Pakistan’s first dedicated terminal for handling coal, clinker & cement at an estimated cost of US$150-$175 million is to be established at Port Qasim in the face of growing trade volume in coal and cement. Knowledgeable sources in the shipping circles said that the expansion with the new dedicated terminal will open an opportunity for Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) to diversify into un-chartered markets.
In this respect, Port Qasim Authority has issued a Letter of Intent (LoI) to Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) to setup the dedicated terminal at Port Qasim. Sources at PQA said the first dedicated coal, clinker & cement terminal will have 8million ton per annum (TPA) capacity and accommodate vessels up to 75k DWT size. PICT will construct the terminal on BOT basis under the 32-year Contract, sources said.
It is expected that development phase of this new terminal will take at least three years to come online in 2o13. It may be noted that initially the terminal size was planned at 4million tons with an estimated cost of US$50million. However, with increasing cement and coal volumes, PQA has increased the capacity to 8million tons. Interestingly, country’s import volume of coal continuously increases in the face of abnormal rise in diesel and fuel oil while export of cement and clinker was also on hike providing sufficient trade volumes to fully absorb the terminal capacity. According to port sources coal imports and exports of cement and clinker have been on an uptrend in recent years depicting that combined sea borne trade of coal, clinker and cement have increased by 30% YoY in financial year 2009 to 13.6million tons.