|Environmental Technologies Industries
|Vietnam Environmental Export Market Plan|
|Chapter 12 - Environmental Services|
Case Study 12.1 - U.S.Success StoryU.S. engineering firm Black and Veatch has been one of the more successful American companies tapping the environmental services market in Vietnam. Black and Veatch has targeted large-scale ODA projects funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank.
Black and Veatch first established itself in Vietnam by opening a representative office shortly after the U.S. trade embargo was lifted in 1994. It has since capitalized on its reputation as a world leader in engineering and project management to win consultancy contracts on major civil works projects.
Its first project in Vietnam was a $1.2 million contract for the ADB-financed Second Provincial Towns Water Supply project. Black and Veatch served as the construction supervisor for water works projects in the northern cities of Tuyet Quang, Ninh Binh and Vinh. It won a second consultant contract with the ADB, valued at $1.7 million, for the Phuoc Hoa Multipurpose Water project in Binh Duong Province, outside Ho Chi Minh City. The project is developing infrastructure for water supply, irrigation, and salinity control.
Capitalizing on its reputation and established track record in Vietnam, Black and Veatch won a World Bank consulting contract for a small water resources project in the Mekong delta. While this project is relatively small compared to the ADB projects, it could be a key stepping stone to much larger contracts to be awarded for the World Bank's $147 million Mekong delta water resources project, which is beginning implementation in 2000.
Black and Veatch is also targeting the ADB's Ho Chi Minh City Environmental Improvement Project, the Danang component of the World Bank's Three Cities Sanitation project, and the World Bank's Ho Chi Minh City Environment and Sanitation project.
One of Black and Veatch's keys to success has been demonstrating to ministries awarding the contracts (in this case, the Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Transport) their engineering capabilities and their capacity to solve problems. Implementing large-scale civil works projects in Vietnam inevitably means tackling unexpected difficulties. The client's vision of the project often differs from that of the project designers.
Being able to mesh the needs and demands of the local People's Committee where the project is being built with those of the project designers is a key factor in winning tenders, according to one Black and Veatch executive. "You have to show that you will be able to solve the conflicts between local interests and project interests."