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Builders’ H1 overseas contracts drop 35%

The value of overseas contracts won by Korean construction firms during the first half of the year fell 35 percent compared to the same period last year, industry data showed Friday.

According to the International Contractors Association of Korea, local construction firms won 243 contracts during the first six months of the year, the combined value of which came in at $23.6 billion.

In comparison, the value of contracts won by Korean construction firms during the first half of last year came in at $36.4 billion.

While the figure for the first half of this year has declined, a direct comparison may be skewed due to unusual developments last year.

In April last year, a consortium led by the Korea Electric Power Corp. won a $18.6 billion contract for building nuclear power facilities in the United Arab Emirates.

By value, the UAE nuclear project was the largest single project ever won by Korean contractors.

Excluding the nuclear project, the value of overseas construction contracts won by Korean concerns during the first half of last year falls to $17.8 billion.

Comparing this year’s figure to that of last year without the UAE project, the value of contracts won during the first half of this year is 32 percent higher than that of last year and 80 percent larger than that recorded during the first half of 2009.

Of the contracts won during the first six months of this year, Middle Eastern markets accounted for the largest portion with $17.2 billion or 73 percent having come from the region.

For Korean construction companies, Asia was the second largest market followed by Africa.

Asian contracts were tallied at $4.5 billion, while African contracts were valued at $800 million.

By type of project, industrial plants accounted for the largest portion of projects. According to the data, 75.4 percent or $17.2 billion of the $23.6 billion was raised from contracts for industrial plants.

By Choi He-suk  (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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