South Korean overseas construction orders hit US$ 71.57 billion

By Helen Wright30 December 2010

South Korean construction companies reported a +45.6% annual increase in overseas orders in 2010 to US$ 71.57 billion as demand in the Middle East continued to drive growth.

The figure is a record high, according to the South Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs. Last year, overseas construction orders peaked at US$ 49.15 billion.

A total of 419 companies, including large South Korean construction groups such as Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, STX and Hyundai Engineering & Construction, reported 588 orders won in 91 countries during the course of 2010.

The main engine for growth was the Middle East, which was responsible for 66% of South Korea's overseas construction orders this year. This was nevertheless down compared to 2009, which saw a higher proportion (73%) of total orders placed in the Middle East.

This year, the largest orders were reported in oil exporting countries. A total of US$ 25.6 billion in overseas orders were placed in United Arab Emirates, followed by Saudi Arabia with US$ 10.5 billion and Kuwait with US$ 4.9 billion.

South Korean overseas construction orders in Asia grew +25% year-on-year.

In contrast, European construction orders fell by US$ 70 million to US$ 400 million.

By country, Singapore placed US$ 1.6 billion worth of construction orders from South Korean companies, while Vietnam bought US$ 3.3 billion. Meanwhile, Australia booked US$ 3.2 billion, while India placed US$ 3.1 billion worth of orders, Libya placed US$ 1.9 billion, Ghana US$ 1.5 billion and Myanmar US$ 1.3 billion.

The South Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said it expects overseas construction orders to surpass US$ 80 billion in 2011.

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