UAE and Qatar seen as major growth markets for construction giants from the East Asian country
South Korean construction companies have emerged as major players in the Middle Eastern construction market, an official for one of the country’s largest construction firms has said.
A wide range of projects, ranging from nuclear power plants to oil-refining facilities, have been won by construction firms from the East Asian country, pushing cumulative overseas orders over the past four decades to $500bn, a report by the Korea Times has said.
Hyundai Engineering and Construction, Korea’s largest builder in terms of overseas orders, recently secured an expressway construction project in Qatar that will be worth $980m, the largest public work scheme ever won by a domestic builder.
The project is part of the Gulf Arab country’s efforts to upgrade its infrastructure as it prepares for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“Besides the Middle East, we have established a foothold in China and South Africa, which has helped us win a contract to build a power plant in the Ivory Coast early this year,” a spokesperson for Hyundai E&C told the Korean newspaper.
“We will further expand our reach to explore rapidly developing markets. In 2012, we aim to secure orders valued at over $10bn,” he added.
Samsung Engineering, which trails closely behind Hyundai in overseas orders, announced recently that it had won a number of deals worth $1.88bn. The company has said that it expects to secure a $2.6bn ‘carbon-black’ project in the UAE within the near future.
Last year, it completed the world’s largest lubricant base oil plant in Bahrain. The plant can produce up to 400,000 tonnes of oil annually.
Hanwha Engineering & Construction, also a construction firm operating in the Middle East, announced last month that it had won an $8bn contract to create a housing complex near Baghdad.