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Pyungtaek Port, A Rising New Export Base

Posted May. 28, 2001 07:37,   


Once one crosses the Seohae Grand Bridge through the West-coast Express Way, an unfamiliar scene can be found. There are no more the same tidelands and beaches with the rolling waves that one could see crossing the Asanman Seawall. Instead, there are thousands of automobiles waiting to be loaded, and huge ships that will carry those automobiles to North America ringing their horns. Beside of the dock, oversized container-carriers come and go.

The Pyungtaek Port is Rising as a New Exporting Port.

The Pyngtaek Port, which was developed as one of three government-run ports, is becoming as a new export base to China and an automobile export base after the opening of the Seohae Grand Bridge.

Exporting automobiles that used to go to the Inchon Port are now coming to this port due to an excellent traffic route and the shorter distance comparing with Gunsan or Pusan. In case of automobiles that are produced in Kyungki and South Chungchung regions, 20.000 won of transportation cost per an automobile can be saved compared to the Inchon Port. Representatives at Inchon Port are noticing the shift. It is expected to see 360.000 automobiles exported through the Pyungtaek Port following last year’s 150.000 automobiles. An official at the Pyungtaek City said, ``We expect to save more than 5.5 billion won of transportation cost for exporting automobile, following last year’s 2.8 billion won.``

Three ship-docks (30.000 tons grade) were constructed in 1997, and three more ship-docks (30.000 tons grade) will be completed by July, this year. By 2011, when all the construction projects are to be completed, the Pyungtaek Port will be an international class port with 62 ship-docks.

A trade base to China: In automobile export, the Pyungtaek Port will take the second place in this year, following the first place of the Ulsan Port, outnumbering the Inchon Port (320.000 automobiles) Trades between Korea and China through the port are greatly increasing.

After the opening of the container-carrier lines between Pyungtaek ~ Quingdao, and Pyungtaek ~ Tianjin, the Pyungtaek Port handled 31.12 million tons of freight last year. It is an increase of 20 percent compared to 26.13 million tons in 1999. By the end of April, it has handled 13.53 million tons, an increase of 130 percent comparing to last year same period. Pyungtaek City expected, considering the current situation, there will be 64.75 million tons of trade freights in 2006.

A representative at Pyungtaek City estimated, ``Considering the nation’s freight transportation costs, there can be a total saving of 800 billion won.``

Pyungtaek City rises together: Pyungtaek City, where a rapid development is taking place, is dreaming to become a major city in the era of Westcoast.

They are planing a basic city project to develop a port base city of 5.88 million p’yung . A production and circulation complex of 2.98 million p’yung, a travel and residential district of 0.52 million p’yung, a wooded area of 2.37 million p’yung will be developed. In addition, the Chungbuk New City with 0.6 million p’yung will be constructed as well.

A project of the Landmark Tower with a 44 stories building, an ocean-side resort town, is being developed in Hyundukmyun district.

Kim Sun-Ki, the mayor of Pyungtaek City, said, ``We will develop Pyungtaek as an international travel destination after the convention centers, hotels, and oversize shopping-malls are completed.`` ``We can attract more than 3.5 million car-ferry travelers from Japan, Hong Kong and China,`` he added. Kim stressed the importance of government’s support for Pyungtaek City’s long term development plan which includes construction of exclusive docks for container-carriers, and designation of the city as a tax-free district.

Nam Kyung-Hyun bibulus@donga.com