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O'Donnell Griffin - Rail up and running in Hong Kong

09/09/2010

O’Donnell Griffin - Rail Hong Kong has made its first executive appointment in Asia with the recruitment of leading rail engineer Mr Chuck Yeung.

O’Donnell Griffin - Rail Engineering Director Mr Francis Dwornik said Mr Yeung would be assisting with the Norfolk Group’s entry into the rapidly developing Hong Kong rail markets. O’Donnell Griffin - Rail is part of the Norfolk Group (ASX:NFK). His role is Rail Sector Manager – Hong Kong.

Mr Yeung has extensive experience in Hong Kong working with a range of major engineering companies on projects such as Kowloon Open Lane, West Rail and the Mass Transit Rail project.

He comes to O’Donnell Griffin – Rail from his most recent role as Senior Project Manager – Siemens Ltd (Hong Kong), and his engineering and design experience includes six years in Australia.

In 2009 O’Donnell Griffin entered a joint venture agreement with leading private electrical service company Kum Shing to provide access to rail signalling expertise.

O’Donnell Griffin and Kum Shing has since pre-qualified for work for Hong Kong Mass Transit Rail (MTR) that controls the expanding rail system and has offered bids for several of the new landmark projects underway.

Mr Yeung said Hong Kong was attracting global attention from the rail industry participants as the rail lines were extended to take in the expanding city boundaries.

He said that land formerly used for manufacturing was being developed for offices and apartments as the city’s role as an international financial hub expanded rapidly.

Mr Dwornik said the Hong Kong market was riding a wave of confidence that hasn’t been experienced since the handover of the former British colony to China more than a decade ago.

“The growth in Hong Kong is quite extraordinary with $HK100bn ($A14.5 billion) of rail infrastructure in planning or underway,” he said.

Projects underway include the West-South Island Line, GuanZhong line extension and a link to the high speed train in China. In addition Macau has a light rail project out to tender.

Mr Dwornik said the Hong Kong MTR approach to rail development was highly structured and required successful companies to have a strong track record and financial strength in addition to technical knowledge.

Kum Shing is well known in Hong Kong and in early 2010 a representative of MTR reviewed O’ Donnell Griffin - Rail’s capabilities in a visit to Sydney.

Mr Dwornik said the Hong Kong market was almost completely run under the Design and Construct contracting model as the specifications are developed in-house and service providers produce equipment to meet their standards.

“It is very important to have a ‘man on the ground’ in Hong Kong who understands the procurement process and selection criteria. With Chuck and the relationship with Kum Shing we have a very strong foothold in the city,” he said.

Mr Dwornik said O’Donnell Griffin’s engineering-led approach to rail solutions – including signalling, power and heating, ventilation and airconditioning (HVAC) – was competing against the best providers in the world.

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