CAPE TOWN: Pakistan’s first dry bulk terminal will open next month and is expected to handle three million tonnes a year of coal imports, rising to 20 million tonnes over the next five years, the port’s chief executive said on Thursday.
The $285 million Muhammad Bin Qasim Port, which was built with support from the World Bank, will also be used to export cement and clinker, Mr Sharique Siddiqui, chief executive for Pakistan International Bulk Terminal, told Reuters at a coal conference in Cape Town.
Pakistani cement factories and a growing number of coal-fired power plants are expected to provide most of the demand at the new port, Mr Siddiqui said.
Currently, coal ships stop at ports in Karachi and Qasim, where they can stay for up to a week being offloaded manually. The new terminal can complete turnarounds in 24 to 36 hours.
“We hope to entice them over to a proper terminal operation where we provide them with proper efficiencies and cost savings,” said Mr Siddiqui.
Around 80pc of Pakistan’s coal imports are sourced from South Africa, officials at the conference said.