Definitions

Port Qasim Authority

Port Qasim

The Port Muhammad Bin Qasim (Urdu: بندر گاہ محمد بن قاسم) is a port in Karachi, Pakistan on the coastline of the Arabian Sea.

It was constructed in the late 1970s to relieve congestion at Karachi Port. Port Qasim was named after the Muslim general Muhammad bin Qasim who captured the area around 712 CE. The port was developed close to the Pakistan Steel Mills complex near the Indus River delta. Port Qasim's residential area is a neighbourhood of Bin Qasim Town of Karachi.

Port Qasim is managed by Port Qasim Authority. It is Pakistan's second busiest port, handling about 35% of the nation's cargo (17 million tons per annum). It is located in an old channel of the Indus River at a distance of 35 kilometres east of Karachi city centre. The total area of the port comprises 1,000 acres (4 km²) with an adjacent 11,000 acre (45 km²) industrial estate. The approach to the port is along a 45-kilometre long Navigation Channel which provides safe navigation for vessels up to . The geographic position of the Port places it in close proximity to major shipping routes. One of its major advantages is the proximity to national transport facilities - 15 kilometres from the Pakistan National Highway, 14 kilometres from the National Railway network through six railway tracks located immediately behind the berths and 22 kilometres from Jinnah International Airport.

Terminals

The Port has nine cargo-handling berths: -

  • Multipurpose Terminal with four multi-purpose berths each of 200 metres length.
  • Qasim International Container Terminal with two berths each of 300 metres length.
  • Engro Vopak Chemical Terminal with one berth.
  • Fotco Oil Terminal with one berth but the potential for four additional berths.
  • Iron Ore and Coal Berth (279 metres long) for Pakistan Steel Mills.

The tidal variation at the mouth as well as in the port is between 0.5 to 3.5 m. The port is not only accessible through sea but is also well connected with the hinterland, through road and railway networks.

Expansion

Future expansion of the port includes the deepening and widening of the navigation channel and the establishment of a liquid cargo terminal, a liquefied petroleum gas terminal, grain handling and storage facilities, a textile complex and a desalination plant.

Environmental Concerns

The area around the port includes several mangrove forests which are constantly under threat from human activities.

The beach immediately west of the navigation channel was the scene of a major oil spillage when the Greek-registered Tasman Spirit ran aground in August 2003. The environmental impact included large numbers of dead fish and turtles and a key mangrove forest, as well as dozens of people suffering nausea.

See also

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