The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Port Qasim authorities are in negotiations for the development of a multi-billion dollar freight corridor running across the sea front between the two Karachi ports.
This was stated by Chairman KPT Rear Admiral Jameel Akhtar on Friday at a ceremony welcoming the arrival of the biggest-ever vessel to dock at a Pakistani port, organised by the terminal operator Hutchison Ports Pakistan.
The ship ‘Kota Pemimpin’ having a capacity of 12,000 containers, and an overall length of 330 metres, belonging to Cosco shipping was given berth at the South Asia Pakistan Terminals (SAPT), Kemari, on Thursday.
The KPT is forcefully pursuing this development project with negotiations in advance stages, hoping to achieve a major breakthrough within a couple of months, the chairman maintained.
He further added that the contract for 18-metre deepening of approach channel is also in final stages, which will allow bigger vessels having capacity up to 18,000TEUs (20ft equivalent unit) to call at the SAPT.
The KPT will utilise the northern side of the port to create more facilities but will first have to provide connectivity to the port with the rest of the country. For this, freight corridors are the only solution for the movement of container cargo. The liquid bulk cargo could be shifted to the corridor.
Talking to Dawn, the captain of Kin Oo (a ship) said he was happy that all the facilities at the port are up to the mark and there was no difficulty at any stage. “The tugging of such a big ship went through smooth and trouble-free.”
The current depth of 16 metres of the port could accommodate big vessels currently faring the high seas globally, therefore, it is a major breakthrough and a big milestone in our ports’ history.
This has opened up new vistas and more vessels would feel encouraged to berth at the SAPT terminal.