PIBT handles 900,000 tons of coal last month
KARACHI: PQA and the coal importers appreciated the efforts of PIBT for handling smoothly up to 900,000 tons of coal in the month of September 2018 which was a record handling for the terminal, says a Press release.
In a meeting to address concerns of top coal importers in Pakistan, called by Chairman Port Qasim Authority, Asad Rafi Chandna, the coal importers told the PQA authorities that they are impressed with the professional standards of excellence at PIBT and have no issues regarding the efficiency of cargo handling at the terminal; however, limited storage is an issue. Considering the volumes PQA should immediately allow additional handling areas for coal storage, as KPT had allotted about 500,000-600,000 tons of coal storage yards in the past.
It is pertinent to mention that after several pending petitions regarding the environmental pollutions caused due to coal handling at KPT, the Honorable CJP of Supreme Court has made a historical decision of banning the manual coal handling operations at KPT and shifting all the coal operations to state-of-theart mechanized coal terminal at Port Qasim Authority. PIBT, certified by Sindh Environmental Protection agency (SEPA), is the only terminal with the state-of-the-art coal handling facility in Pakistan that continues to operate as per global standards. PIBT is built on the 30 year BOT concession from Port Qasim Authority and its tariff and terms of operations are regulated by PQA.
PIBT has latest stan- dards for environmentfriendly dirty bulk cargo handling. Hydro-Cyclone type dust collectors are installed at the terminal that reduces the dust emission, mechanized handling of cargo through conveyor belts and Gantry Cranes at the jetty, and water sprinkling systems to reduce and control coal dust pollution.
During the meeting, Chairman PQA mediated whole interaction, while the coal importers have suggested various options to mitigate the issues. Importers suggested the revision of royalty rate which is currently being paid to PQA at the rate of USD 2.27 per ton. Importers have also suggested that volume based royalty should be charged by PQA and most importantly, additional storage area must be allotted to PIBT by PQA. Absence of night navigation and extended waiting time at the outer anchorage are some of the major issues highlighted by the importers at the meeting.
Chairman PQA stated that a team is already working on night navigation and the delay is caused by monsoon season. Mentioning the revision in royalty rate Chandna said that the port authority cannot make any amendments in the royalty rate, since it comes under the authority of Economic coordination committee (ECC), and only federal cabinet can take any decision on the matter.
"PIBT is a state of the art, purpose built terminal, that discharges coal vessel in 30 hours as compared to five days at Karachi Port. This leads to additional savings for the importers," said Sharique Siddiqui, CEO PIBT.