FAP Terminal comes in handy
By Kazim Alam
Published: April 14, 2012
MV Rapallo has the deepest draft that any Pakistani port has ever accommodated. PHOTO: FILE
KARACHI: Friday was an unusual day at the Fauji Akbar Portia (FAP) Marine Terminal at Port Qasim. While labourers, FAP officials and PQ representatives enjoyed a sumptuous meal at the one end of the only grain and fertiliser terminal at the port, huge mechanical and pneumatic un-loaders kept discharging cargo from MV Rapallo, a bulk cargo ship which, according to a Port Qasim official, has the deepest draft that any Pakistani port has ever accommodated.
Draft is the vertical distance between a ship’s waterline and the bottom of the ship. The bulk cargo ship carried 60,000 tons of Australian canola when it docked at the FAP terminal on Friday morning. It has a draft of 12.3 metres and its length overall is 220 metres.
Talking to The Express Tribune, FAP Chief Operating Officer Hassan Sobuctageen said that although vessels with a draft of 13m could be berthed at Port Qasim, those ships carried cargo in containers only. “No other Pakistani port has the depth to handle a bulk cargo ship with such a deep draft,” he said, adding that the depth of the FAP terminal was 14.5 metres.
All Pakistan Solvent Extractors Association is the importer of 60,000 tons of Australian canola.
Talking to journalists Port Qasim Authority (PQA) Director General (Operations) Gul Aleem Khan said PQA was determined to improve the navigational channel further, which would help FAP utilise its maximum draft capacity of 14 metres to the full extent.
According to FAP CEO Ahmed Rana, the terminal has so far handled wheat, rice, corn, fertiliser and canola. “We’re expensive than KPT. That’s because of the premium service we offer. We discharge in silos and warehouses, which means no damage to cargo by rain. The added expenses are built into the tariff.”
Rana said that the average through vessel rate at FAP was 12,000 tons a day, which was twice the average maintained at other ports with conventional cargo-handling facilities.
The FAP terminal is built on nine hectares of land and features 300 metre-long jetty that can accommodate ships with a draft of 12.8m, 300m of length and 43m of width. The terminal can handle 4.1 million tons of dry cargo besides offering discharge, bagging stations and storage facilities.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2012.