KARACHI, May 31 (APP): The work on another two liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal at Port Qasim under local and foreign partners in private sector will start soon.

The two LNG terminals will help bridge the gap in demand and supply of energy, says Chairman PQA on Tuesday.

Chairman, Port Qasim Authority (PQA) Agha Jan Akhtar said during an interactive session with the members of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) here at the Federation House.

He said that gas shortage has come down in the country as a LNG terminal with capacity of 400 MMCFD was successfully operating at Port Qasim. This shortage would end in near future with the establishment of two more LNG terminals at the port.

Speaking about the boost in port activities at Port Qasim, he
informed that earlier only six cargo trains were operating monthly from the port. But, he continued, now three cargo trains were leaving the port daily and equal number of trains come back. This also depicted growth in industrial and commercial activities in the country.

PQA’s Chairman said that despite inheriting a number of problems the authority proved its efficiency and increased revenue to more than Rs 12 billion from Rs 7 billion three years ago. Further boost in its revenue was expected as result increase in cargo trafficking especially of coal for private power producers.

Only coal-fired power plant in Sahiwal would need 4 million tones of imported coal per month. PQA would get dollars 2.40 per ton as port charges, which would make a big figure annually.

Five trains carrying coal would leave the port daily and five would dock-in, he said.

Karachi Port had congested area around and faced problems in expansion. Thus, Port Qasim would have more important role in economic prosperity of the country. Apart from LNG terminals, 1320 MW electricity would be generating from the Port Qasim within a year.

He said PQA was making every possibl effort to resolve the issues related to port and industrial zones including the fast track development of the industrial zones.

He informed the businessmen that PQA was going to re-posses as many as 1250 acres of land allotted in the past for the Pakistan Textile City.

He said, Al-Watan Scheme had also been cancelled and money would be given  back to the allottees along with due interest because PQA could not complete development work for this scheme as this scheme was not viable for setting up industries. Each plot sized only 1,000 sq. yards which was not sufficient even for setting up a cottage industry, he elaborated.

“We have inherited different types problems. However, we are trying to solve them on merit to facilitate investors. This government was making corrections of the past,” he said.

He said PQA had formed three committees: finance, technical and development committees to ensure fast industrialization at the port land.

Earlier, welcoming the distinguished guest, senior vice president FPCCI Sheikh Khalid Tawab emphasized on the modernization of ports. In the changing regional situation the importance of the ports was enhanced manifold for speedy and cheap transportation.

Vice President FPCCI Hanif Gohar offered to build a desalination plant at Port Qasim on behalf of the FPCCI to alleviate water shortage being faced by industrial units at PQ industrial zones if the authority provides land free of cost.

PQA Chairman welcomed Gohar’s suggestion and assured to extend all possible support according to the authority’s rules and regulations.

Vice presidents of FPCCI Jumma Khan and Zulfiqar Ali Sheikh,
Chairman FPCCI standing committee for ports and shipping Taiq Haleem, Captain (Retd) Kamal A. Mehmoodi, Capt. (Retd) Abdul Rashid Abro, Wasim Vohra also attended the meeting.