Merdeka 118: Reaching for the sky in Malaysia

Located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Merdeka 118 tower will become the tallest building in Southeast Asia and the second tallest building in the world upon completion in 2023. The tower features 4000 tonnes of heavy steel sections in HISTAR®460/S460M grade manufactured and supplied by ArcelorMittal Europe - Long Products’ Differdange mill in Luxembourg.

Detailed information

A commemoration of the independence of Malaysia

The tower is known as ‘Merdeka 118’, in which ‘Merdeka’ means freedom and independence in Malay. Standing at 678.9 metres high, Merdeka 118 is fully owned by PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Berhad.

Spanning over 3.1 million square feet (287 000 square metres) of floor area, the Merdeka 118 tower includes 1.7 million square feet (158 000 square metres) of net lettable area of premium Grade-A office space. The top 17 floors will house the first and only Park Hyatt Hotel in Malaysia. To create a memorable experience for visitors, the tower includes unique features such as The View at 118, the highest observation deck in Southeast Asia, as well as the Merdeka Boulevard at 118, a linear park comprised of over four acres (1.6 hectares) of open space with greenery and water features for the enjoyment of the public. The development offers approximately 8000 parking spaces.

HISTAR®460/S460M steel is a flagship grade for heavy sections supplied by ArcelorMittal’s Differdange mill that has been providing developers, consultants, and contractors with more confidence in designing and building skyscrapers all over the world for more than 30 years now.

A lighter structure: 20% weight saving by using steel sections in HISTAR®460/S460M grade

Close interaction among ArcelorMittal and the project manager consultant (Turner International LLC), structural engineers (Leslie E. Robertson Associates, Robert Bird Group, Arup), general contractors (Samsung C&T, UEM Group), and steel subcontractor (Eversendai Corporation) allowed for early optimisation with the best available construction materials.

The external steel frame system, the outrigger (see Technical detail 1), and the belt truss (see Technical detail 2) of this impressive mega high-rise are built with steel and include 6000 tonnes of heavy structural sections weighing up to 1202 kg/m from which 4000 tonnes are in very high-quality HISTAR®460/S460M steel. This resulted in weight savings of 20% for the steel structure, which could not have been accomplished if regular steel grades had been used. On top of that, ArcelorMittal accelerated material production and shipments to meet the tight project schedule.

In this iconic project, the Differdange mill supplied Eversendai Corporation, which has been partnering with ArcelorMittal for more than 20 years. Eversendai Corporation has been involved in many high-profile projects, such as Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, of which the top structure was also built with steel sections produced by the Differdange mill.

Project information

  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Malaysia
  • 2023 (estimated completion)
  • Architects:
    Fender Katsalidis Architects
    RSP Architects Sdn Bhd
  • Engineering offices:
    Leslie E. Robertson Associates
    Robert Bird Group (structural engineering)
    Arup (structural & civil engineering, geotechnical engineering & geotechnics services)
  • Contractors:
    Samsung C&T Corporation UEM Construction JV Sdn Bhd (main contractor)
    Eversendai Corporation (subcontractor)
  • Project management:
    Turner International LLC
  • Owner:
    PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn. Berhad
  • Text:
    ArcelorMittal International - Singapore office
    Samsung C&T
  • Images:
    © PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn. Berhad/Courtesy of Samsung C&T