Port Qasim: First coal terminal established

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated Pakistan’s first coal, clinker and cement terminal at Port Qasim established by the sponsors of Marine Group.

The project has been completed this year and succeeded to berth 12 coal ships at the terminal since beginning of operations.

The company has invested around $285 million in the establishment of the county’s first and only common user coal, cement and clinker handling terminal at Port Qasim. The terminal is capable of handling 12 million tons of coal in bulk per annum, and with an average discharge rate of over 30,000 tons per day, the cargo handling time at PIBT is at international levels of efficiency, CEO PIBT, Sharique Siddiqui said.

PIBTL, under a 30-year BOT agreement with Port Qasim Authority, has built its own jetty and is equipped with two coal ship unloading cranes and one cement/clinker loading crane. The state-of-the-art infrastructure at terminal not only reduces handling time, but will also decrease wastage of coal and cement during handling and their amalgamation with external particles during storage.

The dedicated terminal is dredged to 13.0 meters deep and capable of handling ships of up to 65,000 tons. The terminal operates more speedily, efficiently and reliably than the coal operation’s done by stevedores at Karachi Port. The terminal jetty has been built to handle deeper draft vessels of 15.5m and PIBT will be able to handle larger vessels once Port Qasim dredges the channel deeper beyond 13m draft.

A coal cargo ship with similar tonnage of cargo currently takes around five days at KPT while the same cargo can be handled within two days at PIBTL due to the modern and mechanized handling system.