The Communications Ministry has invited prequalification bid for work on a deep water port at Gwadar. The work will coniprise two contracts for the first phase of the pro)ject: the construction of three multi-purpose berths, at an estimated cost of about $75 million and the dredging of a five kilometre shipping channel at a cost of about $33 million. Work on the first phase will also include the construction of warehouses, and extension of power generation and desalination capacity.

Phase one of the project is to be funded by the government, and project sources say that local firms are likely to be favoured for the award. Later phases, the content of which is yet to be finalised, are expected to be on a design-build-operate basis. The contractor will be responsible for operation for a possible 25 years, and will recoup investment and take profits from revenue generated.

The UK’s Posford Duvivier is the consultant and will be responsible for bid evaluation and project management for phase one, and for drawing up documents for the later phases.

The country now has two major ports – Karachi and Port Qasim – and is also developing a port at Keti Bandar where Hong Kong-based Consolidated Electric Power Asia has begun work on a 1,320-MW power plant (MEED 25:8:95).