The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) expects to invite bids for work on the second stage of the Karachi port modernisation project before the end of June. The contracts will be financed by a $187 million loan from the World Bank.

Suppliers and contractors will be required for three packages of work: the reconstruction of the Napier Mole boat wharf; the construction of the Napier Mole bridge; and the building of a hazardous cargo terminal. The KPT says bids will be invited after the government approves the revision of an original stipulation obliging 51 per cent of bidding consortia to be of local origin. ‘Foreign companies are unlikely to participate given this requirement,’ says the project manager.

Other components of the project include pollution control, dredging creeks and harbour cleaning. Harbour equipment will be upgraded. Other changes, including labour rationalisation, are also to be carried out. The port handles more than 12.5 million tonnes of liquid cargo a year and 11 million tonnes of dry general cargo a year, including 553,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) which constitute about 80 per cent of the country’s imports and exports.