KARACHI, Aug 1: A number of leading international port operators, including Dubai Port International, Global Marine Service Company, Pakistan International Container Terminal, have shown interest in handling Gwadar port operations. The invitation for expressions of interest (EoIs) issued by the Gwadar Port Implementation Authority (GPIA) has received an encouraging response from major international port operators.

After giving its approval, the GPIA will enter into dialogues with the respective operators and prepare recommendations to be presented before the Policy Board headed by Prime Minster Shaukat Aziz. Giving details about the response received, GPIA Chairman Akbarali Pesnani said: “This type of response from the key international port operators show the level of confidence of international investors and their keenness to invest in Pakistan.”

He said that for first time complete port operations would be handled by international port operators that will help develop the Gwadar port as a regional hub port. He expressed the hope that this arrangement would also ensure good governance and management at the port. The international port operators will provide a state-of-the-art technology so that well-known shipping lines call at the Gwadar port and benefit from efficient service.

Mr. Pesnani said the commissioning of the Gwadar port would open job opportunities to locals. “And an efficient running of the port will also contribute significantly to the economic development of the country,” he added.The Gwadar port management is also in the process of hiring consultants who will prepare a master plan for future expansion of the port. The port operators are expected to work closely with the consultants to devise future development plans keeping in view the regional growth and future needs of the area.The management is also singing a contract with China Harbour for deepening of channel for which work has already started. The targeted depth of the channel is 14.5 meters, highest in any Pakistani port so far. This deepening of channel will allow mother ships to come to the Gwadar port. The arrivals of mother ships will further justify and enhance the potential of the Gwadar port of becoming a regional hub port.Besides, a road network is also being developed that links Gwadar to Quetta and Punjab and beyond Afghanistan and Central Asia. Once the road network and railway lines are completed, Gwadar will also be used as a transit port for Afghanistan and Central Asian countries.

Sorce: Pakistan Times