Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, Engineering Consultants Group (ECG) offers a broad portfolio of specialist services to discerning clients throughout the world, including studies and master planning, engineering, architecture, construction management and supervision, and project management.
It all began back in 1969, when Mr. Mahmoud Sami Abdelkawi and Mr. Ashraf Hassan Allouba founded ECG Engineering Consultants Group as a business partnership. One of their first consultancy contracts was the Qena-Safaga Portable Water Pipeline in their home country of Egypt, with ECG providing designs and construction supervision.
Between 1970 and 1977, ECG found itself in demand overseas, winning its first cross-border deal to develop the manmade river project in Libya, worth $2 billion. ECG also won two momentous contracts for the Greater Cairo Waterworks master plan, and the Port Said Water and Wastewater master plan.
In 2011, ECG Saudi Arabia was founded as a professional solidarity company established between two partners: Ms. Laila Hussein (Saudi Engineer) and ECG Engineering Consultants Group S.A (Egyptian Company), with headquarters in Riyadh and one branch in Jeddah. Backed with a team of 225 dedicated staff, ECG Saudi Arabia has successfully accomplished more than 100 projects in Saudi Arabia, covering all major fields of engineering. Projects include residential compounds, hospitals, hotels, factories, high rise buildings, and educational institutions, with total construction value surpassing 4 billion US Dollars.
As the years progressed, ECG found itself working on a series of ground-breaking wastewater schemes in collaboration with CH2M HILL, Metcalf & Eddy, and Parsons. Going from strength-to-strength, it changed its status from a partnership to a joint-stock company, and between 1992 and 1995 won two key airport contracts to execute Terminal 3 and renovate Terminal 1 at Cairo International Airport. Its wide range of capabilities was put to the test once more when ECG secured the contract for the Attaqa Thermal Power Plant, ECG’s first project in the power sector.
The new century saw ECG becoming a real force to be reckoned with; with one of its most significant accomplishments being the $1 billion El Kuraimat New Combined Cycle Power Plant, in addition to winning the state-sponsored worldwide competition to develop Smart Village, Egypt’s state-of-the-art communications and information technology business hub.
Between 2010 and 2014, ECG enjoyed expansion across Africa, Asia, and Europe, opening branches in Assiut (Egypt), Libya, Tanzania, Uganda, Kurdistan-Iraq, Kuwait, Al Ain (UAE), Saudi Arabia, and France. It is during this period that the company registered with the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting sustainability in building design, construction, and operation.
The last five years have seen ECG contribute significantly towards achieving Egypt’s national vision through working on the construction supervision of the new sustainable cities of New Alamein, New Mansoura, and the New Administrative Capital, as well as the Port Said Tunnels under the Suez Canal.
A Great Team of Professionals
Today, ranked 94 in the ENR Top 225 International Design Firms, ECG has remained true to its roots and core values, while being at the forefront of innovation and global trends. Nothing demonstrates this better than the fact that the company president personally oversees all mega-scale projects, considering the broad scope of ECG’s service portfolio, which includes architecture and landscaping, civil, structural and electromechanical services, process and piping, in addition to environmental engineering and urban development.
The company’s success is also down to its greatest asset – its people. ECG takes great pride in its team and understands that it can only grow by constantly hiring the best calibres, and cultivating their talents and expertise. This commitment has allowed it to deliver the best quality service at every stage of a project.
ECG worked on a number of important and prestigious projects, some of them including Al Qassim Medical College Complex, Three Maarif School Complex, Al Andalus Tower, Four Seasons Hotel Jaddah, Dhahiat Sumou and King Khaled International Airport in KSA. One of the biggest projects worked on in Mecca, Saudi Arabia is Umm Al-Qura University Academic Spine. The project stretches over a total footprint area of 100,000 m2, and the project comprises the following components:
- New academic buildings: with a total built-up area of 155,000 m2
- Extensions to existing academic buildings: with a total built-up area of 74,000 m2
- Non-academic buildings: with a total built-up area of 139,000 m2
In Egypt, some of the projects include Saint Regis Hotel, Al-Masa Capital, Zone R5 in The New Capital, and New Mansoura City.
The company is also rightly proud of one of its biggest projects Al-Alamein Old City, which stretches over a total area of approximately 1,091,500m2 in Al-Alamein New City and comprises the following components:
- Main Entrance: with a total built-up area of about 33,000m2
- Entertainment and Arts Neighbourhood: with a total built-up area of about 134,200m2
- Investment and Commercial Neighbourhood: with a total built-up area of about 122,200m2
- Cultural Neighbourhood: with a total built-up area of about 82,500m2
- Old City Neighbourhood: with a total built-up area of about 187,000m2
- Residential Neighbourhood: with a total built-up area of about 82,500m2
- Opera House: with a total built-up area of about 93,200m2
- A waterway: with a total built-up area of about 84,000m2
- A tram track: with a total built-up area of about 23,000m2
- Roads and parking spaces: with a total built-up area of about 250,700m2
The project’s master plan also covers a museum, mall, mosque, church, residential studio apartments, cinema complex, city hall, island boutique hotel, and a library.
Taking up the Challenge
ECG believes that although the future is very positive, there are a number of challenges that have to be met over the next five to ten years, nonetheless the aggressively competitive market in the MENA region and the ability to attract and retain the best people.
There is also a requirement in the industry, at project manager level, for training in integrating projects and leading performance improvement from inception to completion. Furthermore, the industry needs to look at the site supervisor level, with key grade people being virtually absent at the moment. Therefore, training needs to be identified as a matter of urgency to alleviate what is an acute shortage.
At the design level, high standards of professional competence must be matched by a more practical understanding of the needs of clients; and whilst an ability to multi-task right across the industry is also lacking, workers should be able to undertake a range of functions based on processes, rather than rely purely on their technical skills.
Finally, there is a need to implement lean management in design and construction, in order to reduce wasted time and effort, and leverage quality.
Striving for Excellence
ECG differentiates itself from its competitors through its mission, vision, and corporate values:
Mission: a world-class engineering consultancy company that delivers the full range of engineering and architectural design services.
Vision: aspiring to be in a leading global market position through upholding top ethical standards, promoting first-rate quality, and building worldwide corporate alliances.
Values: At ECG, it is fully understood that remarkable growth is widely attributed to staying connected to core values.
It is not easy to sum up a company such as ECG, with its commitment not only to its clients, but also to its employees, the local communities in which it operates, and the environment. However, what can be said is that ECG strives for excellence through the use of the latest technologies, the best quality assurance systems, and a pool of outstanding professionals. It’s a potent mix!