Channel NewsAsia

Firm behind delayed Ng Teng Fong hospital on track for its other projects

The South Korean firm GS Engineering and Construction is also working on the construction of five MRT stations on Downtown Line 2 and the Thomson Line, and Fusionopolis Phase 2A. 

SINGAPORE: Several developments in Singapore by GS Engineering & Construction - the firm behind the Ng Teng Fong Hospital project - are on track for completion. It was announced on Sunday (Aug 17) that the hospital's opening will be delayed by about six months due to reasons such as labour shortage. 

The South Korean firm GS Engineering and Construction is currently working on the construction of five MRT stations on Downtown Line 2 and the Thomson Line, and the Land Transport Authority said they are "not affected".

According to JTC Corporation, the construction firm is also involved in Fusionopolis Phase 2A, and that is "on track for completion".

The construction firm had earlier said the delay in the Ng Teng Fong Hospital project was due to problems in the supply of materials and lack of skilled labour.

Said Dr Ho Nyok Yong, president of the Singapore Contractors Association: "The tightening of foreign manpower policy by the Government affects us a lot. You ask anyone from the construction industry and the first thing they tell you is 'We don't have any workers. There are projects but I cannot do.'"

It is not only the workers that are in short supply. The industry is also facing a dearth of civil engineers and project managers. Said Dr Ho: "A lot of Singaporeans shy away from working in the construction industry. So we give a lot of promotions in the universities and polytechnics, a lot of talks, to share our successful experiences with the young people. Hopefully this inspires them to come to the construction industry. We have also been working very closely with the Building and Construction Authority to give out scholarships."

Over at the private residential property market, Mr Nicholas Mak, Executive Director of Research and Consultancy for SLP International Property Consultants:, noted that several developers have held off their launches. But he said the move is not due to construction issues. "The main reason is developers are still looking for the right marketing strategies or the right opportunities to launch the project at the targeted price," he believed. "The market is gradually softening, so it may not be able to support the price that they (developers) want for the launch."

Mr Mak added that construction delays in condo projects are unlikely to go beyond six months. 

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia