The new generation ships such as Emma Maersk, categorised as E-class vessel, are expected to appear soon on the Karachi port coastline, which will be made possible by a safe mooring alongside berths of Pakistan Deep Water Container Port.

The first phase of the PDWCP project is heading towards completion as the contractor has already handed over two berths to Karachi Port Trust (KPT) which expects take to over the other two by the middle of this year.

With initial draft of 16 meters and designed draft of 18 meters, the PDWCP will enable Pakistan to appear on global maritime map, joining only a few countries which are able to handle mother ships having 400-meter LOA (Length Overall), 55- meter beam and a loading capacity of over 11,000 TEUs (Twenty Feet Equivalent Unit).

By the end of this year, the E- Class vessels are expected to steam through newly constructed three breakwaters and one revetment at Keamari Groyne, says a KPT official.

He says the Chinese contractor, working on the project, has completed Marine Protection Work (MPW) at an estimated cost of Rs16.275m. Three new breakwaters at Oyster Rocks, New Manora, Keamari Stuk and one Keamari revetment have been constructed to ensure stable water in the basin area of the port.

Similarly, the company has completed around 82pc work related to the quay wall construction. The first berth was completed in March and second in September last year. The remaining work is expected to be over by mid-year. The total estimated cost of this segment of development has been Rs27.695bn.


KPT Chairman Vice Admiral Shafqat Jawed says the KPT has handed over berth No.1 and 2 to South Asia Pakistan Terminal Ltd.


With a straight quay length of 1,500 meters providing four berths each of 375 meters in length coupled with a designed depth of 18 meters, will enable PDWCP to accommodate vessels with the capacity up to 14,500 boxes.

About 93pc of the dredging and reclamation work--- yet another major component of the mega project---has been completed..

Another Chinese company is engaged in dredging work to create basin at 16 meters under phase-I with a turn circle which could allow vessels with over 400 meter LOA to move out of the port from the basin area.

The contractor has dredged around 33 million cubic meters including 8m cubic meters reclamation and used suitable dredged material to form container terminal area.

The green field mega project was initiated by former KPT Chairman KPT Admiral Ahmed Hayat. Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) of Hong Kong committed to invest $457m the port- related equipment and other infrastructures.

KPT Chairman Vice Admiral Shafqat Jawed talking to this writer in his office said the KPT has handed over berth No.1 and 2 to terminal operator, South Asia Pakistan Terminal Ltd (SAPTL) whose parent company HPH, as per agreement, will bring in four gantry cranes and RTGs (rubber tire gantry cranes), build power plant building and also lay down 1,500 meter- long rail track for the movement of gantry cranes on the berths.

He expects to hand over two other berths (No 3 & 4) by June to the terminal operator. Looking at the current pace of development he hoped the PDWCP would be receiving first mother ship by the end of this year.

However, KPT chairman expressed his serious concern over the issue of land grabbing. He said precious land belonging to the port is being grabbed by other agencies and the provincial government.

A total area of 350 acres belonging to KPT is presently under a threat of being grabbed. Out of this, around 200 acres adjacent to PDWCP is purely dedicated port area.while the remaining 150 acres are beach area.

Without conceding that there is a serious connectivity issue for PDWCP, the KPT chief said initially when there will be less traffic the containers will be taken to marshalling yard at PQA through rail which is about 50km away from Deep Water Port.

The second option for giving connectivity to the PDWCP is by Moripur Elevated Expressway which will start from ICI Bridge to Northern Bypass (M-10). However, Vice-Admiral Shafqat Jawed admitted that real solution would be the harbour crossing bridge and this would be needed when container traffic touches its optimum level of 3.1 million boxes per annum.

The Karachi Port is currently focused on the PDWCP and would not like to take up any other project. The harbour crossing bridge, which is ultimate solution for the connectivity of the PDWCP, needs huge funds of up to Rss100 billion.

Responding to a question, he said, the Karachi port presently handles 1.6m boxes per annum and has an annual growth rate of 6-7pc in cargo activity; the KPT will also have to upgrade its existing berths to the economies of scale. The port is currently handling container vessels with a load of 6,000 to 7,000TEUs.

Talking about future plans, Vice Admiral Shafqat Jawed said under World Bank loan of $115 the Karachi Port would be undertaking ten-year business plan study. He disclosed that MTBS of Netherland will carry out the study which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The KPT has also launched EHS (environment, health and safety) Plan which will enable the port to get ISO certification.A foreign firm, Velosi, will be guiding the port on subjects like how to meet world health standards, safety of workers in port area, safety of vehicles/loaded with TEUs and tips as to how to keep harbour area clean.It has also started to educate people about environment, health and safety tips through displays on around 200 billboards in the port area.

Published in Dawn, Economic & Business, February 16th, 2015

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