TWIN PORTS OF KARACHI
ACTIVE PARTICIPATION BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS HELPING IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF COST EFFICIENT PORT FACILITIES.
SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Mar 7 - 13, 2011
Pakistan has a 1,200 kilometers long coast line, which joins the strategic oil line of Persian Gulf with the Indian Ocean. On it lies the Karachi Port which has been serving this part of the erstwhile Indian subcontinent and later Pakistan on its creation in 1947. However, owing to the growing needs of the country, there was a need to develop other smaller coastal ports into major cargo handling ports. Beside Karachi, Pasni, Jiwani, Gadani, Ormara and Gwadar are other ports which are developed into world class ship handling centers.
With the coming up of the steel mills near Karachi and to meet the demand of coal and iron ore, it was decided to construct Port Qasim some 35 kilometers west of Karachi. It is Pakistan's second busiest port, handling about 35 per cent of the nation's cargo. The total area of the port comprises 1,000 acres with an adjacent 11,000 acre industrial estate. The approach to the port is along a 45-kilometre long Navigation Channel, which provides safe navigation for vessels up to 75,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT). The geographic position of the port places it in close proximity to major shipping routes. One of its major advantages is the proximity to national transport facilities - 15 kilometers from the Pakistan National Highway, 14 kilometers from the National Railway network through six railway tracks located immediately behind the berths and 22 kilometers from Jinnah International Airport.
The present facilities at this port 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, and manganese for Pakistan Steel Mills. The berth 279 meters in length is capable of handling 700 tons per hour each. Currently, vessels of 55,000 tons payload are handled and the berth is connected to the Pakistan Steel Stockyard through a 4.5-kilometer long conveyer. The design capacity of the berth stands is 3.36 million tons per annum.
The multipurpose terminal comprises of four multipurpose berths in a linear length of 800 meters each divided into 200 meters length. Berth no 1 has a design capacity of around 2.5 million tons per annum. Vessels over 25000 DWT carrying edible oil, chemicals, and molasses are handled at this berth. Berths (2 to 4) with design capacity of 5 to 6 million tons are capable to accommodate vessels drawing more than 35,000 DWT. All sorts of bulk break, bulk and general cargo is handled at these berths. Two transit sheds each measuring 10,000 sq. meters are also located at berths 2 and 4. Berths (2-4) have a vast back up area measuring 400 x 600 meters 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 operating in the private sector.
FOTCO 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 build, own, and operate (BOO) basis at a cost of US$87 million. The terminal is operational since April 1995. It is capable of handling nine 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 a jetty capable of handling up to 75000 DWT vessels, product pipelines, loading arms and a 4 km long trestle that connects the jetty with the shore. The terminal has the capability to berth tankers with 63,000 tons shipload. 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. 77 acres of land has been earmarked here 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 11 meters 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 incorporating a radio link between the yard vehicles and the planning centre. QICT was a consortium put together by P&O Ports, Mackinnons Pakistan, P&O Containers Pakistan Limited, the Commonwealth Development Corporation of the UK, and the Pakistan-Kuwait Investment Company, the latter being a joint venture between the governments of Pakistan and Kuwait. Subsequently, P&O Ports demonstrating their commitment to the project, bought out CDC and Pak-Kuwait and owned 55 per cent equity in QICT with 25 per cent being owned by International Terminal Holdings limited of UK and 20 per cent being owned by APM Terminals.
In March 2006, P&O Ports was globally bought over by DP World (Dubai Ports World), one of the top three marine terminal operators in the world having the widest network of 52 terminals spanning 30 countries and five continents. A global capacity of 50 million TEUs (twenty-feet equivalent unit) and a dedicated, experienced and professional team of 30,000 people providing services in some of the most dynamic economies of the world.
Engro Vopak terminal is 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 build, operate, and transfer (BOT) basis in 1998. It has a design capacity of 4 million tons per annum. 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 kilometer 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.
Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) is already operational at the West Wharf. It was developed in phases. Initially two phases were operational with terminal area of 135,122 sqm and an annual capacity of 400,000 TEUs. Cost of Phase I and II is US$65 million. Phase-III has also been completed. This was inaugurated by Honorable Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani in November, 2008. In this phase, the terminal has an area of 260,000 sq.m with an additional investment of US$55 million. The total terminal capacity shall be increased to 700,000 TEUs. The 973 meter long berths of the terminal are deepened to cater for 14 meter draught container ship. The terminal is equipped with six gantry cranes, 15 RTGs, 4 top lift, 4 empty handler, 50 chasis etc. Presently, they are handling 806,000 TEUs per year.
Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT), the second container terminal constructed on BOT, was awarded by KPT in June 2002. PICT is the only container terminal in Pakistan sponsored and owned by Pakistanis. It is a public listed company and is the only port infrastructure project listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange. It is the first port infrastructure project in Pakistan financed by international finance corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank. It is the first private sector project in Pakistan in which the OPEC Fund for international development has participated as financiers. Total investment is approximately US$150 million. This terminal at berths 6-9 East Wharf has 600 meter quay wall with - 13.5 meter depth over an area of 207,000sqm. The terminal's planned capacity is 450,000 TEUs. PICT has been developed in phases. In Phase-I Two modern gantry cranes and associated equipment were deployed. Phase-II was completed in May 2006 with additional deployment of one more ship to shore gantry crane and Phase-III has been completed in January 2009. Presently, they are handling 603,000 TEUs per year.