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IFC to finance dry bulk cargo terminal
|Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana|
|8th June, 2012|
KARACHI, June 7: The International Finance Cor-poration (IFC) has entered into an agreement with Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT) for providing investment to the tune of $45.5 million, including $19 million in equity and $26.5 million in debt. The signing ceremony of investment agreement for the construction of country’s first mechanised multipurpose non-food dry bulk cargo terminal at Port Qasim was held here on Thursday. The estimated cost of the PIBT is $185 million and the project would be executed on the basis of build, operate and transfer (BOT). The project is expected to be operational by 2015, with the capacity of handling up to 12 million tons per annum of dry bulk cargo. Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC president for Europe, Middle East and North Africa, said Pakistan had strong potential for growth but is suffering from lack of adequate investment in infrastructure. He further said that the PIBT would facilitate growth in international trade for Pakistan by supporting its economic development. Under a plan IFC is investing $1.2 billion during 2010-14 on an average annual investment to the tune of $500m in the private sector, he added. The managing director of Marine Group of Companies, Aasim A Siddiqui, which launched the PIBT project stated that non-food bulk car-go terminal will be the state-of-the-art multipurpose dry bulk cargo handling facility. The project is envisaged to improve efficiency, capacity and flexibility in cargo handling and reduce the cost and time of cargo handling in the country that will in turn boost economic growth. Aasim Siddiqui said that in 2002 when Pakistan Inter-national Container Terminal (PICT) began operation, the KPT was handling about 300,000 containers per annum on 17 berths at East Wharf. However, after the PICT became operational, it began to handle 600,000 TEUS per annum on just four berths. Talking to newsmen, chairman Marine Group of Companies (MGC) Capt Haleem A Siddiqui disclosed that the PIBT is a green project and has already taken initiatives for developing a mangroves reforestation plan in collaboration with the Inter-national Union for Conserva-tion of Nature on an area of 500 hecctares in the coastal area of Port Qasim, to improve marine ecology which is in compliance with the applicable laws and regulations of the country. He further said that MGC is also exploring other infrastructure projects and is considering participating in public-private partnership projects introduced by the Pakistan Railways’ to improve railways infrastructure and to invest in locomotives along with the rolling stock to operate cargo trains from Karachi to the upcountry.