ISLAMABAD, Nov 8: The Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings Limited (HPH) entered into an agreement with the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) here on Thursday to invest over $1 billion in the Pakistan Deep Water Container Port Project (PDWCP).
The project will have 10 draft berths at 18-metre depth, of which four will be completed in the first phase by 2010 and will have a terminal capacity of 3.1 m TEUs.
The signing ceremony took place at Aiwan-i-Sadr here on Thursday which was also witnessed by President Pervez Musharraf.
The project will have a $457 million of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) while rest of the investment of $550 million for development of infrastructure for phase-I will be made by the KPT.
The president said the government had also decided to set up facilities for shipbuilding and repair at the Gwadar deep-sea port.
He expressed the hope that construction of $1 billion deep-sea container terminal at Karachi would turn the country into a major transshipment hub for the regional countries, further bolstering Pakistan’s trade and commerce.
He said Pakistan would be one of the few countries of the region that would not only provide ship-building, but also repair facilities and deep-sea container terminal that can accommodate some of the largest ships operating.
The president said Pakistan serves as a hub for trade between the Central Asian Republics, Western China, and Middle East, Africa and Europe.
He said country’s strategic location would be used for trade and commerce which would not only be beneficial for Pakistan, but for the entire region as well.
Chairman, Karachi Port Trust, Vice Admiral Ahmad Hayat, giving an overview of the project, assured a minimum royalty payment of $1.1bn to the KPT over the 25 year concession period.
He, however, pointed out that the total expected income stands at over $3.5 billion over the same period.
He said 10 berths will be spread over an area of 5 km and the first vessel is expected to sail into the new terminal by 2010.
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