Dongwon New Port Container Terminal Consortium has been chosen as the operator of the West Container Terminal at Busan New Port.

Last August, the Busan Port Authority (BPA) appointed Dongwon Consortium as the preferred bidder through an open bidding competition.

It has since been in discussions regarding the details of the provisional contract.

Last September, BPA conducted a provisional lease contract signing ceremony, which was attended by BPA CEO Nam Ki-chan and Dongwon Consortium CEO Park Sung-soon.

The event was also witnessed by executives of Hanjin, which will be responsible for the work and employees of each company.

The Dongwon Consortium will run a terminal with six berths, integrating Phase 2-5, which will offer three berths for 20,000TEU vessels, Phase 2-6, offering two berths, and a feeder terminal.

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The terminal will have a 30-year lifespan, starting when Phase 2-5 begins operations in July 2023.

It will provide advanced loading services using automated equipment, including nine container cranes and 46 transfer cranes that BPA will set up.

The Dongwon Pusan Container Terminal, which is one of the Consortium members, plans to transfer the volume and staff from the North Port Singamman Terminal to the New Port.

This is expected to lower competition by preventing the creation of multiple terminal operators at the New Port.

Port Technology cited BPA CEO Nam Ki-chan as stating: “We tried our best to implement the request of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries as much as possible, such as additional verification of volume creation, review on legal feasibility and consultation with shipping labour unions.

“The provisional lease contract with the preferred bidder is the best solution, considering it is in line with the government policy of gradual transfer of container terminal functions to the New Port.

“It will also stabilise port workers’ jobs, lay the foundation for integrated terminal operation, address the excessive foreign capital issue in the New Port terminals and secure the financial soundness of the construction.”