The Korean government has announced plans to add a further 15 berths to its flagship Busan New Port in the south of the country to increase container capacity by 15.8 million TEU. The new facilities will be a mix of container terminals, feeder terminals and multi-purpose terminals and work will begin in stages based on actual cargo demand and under the coordination of central government.
Development began at Busan New Port in 1994 and today it operates 22 berths with an additional eight currently under construction. Total container throughput at Busan Port Authority (BPA) reached 18.68 million in 2014 with the New Port accounting for 64% or 11.93 million TEU.
BPA President KIM Li-tack said:
“We are on track to achieve a total container throughput of 20 million TEU by the end of this year and our additional expansion plans will build on this success to cement the position of the port of Busan as one of the very top container ports in the world as well as the leading transshipment hub in northeast Asia. Alongside the creation of 15 new berths we have exciting plans to develop an LNG bunkering facility by 2018 and continued growth of our logistics distripark.”
“Our aim is to continually develop the port and pre-empt the rapidly evolving maritime transport industry to ensure that the port of Busan remains a key part of the global logistics chain and a major contributor to the economic development of the region”.
In addition, to facilitate the flow of cargo between the old and new ports (a distance of 25km), BPA is working on implementing an inter-terminal transfer (ITT) platform to optimize how trucks and trucking companies operate between the two facilities; and to reduce overall cost. This is the long-term strategy, in the meantime BPA will consider subsidizing ITT costs.
These developments are announced against the backdrop of an anticipated growth in container trade with northeast Asia expected to account for around 40% of the business by 2020.
An initial US$10 billion was invested in BPA by the Korean government in 1994 and the first of the initially planned 30 berths began operating in 2006.
In 2003, the Korean central government handed over the management of Busan Port to a newly organized port authority to develop Busan Port into one of the world’s leading ports, planning to take full advantage of the port authority system: quick decision-making, flexible and independent organizational management and self-supporting finance. To achieve this goal, the Port Authority Act was established and the Busan Port Authority (BPA) was founded on Jan 1st 2004.
BPA is responsible for:
· development of the port facility and port operation
· research activities for port development, port operation and human resources in the port
· operation and management of the integrated logistics terminal and port distribution facility
· development of pork worker welfare facility
· operation of projects delegated by central and local government