Over 4,000 foreign flag vessels dock at Pakistani ports
Maritime business on the path of growth
Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said Pakistan is committed to protect its maritime assets and strong, democratic and economically vibrant Pakistan is his vision. The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating Pakistan Navy Fleet Tanker at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works, on Friday. The 17,000-ton Fleet Tanker has been built with the cooperation of Turkey. The Prime Minister expressed pleasure over the launch of the largest warship prepared in the country by Karachi Shipyard.
Referring to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) the Prime Minister expressed his confidence that CPEC is a game changer project, which will start new era of development and progress.
The ship was launched two months ahead of the schedule, which is certainly a gift to the nation on its 70th Independence Day. The Fleet Tanker being built in the collaboration with Turkish shipbuilding firm M/s Savunma Teknologiler Muhendisilik (STM) under the ambit of the Ministry of Defense Production and Pakistan Navy was a true testament of our efforts towards indigenization and enhanced collaboration with our brotherly country, Turkey. The cooperation would continue in future and more ships would be built in Karachi Shipyard in collaboration with Turkish firms. The joint ventures like the construction of the Fleet Tanker would further strengthen the two countries’ relations. This initiative would open more opportunities for further cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey in the field of indigenous warship construction and other defense sector products.
Karachi Shipyard was an exceptional story of success in public sector, which should be emulated by other similar organizations.
The successful construction of the Fleet Tanker would play a vital role towards achieving self-reliance in defense production and the government would continue to support the policy of indigenization in all technological spheres. The ongoing development programs of the government including China-Pakistan Economic Corridor stipulate the aim to achieve maximum output in terms of regional trade and trans-shipment with Gwadar as the focal point.
Pakistan was blessed with long coastline and was strategically located at the mouth of the Gulf. The Prime Minister said there were extensive trade and maritime activities being undertaken at two major seaports of Karachi. These would increase manifold with growth in the country’s financial and industrial base. Additional capacity has to be created to support expansion in these activities.
PNSC eyeing for bunkering ventures
Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) is eyeing for Bunkering ventures having the vast potential and robust developments that promise great business opportunities for investors in this arena. With the establishment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan is heading towards major growth in its shipping and energy industries.
With more than 4,000 international vessels docking on the ports in Pakistan, there is a need to develop more efficient facilities and oil-testing labs to ensure quality and save the unnecessary expenditure incurred by the ships arriving in Pakistan. 70 percent of the costs in shipping operations go into the fueling of vessels. This was stated by Chairman PNSC, Arif Elahi while speaking at a workshop organized by PNSC in Karachi, to attract investments and find solutions wisdom-sharing with numerous international experts of the marine-fuel bunkering industry.
Present on the occasion were including leading experts, professionals and stakeholders of the bunkering industry from Pakistan, Middle East and the United Kingdom, including; the Manager Sales of World Fuel Services London, Maximillian Canegie-Jones; Global Operations Manager of Lloyds Register Fuel Oil Advisory Services of UK, Naeem Javed; General Manager of Rais Hassan Saadi Group of Dubai, Mujahid Hassan; and senior official of Dan Bunkering Dubai, Adil Qayyum.
Among other notable delegates were Director of Marine Fleet Management Singapore, Ahmed Pervaiz; Head of Bunkering PNSC, Saad Masood and the Commercial Manager of Pakistan Refinery Ltd, Sami ur Rehman, along with senior level representation of major financial institutions like Standard Chartered Bank, Mr. Adil Salahuddin, Head of Financial Markets.
The Executive Director (SM) Fleet of PNSC, Tariq Majeed, who was the moderator of the workshop, and other senior executives from PNSC highlighted the regulatory incentives, tax-relief and support provided by the Pakistan government to promote the establishment of bunkers, which play an important role in fueling the shipping operations and global cargo vessels, coming to the various sea-ports in Pakistan.
Over the years, PNSC has shown outstanding performance in its global shipping operations, earning nearly Rs2 billion in annual profits. It has raised its capacity to carry 700,000 tons of dead-weight annually, while it safely and successfully carries 90 percent of Pakistan’s oil imports. It is now planning to create partnerships with the bunkering enterprises, oil-refineries, financial institutions and traders of marine-fuel, with willingness to invest in new machinery, cranes and dredgers, for strengthening the infrastructure at the sea-ports of Pakistan.
As the demand for marine-fuel increases in Pakistan, global investors can find great opportunities in bunkering ventures in Pakistan by creating synergies with the local entrepreneurs, to create higher standards of quality and efficiencies. With the sharp reduction and volatility in global oil prices, this whole industry needs to work in cohesion to minimize their risks, optimize growth and meet the emerging challenges.