Oct 19 - 25, 2009

Historically human dwellings have developed around water sources. As people began to trade the coastal line developed mainly due to ample availability of seafood. With the commencement of industrial revolution, manufacturing units also started emerging in cities enjoying proximity with ports. This was mainly to avoid freight cost, reduce transit time and above all promote trade.

Among the areas which constitute Pakistan today, Karachi being one of the major ports located on the Arabian Sea coast not only became a hub of trade and finance but industries also started emerging here. Karachi port enjoying more than 150 years history and has been not only catering Pakistan but also handling transit trade of Afghanistan and Central Asia.

As the planners started exploring potential sites for Pakistan Steel Mills, the limitation of Karachi Port to handle millions of tons of iron core and hard coke was also highlighted. This gave birth to Port Bin Qasim.

Port Bin Qasim has been developed on the coast line of Arabian Sea. The tidal variation at the mouth as well as in the port is between 0.5 to 3.5 meters. The port is not only accessible through sea but is also well connected with the hinterland, through road and railway networks. It has 45 km long Navigation Channel and 14 km long links the port to Pakistan Railways network through six railway tracks.

The port is located at a distance of 50km from Karachi city center and 15 km from National Highway. It spreads over 12,000 acres. Port facilities spread over 1,000 acres and industrial area mainly divided into three zones spreads over 11,000 acres.

Though the Port was initially developed to cater to the needs of Pakistan Steel Mills, yet the emerging congestion at Karachi Port, restriction on establishing new industrial units in the SITE prompted the policy planners to exploit its real potential by setting up an industrial area and make it future industrial zone of the country.

Creation of facilities which mostly come under infrastructure facilities paved way for establishing mega industrial units. Along with the construction of port facilities the KESC also decided to build its thermal power plant, now known as Bin Qasim plant having an installed capacity of 1,737MW and comprising of six power generation units.

Some of the facilities located at the port deserving specific mention are Iron ore and coal birth, multipurpose terminal, FOTCO oil terminal, Qasim International Container Terminal, and Engro Vopak chemical terminal. These facilities have been established both by the public and private sector.


The Iron Ore and Coal berth commissioned in 1980 is a specialized berth for handling Iron Ore, Coal & Manganese for Pakistan Steel Mills. The berth 279 meters in length is equipped with two grab loaders having handling capacity of 700 tons per hour each. Currently vessels of 55,000 tons payload are being handled here. The berth is connected to the Pakistan Steel stockyard through a 4.5 kilometer long conveyer. The design capacity of the berth was 3.36 million tons per annum. Since the start of port operations in 1980 the facility has handled cargo running into million of tons brought in thousands of ships.


The terminal comprises of four multi-purpose berths in a linear length of 800 meters each divided into 200 meters length. Berth-1 has a design capacity of around 2.5 million tons per annum. Vessels over 25000 DWT carrying edible oil, chemicals and molasses are being handled at this berth. Berths 2 to 4, with design capacity of 5 to 6 million tons, are capable of handling vessels with more than 35000 DWT.

All bulk, break bulk and general cargo are handled at these berths. Two transit sheds each measuring 10,000 sq. meters are also located at berths 2 and 4. These berths have a vast back up area. The entire range of cargo handling from opening of hatch of the ship to delivery of the consignment for imports and vice versa is carried out by cargo handling companies belonging to the private sector under one window operation.


Oil terminal is a state of the art environmental friendly marine oil terminal. It was the first terminal to be developed by the private sector on BOO basis at a cost of US$87 million. The terminal is operational since April 1995. It is capable of handling 9 million tons of furnace oil per annum with a growth potential to handle more than 27 million tons with three additional berths. The facility mainly comprises of a jetty capable of handling up to 75000 DWT vessels, product pipelines, loading arms and a 4km long trestle that connects the jetty with the shore. The terminal has the capability to berth tankers with 63,000 tons shipload.

Over the years it has handled millions of tons of furnace oil. It also commenced handling white oil from January 2001 through a separate 30 inch diameter pipeline. Additionally, British Petroleum crude has also been handled here. About 77 acres of land has been earmarked for POL storage tank farm. The terminal is designed to cater for four additional berths and four product pipelines to meet the current and future petroleum handling requirements of the country.


Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) is Pakistan's first dedicated international container terminal established by the private sector on BOO basis. The terminal was constructed at a capital cost of US$35 million. It is operational since August 1997 and encompasses a total area of 240,000 sq. meters. It has a design capacity of 0.36 millions TEUs/annum and is capable of handling vessels up to 272 meters in length. The quay wall is 600 meters long and the 11meters draught is sufficient to allow ships up to 45,000 DWT to dock alongside. It is equipped with rail mounted ship to shore gantry cranes and back up infrastructure. The entire operation at this terminal is managed by a computer system by "Navis" incorporating a radio link between the yard vehicles and the planning centre.


An integrated bulk liquid chemical import /export and storage terminal operational was constructed as a joint venture of Engro Chemical of Pakistan and Royal Vopak of the Netherlands on BOT basis in 1998. It has a design capacity to handle 4 million tons liquid cargo annually. The jetty located in the middle of the Port Qasim channel is designed to handle ships up to 75000 DWT and is linked to a 2 acre tank farm via a 1.1 km long trestle. Offloading of liquid chemical products is carried out through dedicated marine loading arms or hoses and is transferred via pipelines from the jetty to storage on the mainland.

Currently there are 19 storage tanks for storage of various chemicals. The Port Qasim Industrial Zone covers a total of almost 12,000 acres and divided into 3 industrial zones: North Western Zone, East Western Zone and the South Zone. Various important units are located in these zones.


Indus Motor Company is a joint venture between the House of Habib, Toyota Motor Corporation Japan (TMC) and Toyota Tsusho Corporation Japan (TTC) for assembling, progressive manufacturing and marketing of Toyota vehicles in Pakistan. Since July 1990 the Company is also engaged in sole distributorship of Toyota and Daihatsu vehicles in Pakistan through its dealership network. The Company was incorporated in Pakistan as a public limited company in December 1989 and commenced commercial production in May 1993. The shares of company are quoted on the stock exchanges of Pakistan. The production facilities etc. are spread over an area measuring about 105 acres. Indus Motor Company's plant is the only manufacturing site in the world where both Toyota and Daihatsu brands are being manufactured. Heavy investment was made to build its production facilities based on state of the art technologies. To ensure highest level of productivity world-renowned Toyota Production Systems are implemented.


The company has a long history. It was established as a joint venture between Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan (SMC) and Pakistan Automobile Corporation (PACO) owned by the Government of Pakistan. In 1984 it commenced commercial production of Suzuki FX. In 1988 it launched 1000cc Swift car which was later on called Khyber. In 1989 foundation stone of Bin Qasim plant was laid by the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. In 1992 SMC acquired additional 15% shares from PACO enhancing its shareholding to 40% and also took over management control.

The joint venture agreement between SMC and PACO ended and PACO divested its entire share holding to SMC, raising SMC's equity to 73.9%. By 2007 the company raised production capacity to 150,000 vehicles per year, amalgamated Suzuki Motorcycle Pakistan into Pak Suzuki Motor Company and acquired additional 120 acres adjacent to the existing plant for further expansion.


Setting up a PTA plant in Pakistan required a large investment in infrastructure at Port Qasim. The costs of the project included a 54 km water supply pipeline, a 220kV supply link to KESC Bin Qasim power station, and a state of the art waste effluent treatment facility. In addition BOC Gases built an industrial gases unit adjacent to the PTA plant, with a long-term contract to supply nitrogen and hydrogen. Similarly bulk chemicals import and storage terminal has been established at Port Qasim with a 1.1km long jetty, underpinned by a contract to import and store Paraxylene and Acetic Acid for Pakistan PTA. The Port Qasim PTA plant started production in June 1998. Within a short time the operating team proved that they could run this complex plant to world standards of safety, environmental care, product quality, process efficiency, and customer service.

Since 2002 the plant has operated above its nameplate capacity and following minor de-bottlenecking and process improvements the plant has become capable of producing more than 470,000 tons per annum PTA.


Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim plant is a modern granular urea and Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertilizers manufacturing complex, built at a cost of US$468 million and located in Eastern Zone. Initially named as FFC-Jordan Fertilizer Company the major stakeholders included Fauji Fertilizer Company, Fauji Foundation and Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (JPMC). The company was listed at local stock exchanges in May 1996 and commenced commercial production in January 2000.

The entity was renamed as Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim (FFBL) in 2003 after JPMC sold its entire equity in the company. FFBL fertilizer complex is state of the art manufacturing facility with advanced distributed control system for safe and efficient operation. FFBL is the only fertilizer complex in Pakistan producing DAP fertilizer and granular urea and making significant contribution towards agricultural growth of the country by meeting 45% of the demand of DAP and 13% of urea.


Procter & Gamble (P&G) commenced operations in Pakistan in 1991. P&G manufacturing plant at Port Qasim is spread over of 25 acres of land. The state-of-the-art plant is the largest P&G fixed investment in Pakistan. Based on the highest global standards, it is bringing FDI amounting to US $100 million in the country. Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan by P&G is greatly appreciated. FDI brings manifold benefits. It not only helps in creating a capital formation but value adding the national economy through creation of employment opportunities , development of allied and parallel industries but increasing revenue stream through sales tax, custom duties, and other prevalent charges.

P&G manufacturing plant at Port Qasim offers around 7000 direct and indirect job opportunities. Revenue increase to GoP is expected around US$100 million annually through sales tax, custom duty etc. Local production is likely to save around US$75 million per annum.


Textile City is being constructed in Eastern Industrial Zone. It is based on the concept of separate clusters for weaving, denim, bed linen, knitwear, towel, apparel, dyeing and for support industries like zips, button, thread packaging etc. The development of access road network, construction of administration building and designing of Pakistan's largest combined effluent treatment plant is moving at fast pace. Work on 20 MGD water supply pipeline is being done by KW & SB. Textile City has attracted international BOO sponsor for captive power plant of 250 MW with its first phase of 68 MW likely to be commissioned by end of 2010.

The project started in 2003 with initial funds of over one billion rupees contributed by 11 stakeholders including Government of Pakistan, Government of Sindh, Port Qasim Authority, National Bank of Pakistan, Pak Oman Investment Company, Pak Kuwait Investment Company, Saudi Pak Industrial and Agricultural Company, Pak Libya Holding Company, Pakistan Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation, Export Processing Zone Authority, and Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation.



The European Commission - League of Arab States Liaison Office, which Malta has been chosen to host, was officially opened last week. The office was inaugurated by Prime Minister of Malta Dr Lawrence Gonzi.

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, as well as Amre Moussa, Secretary General of the League of Arab States, attended the opening ceremony. Both had meetings with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Affairs of Malta minister Dr Tonio Borg and the Foreign and European Affairs Standing Committee of the Maltese Parliament.

According to honorary Consulate General of Malta in Pakistan "Experts from the European Commission and the Arab League, along with Maltese experts will work at the liaison office, which is aimed at coordinating dialogue between the EU and the Arab League."

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Borg said: "Experience has shown that being members of the European Union has put us in a stronger position to broker dialogue between north and south; we are no longer a tiny nation trying to find our political position in this dialogue, we are indeed part of it.

"Being EU members has enabled us to raise the question of a permanent open channel to the Arab world. Our attendance at the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) and our participation in the Gulf Cooperation Council meetings with the EU have given us an insight into Euro-Arab relations - something that was unthinkable outside membership."

He said the Euro-Arab dialogue initiative proves that EU membership did not dwarf Malta's special relationship with he Arab world. On the contrary, said Dr Borg, it provided us with a tool to further and promote what has been at the heart of our foreign policy.