Overseas orders for industrial plants won by South Korean builders dropped 18.3 percent on-year in the first three quarters due mainly to a one-off factor, the government said Thursday. Local companies clinched US$41.4 billion worth of overseas orders in the January-September period, down from $50.7 billion in the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. The drop, however, was attributed solely to South Korea\'s successful bid for a $18.6 billion nuclear power plant deal from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in January 2010. \"The figure marks an 18.3 percent drop from the same period last year, but once the UAE nuclear plant deal is excluded, the amount marks a 29.1 percent increase,\" the ministry said in a press release. By region, orders from the Americas shot up 212 percent on-year to $5.16 billion, raising the combined market share of South Korean companies in the region to 12.5 percent from 3.3 percent a year earlier. Orders from European countries rose 56.5 percent to $7.98 billion while orders from the Middle East and Africa dropped 42.9 percent and 81.3 percent, respectively. Overseas orders for offshore plants surged 116.5 percent to $14.14 billion, far surpassing the $8.6 billion total for all of 2010. The ministry said overseas orders for South Korean companies will likely reach $55 billion this year with 11 new projects, worth over $20 billion, expected to be won by South Korean firms in the fourth quarter.