PQA now able to berth ships up to 310m length at night | Pakistan Today

PQA now able to berth ships up to 310m length at night

The Port Qasim Authority (PQA) on Tuesday said it had become the country’s first port operator to have the capacity to berth largest container vessels of 310 meters length during the night time navigation. The PQA already claims to be the “deepest” seaport of Pakistan with 13 meters draught in its 45 kilimere long navigational channel.
Early hours, at midnight 3”00 am, on Tuesday saw the Maersk Kolkata as a first ship successfully berthed at the Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT).
“(The) Port Qasim, which already has the distinction of being the deepest port in Pakistan offering 13 meters draft from 15 November 2012, has added another feather in its cap of historic achievements by also being the first port in Pakistan to declare night navigation facility for 310 meters vessels throughout the year,” said PQA Chairman, Vice Admiral (r) Muhammmad Shafi while addressing a ceremony at the Port Qasim.
He said Maersk Kolkata was the largest vessel ever to berth at night at the country’s second largest port which, the chairman said, was fast growing in terms of cargo handling and industrial activities.
The night navigation facility, Shafi said, would enable the PQA to handle at Port Qasim ships of deeper-draught having more volume of cargo thus reducing the vessels’ turn around substantially.
“This would also be a major advantage for all stakeholders,” the chairman said, adding the facility would effectively slash the cost of doing business at Port Qasim and give a major boost to the trade and economy of Pakistan where 97 percent of trade is carried out through the seaports.
Shafi said the Port Qasim had growth from a single-berth port to that of 15 berths and had currently over 40 percent share in the country’s total seaborne trade in terms of cargo handling. He recalled there was a time when the port had the capacity to accommodate ships of 10-meter draft only. “Today we have the deepest navigational channel that could accommodate ships having draft up to 13 meters,” the retired vice admiral said.
The PQA chief said the authority was acquiring a dredger that would dredge the port by 14 meters.
Earlier, CEO QICT Changez Khan Niazi told the gathering that whereas his side was going all out to compete with other national and regional ports the country’s trade was in a bad shape. “Pakistan’s trade is really at dumb and the economy is in a bad shape,” Khan said.

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