Power plant builder Metka said yesterday it has signed a 678-million-euro deal to build an energy unit in Syria in news that helped to send the stock nearly 4 percent higher on the Athens bourse. Metka, 53 percent-owned by Mytilineos Holdings, signed a deal for the construction of a 724-megawatt thermal power plant in the Deir Azzour region, in northeast Syria, along with Italy’s Ansaldo Energia, a manufacturer of thermoelectric power plants. «Following the assignment of two EPC [engineering, procurement, construction] projects worth 1 billion euros in Turkey and two projects in Syria with a total budget of 1.3 billion euros, Metka has established its leading role in the wider Middle East region,» it said in a statement. The deal pushes Metka’s order book to 2.4 billion euros, with 90 percent coming from abroad. Up against competitors such as France’s Alstom and Germany’s MAN, Metka has been increasing its profile in international projects, moving away from its key Greek customer, power company PPC. Shares in Metka trimmed midsession gains of more than 4 percent to end up 3.82 percent at 8.69 euros, pushing its market value to 451.4 million euros. The broader market dipped 0.19 percent. The deal pleased investors, providing answers as to where Metka will get its business in the coming years at a time when the Greek economy keeps shrinking, according to brokers. «[The deal] increases visibility regarding revenues and earnings for the next three to five years,» John Arapoglou, senior analyst at Piraeus Securities, told Kathimerini English Edition Metka, which often teams up with suppliers in order to clinch deals, will have a 76.5 percent stake in the Syria project with the rest going to Ansaldo Energia.