KARACHI: Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBTL), country’s first mechanized, coal, clinker and cement bulk cargo terminal at Port Qasim has commenced its hot commissioning to become fully operational and achieved a significant milestone by handling the first coal cargo vessel of 41,000 tons to call the terminal.

The Ship MV African Finfoot transported the coal cargo of 41,510 metric tons belonging to Awan Trading (Pvt) Ltd, at PIBTL at Port Qasim this weekend, a statement said.

PIBTL is a public listed company quoted on Pakistan Stock Exchange and is sponsored by the Marine Group of Companies and also partly financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. The company has invested around $285 million in the establishment of the county’s first and only common user coal, cement and clinker handling terminal at Port Qasim.

PIBTL has built its own jetty and is equipped with two coal ship unloading cranes and one cement/clinker loading crane. PIBT is capable of handling 12 million tons of cargo per annum and has a storage yard spread on 62 acres.

The second coal vessel named MV Iris Oldendorff has also docked at PIBTL carrying 39,550 metric tons of coal and the cargo handling activities have already been commenced.

A coal cargo ship with similar tonnage of cargo currently takes around seven days at KPT while the same cargo can be handled within two days at PIBTL due to the modern and mechanized handling system, the statement said.

A fully operational PIBTL will bring effectiveness and efficiencies for the port sector as well as for the trade and industry to match Pakistan’s port throughputs with the international standards of excellence. PIBTL will not only be easing off the existing port congestions at KPT and PQA but also be mitigating the environmental and efficiency concerns.