Coal handling capacity to increase at Port Qasim

To coincide with the pace of growth in the cement industry, Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT) has announced it plans to increase its coal-handling capacity at Port Qasim in Pakistan at a ‘marginal cost’ of up to US$70m over 2-3 years. The increase in demand for imported coal is primarily attributed to economic recovery driven by the relief measures taken by the Government of Pakistan (GOP) to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, which include a favourable package for construction, lower interest rates and subsidised loans for housing by the government.

According to the PIBT’s chief financial officer, Arslan Iftikhar Khan, the second conveyor belt for coal transport will increase the terminal’s capacity to 17Mta from the existing 12Mta, an increase of about 40 per cent. The contract will be on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.

“We can expand the existing infrastructure to a level that will be sufficient to handle rising coal demand for the next five years,” said the CFO of the mechanised bulk cargo-handling terminal.

PIBT estimates that the cement industry is planning to expand its production capacity from 70Mta to 100Mta, which will significantly increase the demand for coal imports in the coming years.

In the company’s annual report for FY20-21 (July 2020-June 2021), CEO, Sharique Azim Siddiqui, stated that the PIBT had successfully handled 10.071Mt of cargo against during the year 8.63Mt in last year, depicting YoY volume growth of 17 per cent. 

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