Mar 19 - 25, 20

Country's first dirty cargo handling terminal is on its way with an investment of $180 million designed to exclusively deal with cement, clinker and coal consignments at Port Qasim.

Capt. Haleem Siddiqui, Chairman Marine Group of Companies which also operates Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) and the forthcoming Pakistan International Bulk Terminal at Port Qasim while talking to PAGE on the sidelines of a contract signing ceremony for civil work in Karachi said that this investment is coming at a time when rest of the segments of the economy are less vibrant.

The investment at this point of time in the bulk cargo handling at Port Qasim shows the firm commitment and confidence of the sponsors in Pakistan economic strength and future outlook, said Capt. Haleem who strongly believes in economic potential of the country and the capacity of the people of Pakistan to deliver.

Explaining the financial structure of the upcoming International Bulk Cargo Terminal at Port Qasim, the chairman PIBT said 50 percent of the project would be equity based while remaining 50 percent would be financed.

The performance of the PICT was so impressive that built up a great confidence of the World Bank into professional capability and capacity of the group. It was the credibility of the group that the World Bank has agreed with the feasibility of the project for providing 20 percent financing of the Bulk Cargo Terminal through IFC.

The management has also applied to Karachi Stock Exchange for listing of the project and hopefully Initial Public Offering (IPO) would be invited sometimes in June-July this year to raise 50 percent equity for the project.

Capt. Haleem said that world class infrastructure development to catch up the world growth is the need of the hour to respond to the growing need of various economic segments of the country. He cited the example of energy sector where the oil based power generation would no more be commercially feasible and like elsewhere in the world Pakistan would have to switch over to coal-based power generation to be competitive in the world export market.

He foresees that at least 40 percent of the power generation needs have to be met through coal-fired generation as is being done in neighboring India and European economies.

When asked about reports appeared in the press regarding acquisition of 35 percent shares of PICT by a foreign investor, Capt. Haleem Siddiqui who is also the Chairman PICT said that at present the intended investor is engaged in due diligence of functioning and performance of PICT. The decision would be made after they complete the due diligence process.

In this respect, the bulk cargo terminal would have a storage capacity of over 900,000 tons of coal and over 300,000 tons of crinkles, which approximately come 1.2 million tons of coal and cement storage capacity with special emphasis on environment control of world-class standards.

Actually, the credit for this terminal of its own kind to handle dirty cargo in Pakistan goes to the present government in general and the minister and ministry of port and shipping in particular for putting life into this dormant project hanging in balance for many years for approval of the relevant authorities.

The Chairman PIBT said that the project is expected to come into operations by the start of 2015. PIBT would be capable of handling up to 12 million tons per annum of coal, cement, and clinker. The jetty shall have a depth of 15 meters with the capability of handling large ships of up to 75,000 DWT. The length of the jetty would be around 460 meters, which will be connected to the back area of 25 hectares with a 2.5 km long trestle bridge. The terminal is planned to have dedicated storage and handling facilities for each type of cargo .i.e. cement, clinker and coal. There will be five silos of 10,000 tons capacity each for cement storage.

It may be mentioned that the signing ceremony of the civil works contract for the construction of Pakistan's first mechanized coal, cement and clinker terminal at Port Qasim on a 30-year build operate and transfer basis was held in Karachi between Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Ltd. and JV Consortium of Turkish firm Siyahkalem-and local firm Maqbool Associates.

Vice Admiral (R) Muhammad Shafi, Chairman Port Qasim Authority while speaking as the chief guest paid glowing tributes to untiring efforts of PICT leadership for a prestigious addition to port handling operations on most modern lines at Port Qasim Authority.

The Chairman PQA said that this project gives him a sense of achievement in the sense that this is being materialized during his tenure of PQA chairman. The signing of the agreement was executed by Sharique A. Siddiqui, CEO of PIBT, and Masood Shah, CEO of the JV consortium of Siyahkalem & Maqbool Associates.

Pakistan International Bulk Terminal would be constructed as a state-of-the-art dirty bulk cargo handling facility at an estimated cost of approximately USD180 million at Port Qasim on a 30 year built operate and transfer basis.

PIBT has developed an Environment Management Plan (EMP) in compliance with applicable laws and regulations of Pakistan, IFC's Performance standards and World Bank Group Environmental Health and Safety Guidelines.

The PIBT Project is in line with the vision of Marine Group of Companies to be the pioneering group of Pakistani entrepreneurs and professionals to set up modern cargo handling infrastructure in the ports in Pakistan to meet the growing demands of cargo handling in the country.

The sponsors of PIBT, the Marine Group of Companies, have the distinction of also setting up the country's first publicly listed port infrastructure project by the name of Pakistan International Container Terminal Ltd. (PICT) that currently handles around 30 per cent of Pakistan's container throughput.