The Chief Executive Officer of South Korean Research Institute for the Development of Technologies of Building Materials KICT, Professor De Dong U and the General Manager for business development abroad of “Byucksan Corporation” — the country’s largest private company for production of building materials Mr. Kim Chol Ung, who was in Uzbekistan on a business trip, visited the office of the Journal “Economic Bulletin of Uzbekistan” at the invitation of the Editor-in-Chief. During the informal conversation, they talked about the partnership with the JSC “Uzstroymaterialy”, about their vision of the construction business in Uzbekistan, plans of cooperation with our country in the field of construction technologies and materials, and also shared with us their advice and recommendations on improving their quality.
First of all, introducing the reader to our conversation about the common interests in the tandem of science, technology and construction, we would like to emphasize the very high level of development of these three important aspects of modern life in South Korea, which are the foundation of the welfare of its population. KICT is, figuratively speaking, the “think tank” of the construction industry of South Korea’s economy, a place where innovative ideas, creative projects and solutions, new construction technologies are born. And “Byucksan Corporation” is a place where ideas and projects of KICT are “materialized” and put into practice, creating a convenient, comfortable and safe construction world for the population. Therefore, such new concepts as green houses, environmentally friendly buildings with zero energy consumption are the realities of today’s Korean construction. And all research initiatives of KICT with the support of the government are aimed at achieving the tasks set for science and business to create and implement resource-saving, environmentally friendly and safe for human health and the environment building materials and technologies in the construction. And this topic was the most important point of our common interests, because the issue of energy-efficiency today is the focus of attention in our construction practice. Cooperation on the development, creation and application of energy-saving technologies and materials in construction, improving their quality have brought our countries closer, and will contribute to intensification of cooperation in this area.
At the request of the Editor-in-Chief to share his opinion about the local building materials used in new buildings, including energy-saving ones, based on his own experience as a developer and researcher, who heads the Department of Thermal Insulation Building Materials of KICT, Professor De Dong U replied that “while staying in Uzbekistan, we noticed the fact that practically no heat-insulating material is used in construction, i.e. the usual brickwork of about 450 mm is done with no additional insulation. In our opinion this is not right. The use of thermal insulation materials is a must, because it is the necessary element of energy saving. We constantly explain our Uzbek partners about the need for insulation and its types. In addition, when inspecting one of the buildings and construction works, I noticed that not always high-quality materials are used.” Regarding the quality of our construction materials, he also gave his assessment: “If I compare the specifications, both the raw materials composition and the construction materials, in my opinion, are not yet of a very high quality. I believe, maybe, there are no certain standards, designations, and if there are, they are not observed in the production of certain building materials. Why? Because, apparently, you do not have a center with special equipment to determine the quality of both products and raw materials. That means that being aware of this, you can learn, figuratively speaking, where the weak points are and how to treat them.” Naturally, the question arises how to correct this situation and what needs to be done for this, maybe something to change, to build? “That is the reason I am here, to share my knowledge and experience,” the Professor replied. — Last year we signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Joint Stock Company “Uzstroymaterialy”. The purpose of signing the Memorandum was to create a center for research, study, implementation and development of new construction materials and technologies jointly by efforts of Uzbek and Korean parties. During meetings with the Company employees, we discussed such issues as how we can help improve the quality of construction materials produced in your country. And we came to the conclusion that before we know how to find a way out, how to improve the quality, we first need to research your products. And this requires a special equipped laboratory that could test building materials for their quality and, thus, based on the results of testing, we could find the ways and technologies to improve the quality characteristics of raw materials. In order for these plans to be implemented here, measures are needed to create a center similar to ours, which will be empowered to test the strength of raw materials and construction materials by various methods and tests, and to give its conclusion, as well as to issue certificates. Under this scheme of cooperation, we often come to Uzbekistan, meet with employees of JSC “Uzstroymaterialy” for consultations, exchange of experience on this issue.”
– Are there any practical results of these meetings, certain agreements on the construction of such a center in our country, and how will this happen?
– According to South Korean law on the examination and issuance of state conclusions, our research Centre does not have the right to have operations abroad, to create any legal entity, for example, a Center. But, despite this, if in Uzbekistan construction materials sector is represented by the JSC “Uzstroymaterialy”, in South Korea currently the largest company similar to yours, dealing with the production of building materials, is a private company “Byucksan Corporation”, which has the right to establish companies both domestically and abroad. And therefore, if there is a mutual desire to work here and jointly develop the construction materials market both in quality and range, we concluded that our partnership will consist of three entities – the JSC “Uzstroymaterialy”, our Institute KICT and “Byucksan Corporation”. And we very much hope that next year our relations will rise to a new, concrete level of action.”
– Are there any difficulties or problems on the way to achieving this goal, maybe there are still some unresolved issues that hinder, as if slow down the progress?
Fully interview you can read in the print version of the magazine.