PIBT han­dles 900,000 tons of coal last month

The Financial Daily - - NATIONAL -

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.

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