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Builders expect boom in orders after Gadhafi’s death

South Korean construction companies said Thursday that they expect a boom in construction business with the death of Moammar Gadhafi, which could end the civil war in the North African country.

The death of the former Libyan leader, announced by Libya’s National Transitional Council, could mean the start of reconstruction of damaged and destroyed social infrastructure facilities, local contractors said.

The deposed leader was reported killed in his hometown of Sirte by rebels who had been trying to end Gadhafi’s 42-year rule since February.

“We have been looking ahead to the post-Gadhafi era since the NTC captured Tripoli in August and expect new construction orders to be placed,” a local builder said, without going into details.

This view was shared by state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency which said Libya could become a huge market for construction companies once the current unrest is resolved.

“The market could be as large as $120 billion since there is a need to repair oil refineries, electric power lines, houses, ports and roads,” it said. “Libya may build three or four new cities.”

Companies such as Daewoo Engineering & Construction that have been in the country for a long time and have close ties with local tribes also said that while there may be uncertainties caused by the country’s new leadership, they were confident that they will be able to keep pace with competitors.

Others, however, said there may be obstacles in securing fresh orders since countries like Britain and France, which had played an active military role in the Libyan leader’s downfall, may ask that their national companies get the bigger contracts.

(Yonhap News)