PIBT assesses a capacity expansion of $ 70 million
KARACHI: Despite record prices, demand for coal has remained stable, while the Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT) assesses an investment of $ 70 million to increase the terminal’s coal processing capacity, its chief financial officer said ( CFO) Arslan Iftikhar.
“Currently, PIBT has a coal handling capacity of 12 million tonnes, and last year we handled over 10 million tonnes,” Iftikhar said, adding: “The infrastructure projects are planned and developed at advance, and we’re seeing increased demand going forward. We’re all set to increase capacity to 16 million tonnes, which is estimated to be around $ 70 million. “
Pakistan International Bulk Terminal is a fully mechanized bulk cargo handling terminal in the country on the basis of build, operate and transfer (BOT) in accordance with international standards.
“PIBT is a national infrastructure project, which has been providing state-of-the-art terminal services since it began commercial operations in April 2017,” said Iftikhar.
The economic recovery is accompanied by a boom in the construction sector, and coal is needed by all industrial units using boilers.
“[The] local demand for cement in recent months has been lackluster due to the heavy monsoon rains in the Punjab coupled with [the] construction activities interrupted by Eid and Muharram, ”said Muhammad Waqas of JS Global Capital.
“We believe that demand will increase in the future, putting [the] Northern Region companies able to increase [the] pass on the impact of rising input costs, in particular rising coal prices.
In addition, with the relative stability in Afghanistan and Chinese investment commitments, the demand for cement and steel in Afghanistan would multiply. This would open up opportunities for Pakistani cement factories and steel companies, leading to increased demand for fuel by local industrial units.
The chief financial officer of PIBT said, given the record coal prices, “We expect demand to slow down for a few more months, and then it will normalize.”
Iftikhar said international coal prices were mainly influenced by unprecedented Chinese demand before Christmas and the end of the year. “We hope that this demand will subside by November 2021.”
He recently said that shipping costs around the world have increased to a record high of $ 36,000 / day. Additionally, coal is now trading at an all time high of $ 150 / tonne.
“The anticipated rise in coal prices and the resulting urgency for importers to purchase coal, coupled with importers’ ineffectiveness in scheduling their ships, are the main reason for the recent congestion at PIBT, but they postpone needlessly question the capacity of the terminal, ”Iftikhar said.
“The terminal can unload a 60,000 ton coal vessel in less than two days of operation,” said PIBT’s CFO, adding that previously imported coal was handled manually at the Karachi Port Trust stevedoring posts. (KPT0, which took 8-10 days / vessel, this too without compliance with environmental laws and approval from Sindh Environmental Protection Agency.