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Busan Port to Lead Korea’s Recovery

Posted December. 20, 2005 08:23,   


A resounding boat whistle announces the opening of the new port that will lead the restoration of the Korean economy.

With the opening on January 19, one month ahead of schedule, the recently named new port was humming with final construction work.

At the construction site, which our news gathering team visited on the occasion of the new port’s christening, massive cranes were operating ceaselessly, and workers were busily running back and forth.

The new port was slowly revealing its grand appearance as the hub of logistics in the Northeast Asian region.

It is now being prepared to compete with the ports of Shanghai and Yangshan in China, which opened partially on December 10.

Creating 22 Trillion Won in Value-

A steel container, 11 meters long in width, flew toward a tractor, drawing a big arch in the sky. Going against my expectations, it didn’t land on the ground with a big thud; instead, the three-ton metal box softly landed exactly on the carrier of a yard tractor. As soon as the tractor left, the spreader of the crane, which picked up the container, flew away, again drawing the same big arch in midair.

At the 1-1 zone of the new port’s North quay, a nine-way road, as wide as a runway of an airport, was the location of the operations training of crane drivers in nine 65-meter tall blue wharf cranes. It was almost scary to watch the massive machine, as high as a 20-story-tall building, operating at a speed that can process 35 containers an hour.

The yard cranes, in charge of piling up containers for open storage, were running test drives behind the wharf cranes, and further behind those cranes, a vast, 930,000-pyeong site for logistics was spread out before us.

Engineering work was in full swing on the site. Of the whole site, 25,000 pyeong was already sold at the location where buildings are to be put up in the second half of next year.

According to a survey by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in 2002, if 8.475 trillion won is invested in the Busan port by 2011, it will result in a 22 trillion won production boost and 330,000 new jobs nationwide.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race-

The Busan Port Authority (BPA) announced that it would not engage in rough-and-ready construction, no matter how urgent the opening of the port is required. It explained that in order to compete with the world’s leading ports, the new port has to be prepared to perfection, even if the completion gets somewhat postponed. So, in regards to not hindering the construction, the pavement work of the road leading to the site, as well as the installation of the city’s gas, are planned for the end of February next year.

The completion of Gyeon-ma Bridge, which will serve as the main means of connection between the new port and Nok-san Industrial Complex, was immediately put off until early March next year when a trivial accident happened at the construction site.

“We would have no trouble in receiving ships into the new port, even if we were to open the port as soon as tomorrow,” an official from the BPA said with confidence. BPA officials are busying themselves out to secure the amount of logistics required.

Busan Regional Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Port Construction Division Chief Yoon Byong-gu said, “It will take three to four years until the operation of the port gets normalized. I believe that the new port stands a chance of success, so we do not have to share some of the logistics from the nearby ports, as China does.”