South Korean shipbuilders could see a return to the container crane market, Yonhap News Agency cited industry sources as saying.
The announced move comes as the Busan Port Authority (BPA) is considering plans to order a number of gantry cranes from compatriot shipyards.
The cranes are reportedly intended for BPA’s new container terminals. According to Yonhap, the estimated cost for the construction of ten cranes is KRW 1 trillion (USD 893 million).
What is more, the demand for replacements of older cranes at several South Korean ports might trigger the decision by the shipbuilders to return to the container crane manufacturing business.
The country’s shipyards ceased the construction of cranes in 2006 as a consequence of cheap products from China.
However, the difference in price has changed to less than five percent, Yonhap quoted an official from the port authority.
In late-September 2016, South Korea revealed plans to invest some KRW 14.7 trillion in the expansion of the country’s ports.
The investment, scheduled to be undertaken in the period from 2016 until 2020, is aimed at preparing the country’s ports for the era of mega ships.
South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) said it plans to make Busan the second largest container transshipment hub. The second phase of the Busan New Port expansion project is expected to be completed by 2020, while the third phase of the expansion would increase the number of berths from 21 to 37.
World Maritime News Staff