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Construction of cargo terminal at Port Qasim: PIBT signs $19 million investment agreement with IFC
|JUNE 08, 2012|
Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Limited (PIBT) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Thursday signed an investment agreement of $19 million for construction of mechanised multi-purpose non-food dry bulk cargo terminal at Port Qasim. Chairman of Marine Group of Companies, Captain Haleem A. Siddiqui and Managing Director, Aasim A. Siddiqui inked the agreement with Vice President IFC for Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Dimitris Tsitsiragos at a ceremony held at Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT). On the occasion, Chairman Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Aslam Hayat, and Chairman Port Qasim Authority (PQA), Vice Admiral Muhammad Shafi (Retd), were also present on the rostrum. A large number of dignitaries and members of business community also attended the ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, Haleem Siddiqui said that the IFC was supporting the construction of Pakistan's first multipurpose non-food dry bulk cargo terminal at Port Qasim. He said the IFC's participation as an equity shareholder with a local firm shows the growth of trust and confidence by the global lenders for Pakistan. The PIBT is set to evolve mangroves' reforestation plan in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on an area of 500 hectares in the coastal area of Port Qasim. "The aim behind the growing forest shield is to improve marine ecology in compliance with the laws and regulations of Pakistan, IFC's performance standards and World Bank Group Environmental Health and Safety Guidelines," said Haleem Siddiqui. Dimitris Tsitsiragos held Pakistan an important nation for IFC, saying the present agreement of $19 billion with PIBT is the largest investment by the co-operation in the port development, globally. He said Pakistan has a growth potential but the lack of an adequate investment in infrastructure have a negative impact on the country's development. "This project will facilitate growth in international trade for Pakistan, supporting the country's economic development," hoped Dimitris. Giving the welcome speech, Aasim A. Siddiqui highlighted the importance of contributions by the IFC in ports of Pakistan and particularly its relations with Marine Group of Companies. He said the proposed terminal would be a state-of-the-art multipurpose dry bulk cargo handling facility. He said the terminal will be constructed at an estimated cost of $185 million at Port Qasim on a Built Operate and Transfer (BoT) basis. The Project is expected to become operational by 2015 with capabilities of handling up to 12 million tons of dry bulk cargo, annually, Aasim said. He said the project has been envisaged to improve efficiency, capacity and flexibility in cargo handling and scale down costs and time of cargo handling in the country. The terminal's fast operations will help boost the country's economic growth, he hoped. Marine Group of Companies has a vision to establish the PIBT as a leading cargo handling and logistics group in the country to meet the growing demand of cargo handling, he added. The PIBT, he said, will augment economic activities, besides improving the transport and logistics infrastructure by implementing global standards of efficiency and environmental safety. Chairmen PQA Muhammad Shafi and KPT Aslam Hayat also expressed their views and extended their supports to the PIBT.