KARACHI: The Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) will enhance its ship discharging capacity to 10,000 metric tones per day, as deeper-draft vessels carrying the largest ever quantity of bulk wheat have arrived off the port, Business Recorder learnt on Thursday.

According to official sources in PSA the newly operational Gwadar Port was all set to accommodate M/v Agios Raphael, carrying 66,000 metric tons of Russian wheat, within next five days. They said the ship, which had arrived off the port early on Thursday morning, would be a big vessel with 12.5-meter draft carrying the largest bulk quantity of wheat in the countrys history.

They said the PSA, Gwadar Ports operator, would double its per day ship discharging capacity by 5,000 MT to 10,000 MT to cope with the fast-arriving heavily-loaded big vessels at port.

The standard discharge rate at local ports stood at 5,000 MT per day, they added. They said the deeper-draft ship would be directly berthed at the Balochistan-based port. The sources said another big vessel, M/v Panagiotios, was also awaiting wharfage at Gwadar Port with at least 64,000 MT imported wheat.

They said Gwadar Port, which has a 12.5-meter permissible draft at its disposal as a comparative advantage, had successfully handled another ship, M/v Popi S, with 12.7 meters deepest draft and 64,000 MT wheat on February 28. It would be pertinent to mention here that the permissible draft at Karachi Port and Port Qasim is 10.5 meters, two-meter less than Gwadar Port that was built in 2006 to cater to the future needs of mother vessels.

The safe handling of big ships, like M/v Agios Raphael and M/v Panagiotios, at Gwadar Port would augur well for the new port and its Singaporean operator, which had previously been under fire for declaring a “wrong draft” for M/v PS Glory. The deeper-draft vessel had, however, been unloaded by the PNSC ships through lighterage at the outer anchorage of Gwadar Port.

Source: Business Recorder