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Construction orders hit $22b overseas

Sept. 10, 2023 - 16:47 By Shim Woo-hyun
Korean Land Minister Won Hee-ryong (third from left in the back row) poses for the photo with officials of Saudi Aramco after signing an agreement on the construction of the Amiral petrochemical plant on June 24. (Hyundai E & C)

South Korean construction companies have secured new orders worth $21.9 billion in overseas markets between January and August, according to the International Contractors Association of Korea, Sunday.

The association said the total value of construction orders made overseas during the eight-month period was up by 19.9 percent on-year.

It is also the first time that the value has surpassed $20 billion since 2018, when overseas construction orders in the January-August period were worth a combined $20.4 billion.

During the first five months of this year, Korean construction companies were slow in securing construction orders. The combined value of their construction orders overseas came to $8.7 billion, down from $10.3 billion during the same period last year.

The figure, however, surged to $17.2 billion in June, $19 billion in July and $21.9 billion in August, going beyond the monthly records posted last year.

The association said that the new construction orders in the Middle East have mainly contributed to the increases in recent months.

According to the association, construction orders in the Middle East alone reached $7.4 billion as of August, accounting for 33.8 percent of all overseas construction orders.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction’s $5 billion order signed with Saudi Arabia's state-run Aramco, in particular, contributed to the surge in June, the association added.

The deal, under which Hyundai E&C will build a petrochemical complex, is known to be the biggest construction order that a South Korean company won in Saudi Arabia, and seventh-largest order in the Middle East.

Due to the recent increase in orders, the value of overseas construction orders this year is also expected to surpass $30 billion again, according to local reports.

Since 2020, Korean construction companies have been winning construction orders worth over $30 billion every year.

Meanwhile, South Korean construction firms won $7.3 billion orders in North America and the Pacific region during the eight-month period, while securing $4.3 billion orders in Asia.