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South Korea Plant Builders May Book Record 2010 Overseas Orders

South Korean companies may win record overseas plant orders of more than $60 billion this year as growing demand in the Middle East boosts contracts for power plants, floating production facilities and refineries.

Orders from overseas customers more than doubled from a year earlier to $50.7 billion by the end of the third quarter, South Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge Economy said yesterday.

The Middle East accounts for about 72 percent of the total as increasing revenue amid high crude prices encourages the region’s oil producers to spend more money on energy infrastructure, the ministry said in a statement. South Korean companies are capitalizing on such investments with their overseas experience, it said.

“Middle East countries appreciate the efficiency of the South Korean model,” Theodore Karasik, director of research at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said by telephone from Dubai. “It’s efficient and it’s affordable.”

For South Korean companies, deep-pocketed Middle Eastern countries, unfazed by the economic downturn, are an attractive market, Karasik said.

Korea Electric Power Corp. won the largest order so far this year, an $18.6 billion contract in late December to build four nuclear reactors in the United Arab Emirates.

Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. said Sept. 9 it received an order worth $3.39 billion to build a 2,800-megawatt power plant in Saudi Arabia.

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