The South Korean government has announced it is to invest US$35 billion to upgrade 12 of it leading ports over the next 20 years, in order to meet cargo traffic growth projections.
It says it wants to expand cargo handling capacity at the ports to 1.85 billion tons by 2040 (up from 1.32 billion tons in 2017) while increasing container handling capacity to 48m TEU (up from 27m TEU in 2017).
The plan includes a major development of the port of Busan into a ‘mega port’ able to handle 25,000-TEU vessels.
Busan is South Korea’s main sea gateway, and the sixth largest container port in the world.
The world’s two largest ports – Shanghai and Singapore – currently handle 42m TEUs and 36m TEUs per year respectively.
The South Korean plans will also see the creation of two new ports – a cruise port on the popular southern island of Jeju and a cargo port in Donghae on the east coast.