SIGNIFICANCE OF PORT QASIM
AROOJ ASGHAR (Arooj.email@example.com)
Oct 19 - 25, 2009
Pakistan is strategically located at the mouth of the Gulf. It lies at the junction of four important regions i.e. oil rich Gulf to the West, Energy rich Central Asian Sates in the North West, fastest growing economy of China to the North East, India to the East and the strategic North Arabian Sea as its southern boundary with 1,064 km of coastline. Hence, it is ideally positioned to serve as a major trade route and energy corridor for the region. Additionally, international trade routes to and from the Gulf pass just off its coastline. Pakistan has three ports viz. Karachi Port, Port Bin Qasim and the newly developed Gwadar port.
Karachi and Port Bin Qasim are the major operating ports at present.
The following characteristics auger well for Pakistan to becoming as a major hub in the region.
• Commercially strategic location,
• Vibrant economy at takeoff point, right stage for such projects, and
• Availability of large reservoir of skilled work force at competitive costs.
Port Qasim is fast becoming a major contributor to national economy of Pakistan with an impressive growth in port operations. The Port Qasim is located approximately 50 Km South-East of Karachi and became fully operational in 1983. The Port facilities include a 1,400-meter long multi purpose terminal, which is divided into seven berths of 200 meters each. There is also a 279-meter special berth for handling of bulk Iron Ore and Coal for Pakistan Steel. The berth is connected with steel mill facility through 4.5 meter elevated conveyor. The Port also has one Oil Terminal set up under private sector for handling of liquid bulks including fuel oil and petroleum.
This Port handles an average of 7.2 millions tons cargo of which about 3 million tons is liquid cargo.
Port Qasim is unique in character as it has 12,000 acres of land above high water mark for development of industries/commercial complexes. Out of 12,000 acres of land, 9,790 acres are available for allotment. So far 3,283 acres of land has been allotted to various entrepreneurs and good number of them have set up projects in the industrial zone, attracting huge investment in local and foreign exchange estimated to exceed US$ 2.5 to 3.0 billion. In the last few years alone, 35 industries have been established, which include terminals, facilities, a textile complex and desalination plant.
As per the web site of Port Qasim, in order to enhance production and export of value added textile products, Government of Pakistan plans to set up a "Textile City" on 1,250 acres in the Eastern Industrial Zone of Port Qasim. Port Qasim Authority has handed over possession of 1,250 acres of land. 5% of leveling/grading work has been completed. Combined effluent treatment plant-consultant has been appointed.
This would not only facilitate vendors and suppliers of raw material and emergence of downstream and support industries but would also create immense employment opportunities as a result, during construction and operation phases besides earning valuable foreign exchange for the country.
A lot of industrial development is going on at the Port Qasim vicinity. Few of the projects that are either completed in last few months or at the advance stage are as follows.
PROGAS has been developing an LPG Terminal at a cost of US$25 million at the port on Build-Operate-Transfer basis. The terminal with handling capacity of 2.0 million tons per annum will accommodate vessels up to 30,000 DWT.
FWQ - LIQUID CARGO TERMINAL
A dedicated Liquid Cargo Terminal at a cost of around US$ 13 million with a designed capacity of 4 million tons per annum is developed at the port.
QICT- 2ND CONTAINER TERMINAL
To handle increased volume of container traffic, 2nd Container Terminal at a cost of over US$ 200 million with handling capacity of 1.175 million TEUs is planned by Dubai Port World on BOT basis.
ESTABLISHMENT OF GRAIN & FERTILIZER TERMINAL
Grain and Fertilizer Terminal with handling capacity of four million tons, on BOT basis, is planned to be developed at the port at a cost of around US$ 50 million.
Establishment of LNG Floating Terminal by Pakistan GasPort Limited Implementation Agreement for development of LNG Floating Terminal by Pakistan GasPort was signed on April 28, 2007. The terminal with handling capacity of 2 million tons per annum shall be completed at a cost of around US$ 160 million.
COAL, CLINKER/CEMENT TERMINAL
Port Qasim Authority plans for dedicated Coal, Clinker/Cement Terminal at a cost of around US$ 50 million with the handling capacity of around 4 million tons per annum.
ESTABLISHMENT OF 2ND OIL JETTY
To handle crude oil and finished products of proposed Indus Oil Refinery, 2nd Oil Jetty with handling capacity of around 9 million tons at an estimated cost of approximately US$ 25 million is planned to be set up at the Port. The jetty shall be capable to accommodate vessels of 75,000 dwt vessels.
ESTABLISHMENT OF 2ND IOCB
On the request of Pakistan Steel Mills, 2nd IOCB has been planned at the port with handling capacity of 8 million tons per annum at an estimated cost of US$ 50 million. The berth shall be capable to accommodate vessels of 75,000 dwt class vessels.
DEEPENING AND WIDENING OF NAVIGATIONAL CHANNEL
To accommodate larger ships, Port Qasim Authority plans for deepening & widening of the navigation channel at an estimated cost of Rs. 6 billion.
Over the last 50 years, seaborne trade has grown much more than growth of World's GDP though with periodical fluctuations. With world GDP growing at much faster rate, compared to previous decades, seaborne trade will also grow accordingly. Hence, it is envisaged that long-term demand for more ships will continue. The need to modernize Port Qasim and the proposals to address future capacity constraints are to be accepted.