Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) has confirmed it will open its second container terminal in Karachi at the end of October 2016, according to Reuters.
The new facility, South Asia Pakistan Terminals (SAPT), will aim to handle 250,000 teu in the first year of operations and more than 2m teu annually in five years.
The terminal has already received new ship-to-shore (STS) and rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes, and will have a depth of 16 m when incomplete dredging is finished.
SAPT was initially supposed to open in 2011 but bureaucratic wrangling and a slowdown in road construction and dredging delayed the project.
Abid Butt, CEO of local freight company e2e Supply Chain Management, told Reuters: “Pakistan has been lagging behind big time and now we are moving into the future with this terminal being one of the deepest in the region. The port can become a transhipment location given India is congested and located better than Dubai’s Jebel Ali.”
HPH already operates Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT), one of two container terminals currently operating at the port.
KICT’s throughput grew by 11% to 1.03m teu in 2015, due to an increase in imports in Pakistan.