Rear Admiral (r) Syed Hasan Nasir Shah, Chairman of Port Qasim Authority (PQA), said on Wednesday that the country’s largest industrial zone would soon get back the 1,250 acres it granted to Textile City Ltd. in 2006 on a 50-year lease.
The Chairman spoke at the opening of the Integrated Logistics Park established by an international company at Port Qasim. He stated that the PQA had received authorization from the cabinet to cancel the lease for the doomed project and regain possession of the valuable real estate.
The project was originally planned in 2004 to be a designated industrial zone for textile exporters within PQA. However, it hit some snags and was ultimately abandoned. The PQA holds approximately 8,700 acres of land for industrial units. However, this large piece of land was not usable.
He added that the PQA would sign a contract within the next two months for the establishment of a Rs. 5 billion combined effluent treatment facility. This is a modern necessity that was not present in Pakistan’s largest industrial area with over 400 units.
He said, “One major handicap that we’ve faced over many, many years, is the navigational channel,” while referring to the 49-kilometer-long passage that allows ships with a 13-meter draft, which is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the vessel.
“There have been many complaints from stakeholders that we should go further. The deeper you go, the more ships with larger drafts can call and it will require a large investment,” he stated.
Although the PQA was not financially sound a few years ago, it is now able to adequately fund the expansion, the Chairman pointed out.
The PQA has asked its partners for financing in order to take advantage of the “foreign trade situation.” He said that if negotiations succeed, the port will allow deeper ships to access the port in just 18 months via a wider navigational channel. This is in reference to the plan to increase the channel’s width by 200 meters to 250 meters.