PAKISTAN: Private port terminal under negotiation...

21 January 1994

A consortium of American President Lines (APL) of the US, International Container Terminal Services of the Philippines and the local Paramount Communications is seeking approval for a proposal to develop a privately financed container terminal at Karachi port's west wharf. The estimated project cost is $75 million.

The consortium submitted a proposal to turn berths 22-24 into a specialised container terminal with an initial capacity of 200,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) a year. The plan calls for an expansion after two years to a capacity of 425,000 TEUs over the following four years. The work will involve constructing a 607-metre-long quay wall. The terminal is to be accessible by ships of up to a 32-foot draft.

The consortium has proposed a build-own-operate deal, but Karachi Port Trust (KPT), the client, says it will probably make an alternative build- operate transfer (BOT) proposal, which would cover 20 years.

A BOT deal would bring this project in line with another container terminal being developed at the port by a group of private companies. A local consortium led by Premier Mercantile Services signed a contract in November to build, operate and transfer a container terminal at berths 14-17, with financial support from the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC - MEED 23:7:93). The projects form part of KPT's programme to modernise Karachi port and develop eight or nine specialised terminals (see below). TAMS Consultants of the US is preparing a masterplan for the programme. bidders line up for Karachi berth repairs

About 10 international and local companies have prequalified to rehabilitate four berths at Karachi port's east wharf. Bids for the construction contract are due by 28 February. Karachi Port Trust (KPT), the client, has secured preliminary approval from the World Bank for a $30 million concessionary loan to support the project.

The job will involve rebuilding berths five to eight, which have been disused since 1988. The work includes building a 805-metre-long quay wall and quay apron to replace the existing quay wall, which is unusable due to subsidence and partial collapse. The terminal will be multi-purpose, and may be fitted with additional container-moving equipment at a later stage, KPT says.

KPT wants to sign a contract by April and is aiming for project completion by April 1996. The consultant is Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick of the UK in association with the local Zaheeruddin Consultants.

The total project cost is estimated at Rs 1,800 million ($59.7 million), half of which will be in foreign currency. A KPT delegation was to visit Washington from 9 January to continue negotiations with the World Bank about the foreign currency component, which the bank may provide.

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