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WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) -- The board of the North Carolina State Ports Authority is moving ahead with plans for wood-pellet handling facilities at both Wilmington and Morehead City.

The StarNews of Wilmington reports (http://bit.ly/SwR52F ) the board on Thursday approved spending up to $5 million for the design of the Morehead City expansion. The two projects together could cost up to $120 million, making them the most expensive expansion projects in the history of the ports.

The authority can borrow the $5 million but is hoping the state-owned North Carolina Railroad Company will provide the money.

But last month the Railroad Company board voted against giving the Ports Authority $70 million over a decade to secure financing for the projects.

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