Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) is planning to acquire two new pilot boats in order to set up a specialized unit of marine services at the local level with an initial investment of up to $20 million.
The establishment of marine facilities needs navigation towers and various satellite communications, and networking equipment besides a major section of carrying pilot boats.
In Pakistan, the pilotage services are rendered by various international companies against handsome charges which are usually given in Dollars by the ports on behalf of local shipping lines. These foreign companies repatriate millions of Dollars every year to their homeland.
Official sources said that the state-owned company plans to establish a marine service facility for the first time on a national level starting from Karachi Port and then Port Qasim and Gwadar Port.
In addition to ports, local refineries and power-producing units will also receive marine shipping services for ships bringing crude oil and fuel such as LNG for their requirement. Hence, marine services could be scaled up to a wider level throughout the country.
There are at least 15 pilot boats required to replace the foreign entities in Pakistan that will ultimately make the country self-sufficient in this particular field. This facility will save the precious foreign exchange of the country and also provide high-skilled job opportunities to local masses.
After induction, the two pilot boats shall be used for various lawful services required round the clock. The basic purpose of the pilot boats is intended as a dedicated ship/vessel to assist in pilotage operations along with the following basic duties:
- Escort of carrier / other vessels.
- Assistance for external salvage operations.
- Assistance for Conservancy Services.
- Search & Rescue.
The pilot boats will be duly classed, ocean-going, and capable of deep-sea navigation in all-weather to fulfill multiple roles and compatible with sea conditions and the environment of the Arabian Sea.
The facility of marine services will be established in a period of more than a year. After tapping the local market, the pilot boats could be utilized for providing services to seaports of different countries.