Multipurpose Dry Bulk Cargo Terminal at PQ
Signing ceremony of the Investment Agreement for the construction of Pakistan’s first mechanised multipurpose non-food dry bulk cargo Terminal at Port Qasim was held between Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Limited (PIBT) and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, on June 7, 2012 in Karachi.
The signing of the Investment Agreement of US $19.0 million was executed by Capt. Haleem A. Siddiqui, Aasim A. Siddiqui and Dimitris Tsitsiragos.
In his welcome speech, Aasim A. Siddiqui, Managing Director, Marine Group of Companies, highlighted the importance of the contributions made by IFC in Pakistan ports. The new Terminal will be a state-of-theart multipurpose dry bulk cargo handling facility to be built at an estimated cost of US $185 million at Port Qasim on a Built Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. The Project is expected to be operational by 2015, with a capability of handling up to 12 million tonnes per annum of dry bulk cargo.
The project will improve efficiency, capacity and flexibility in cargo handling and reduce the cost and time of cargo handling in the country that will in turn boost the economic growth of Pakistan. PIBT in line with the vision of Marine Group of Companies, will be the leading cargo handling and logistics Group in Pakistan and will meet the growing demands of the sector in the country. It will boost economic activities; and will improve the transport and logistics infrastructure by implementing international standards of efficiency and environmental safety.
Speaking on the occasion, Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Vice President for Europe, Middle East and North Africa, said, “While Pakistan has strong potential for growth, it is suffering a lack of adequate investment in infrastructure.” He further said, “This project will facilitate growth in international trade for Pakistan, supporting the country’s economic development.”
While talking to the media, Capt. Haleem A. Siddiqui, Chairman, Marine Group of Companies, said IFC was supporting the construction of Pakistan’s first multipurpose nonfood dry bulk cargo Terminal at Port Qasim. He stressed that IFC’s participation as an equity shareholder with a Pakistani firm shows the growth of trust and confidence that the International lenders have shown in Pakistan.
He further added that PIBT is in the process of developing a mangroves reforestation plan in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on an area of 500 hectares in the coastal area of Port Qasim, to improve marine ecology which is in compliance with the applicable laws and regulations of Pakistan, IFC’s performance standards and the World Bank Group Environmental Health and Safety guidelines.
Present at the ceremony were Vice Admiral (R) Muhammad Shafi HI (M), Chairman, PQA, Aslam Hayat, Chairman, KPT, dignitaries, people from the business community and representatives of print and electronic media.
The sponsors of PIBT, the Marine Group of Companies, have the distinction of setting up in the past the country’s first publicly listed port infrastructure project the Pakistan International Container Terminal Ltd (PICT) that currently handles around thirty percent of Pakistan’s container throughput.
The Marine Group of Companies seeks to explore other infrastructure projects in Pakistan and presently the group is considering participation in the public private partnership projects introduced by the Pakistan Railways to improve the railway infrastructure and to invest in locomotives rolling stock to operate cargo trains from Karachi to up country and back. For this purpose, Premier Mercantile Services (PMS) – a Marine Group company, has signed an agreement with the US Trade and Development Agency to study the financial and operational feasibility. The US Consul General in Karachi, on behalf of USAID and Capt. Haleem A. Siddiqui have recently executed this agreement.