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PSA bags Gwadar rights

PSA bags Gwadar rights

Karachi: PSA International of Singapore has won the rights to operate Pakistan's brand new Gwadar Port. The facility in Balochistan, , built with $200m of Chinese aid and $50m of Pakistani money, is situated 120 km east of the border with Iran, close to the entrance of the Middle East Gulf. By the December 4 deadline, there were only two bidders for the site, with Pakistan International Container Terminal being the other one.
The first terminal has been completed, with a quay length of 600 m and a depth of 14.5 m and cranes already installed.
Under the contract Gwadar port would be given on lease for 40 years on a build-operate-transfer basis.
Gwadar port is Pakistan's third deepsea port after Karachi and Port Qasim.
Unlike Karachi and Port Qasim, which thrive on captive cargoes, Gwadar Port, which is on main shipping lanes, will totally depend on transhipment cargo and will face fierce competition from Sri Lanka, India and the Gulf ports to the west.
However, speaking to Seatrade Asia Online last week, Shipping Minister Babar Khan Ghauri is confident that Gwadar will be able to carve out its own niche quickly. He also revealed that the country will announce a tender in March next year for Pakistan's fourth deepwater port, at a site still under investigation.
DP World, which had been the preferred bidder for Gwadar, pulled out of the race late in the game.
Gwadar will be more than just a box terminal. During a recent four-day visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Pakistani Board of Investment and the Great United Petroleum Holdings Company of China signed a memoranda of understanding on the construction of a $12.5bn petrochemical terminal at Gwadar. [13/12/06]

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