The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) has entered into a concession agreement with the Abu Dhabi Ports Group (ADPG) of the UAE government, bypassing the normal process of inviting competitive bids. Under this agreement, the ADPG will operate the Karachi Gateway Terminal Ltd (KGTL) for a duration of 50 years. The ADPG plans to invest $1 billion in managing, operating, and developing KGTL. Karachi Port is Pakistan’s oldest and busiest, with 33 berths, and the UAE deal will see the joint venture lease four of them for the next 50 years.
The agreement was formally signed by Captain Juma Shamsi, the Chief Executive Officer of ADPG, and Syed Sayedain Raza, the Chairman of KPT. The KGTL inauguration ceremony was held at KPT, where Sindh Governor Kamran Khan Tessori unveiled the plaque.
The primary objective of the 50-year concession agreement is to attract much-needed investment of over $2 billion. This investment will be utilized to expand and modernize shipment facilities, establish a special economic zone, and facilitate rail connectivity between KPT and Port Qasim. Plans include deepening the berths to allow for bigger ships to dock, extending the quay wall, and increasing the container storage area. As a result, the terminal will be able to handle ships capable of carrying up to 8,500 containers, and capacity will increase from 750,000 to a million containers a year.