Singapore-based container port operator Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) has reached an agreement with Karachi Port Trust (KPT) to launch the operation of its second terminal in Pakistan before the end of 2016.
The operations at South Asia Pakistan Terminals, one of the deepest terminals in the region, would be launched after a five-year delay, providing access of mega vessels to Karachi.
A representative from Hutchison Port Holdings said that “all relevant parties have been working closely to fast track the development and to ensure its opening to the earliest possible date.”
The port operator added that the terminal is “on track to provide global carriers and shippers with the capability of handling the largest mega-vessels afloat today while ensuring the terminal’s premier status within Pakistan and the wider region.”
Initially scheduled to start operations in 2011, a slowdown in road construction and dredging caused a number of delays at the terminal. Although the majority of work at the site was completed, there are still some dredging and road works left to be finalized before the launching, according to Bloomberg.
When completed, the South Asia Pakistan Terminals would be capable of handling up to 1.7 million TEUs annually.
Hutchison’s port is reportedly set to start operations at the terminal in the last week of October and will aim to handle 250,000 TEUs in the first year.
World Maritime News Staff