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Pakistan’s first coal import terminal begins operations
July 06, 2017
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KARACHI: Pakistan’s first coal-dedicated import terminal has started operations on a commercial basis at Port Qasim near Karachi, ahead of the initiation of several power projects.

“The company has successfully completed its project i.e., a terminal to handle bulk cargo vessels at Port Qasim and has formally commenced commercial operations,” Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Limited (PIBT) Company Secretary Arsalan I. Khan said in a notification to the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

PIBT is a public listed company being traded at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. Its stock price hit the upper limit of 5%, closing at Rs23.28 with 2.78 million shares changing hands on Wednesday.

The dirty bulk terminal has also established facilities to provide dedicated export services to cement and clinker manufacturers. The port has a capacity to handle 12 million tonnes of bulk cargo per year. The facilities have been established at a cost of $285 million.

“At present, we are only importing coal,” an official of the company said.

An independent expert on ports, Captain Anwar Shah, said the country has been importing 5-7 million tone cola per annum. “Demand for coal is set to go up with several imported coal-fired power plants due to come online.

The demand may surge to 12-15 million tonnes in the near future, depending upon timelines of productions from the power projects,” he estimated.

According to the federal government’s Private Power and Infrastructure Board, the country is to light up over 2,900-megawatt worth of imported coal-fired power projects till December 2019.

Sahiwal’s (Punjab) coal-fired power project of 1,320-megawatts, which is under testing phase these days, had earlier established an understanding to import coal via PIBT.

Later, it changed its plan and started importing the commodity via two underdevelopment marginal wharf jetties at Port Qasim, it was learnt.

At present, PIBT has been importing coal mostly for Awan Trading (Private) Limited, which is a huge importer and supplier of the commodity in the country.


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