Pakistan expects to earn $60 billion a year from transit trade after completion of the national trade corridor, a couple of shipyards and improvement of the North-South road network. The Planning Commission is seeking advisory services from international firms for establishment of two large shipyards at Port Qasim and Gwadar Port on a fast track basis. The appointment of an adviser for preparation of project structure would lead to international competitive bidding to develop the shipyards and related infrastructure at an estimated cost of $500 million.
Official sources said the government had already asked the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited to coordinate with reputable international financial institutions, investment banks having direct or partnership with technical, legal and other consultants to assist in planning, development and implementation of the project. The private sector will be responsible for designing, financing, building, operating and maintaining the Shipyard.
The first project, Gwadar Shipyard will be set up at Gwadar East Bay (Shamba Ismail area), over approximately 500 acres. Starting with ship repairing, the facility will be converted into building Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) and Ultra large Crude Carriers (ULCCs) and will have at least two dry docks of approximately 600,000 DWT.
The second project, Port Qasim Shipyard is planned to be developed adjacent to Korangi Fish Harbour (Port Qasim Area), covering an area of approximately 500 acres with at least two dry docks of 600,000 DWT. The main function of this shipyard will be to build large ships up to VLCC/ULCC size and offshore and onshore oil rigs. It will also have ship repair facilities.
According to official data, the international order book for shipbuilding jumped from 115.5 million DWT to 300 million DWT between 2002 and 2006 and the demand for new ships will increase from around 30 million DWT a year at present to around 90 million DWT a year in 2055.