company, to becoming one of the most competitive construction companies in the US market.
Most recently, China Construction America was awarded a contract with the New York State Department of Transportation and kicked off the reconstruction of the Staten Island expressway and bus/high-occupancy vehicle lane extension.
The $109 million deal was the first China Construction America won as an independent contractor in New York State, Yuan said.
"It’s a milestone for us because we always worked jointly with local companies on other projects in New York. It’s understandable – we are a Chinese company, as you know," the China Construction America president said, indicating Chinese companies are still not fully accepted by some in the local construction market.
Back in China, more than 66 construction projects carried out by the Chinese parent company received the Lu Ban Award – the highest award in Chinese construction. Its construction portfolio includes the headquarters for China Central Television, the tallest skyscraper in Beijing, and the Beijing National Aquatics Center, or the Water Cube, which was used for swimming races during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation established its presence in the US in 1985. But the road for the company to reach where it is today has been a bumpy one. . .