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BPA to buy three berths from PNC

BPA to buy three berths from PNC

Seoul: South Korea's Busan Port Authority (BPA) has confirmed a deal to acquire three berths at Pusan New Port Co (PNC) at an estimated price of 490 billion won ($387 million), writes Portworld.

The berths, with a total capacity of 1.5m teu, were owned by financially troubled PNC, which started the sale negotiations with BPA in April this year.

A BPA spokeswoman said operation of the berths would now be put out to tender with a final bidding date on July 8, it was reported. The prime bidder will be announced on July 10 and BPA hopes the three berths will start operations in October.

The spokeswoman said some interested parties include PSA International and an association of domestic near-sea operators whose members include KMTC, Heung-A and Nam Saung Shipping.

PNC was originally scheduled to commence operations of the three berths in May, but BPA stepped in because of questions over PNC's ability to take on the additional berths, given its shaky financial position.

PNC is working towards recouping losses and repaying loans after running six other berths at a loss since the facilities opened in 2006.  [03/07/09]