BEIJING: The Gwadar deep-sea port development will get further momentum as work on its expansion plan is set to start from January next, Director General, Planning and Development, Gwadar Port Authority, Munir Ahmed Jan said.
“Under the expansion plan, five new berths will be added to existing three berths to handle bigger ships,” he said this while talking to APP.
Munir Jan, recently visited the Chinese capital to attend the CPEC Media Forum said the first phase of the port, an important component of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has already been completed.
“Now, we have entered the second phase, which will ensure 16 meters depth to facilitate bigger ships,” he added.
The DG, Gwadar Port Authority said that the existing port has three 14 meters deep berths to handle ships and added, it is still deepest port in Pakistan.
In future, the depth of the port will be increased to 20 meters making the port deepest in the region.
To a question, he said the government has leased out the development and expansion of port to China for 40 years, adding, the Chinese government will develop the port as well as the free economic zone, adding, the pilot phase of the free economic zone has already been completed.
Munir Jan said that US $48 million were invested in the initial stage of the project by five Chinese and three Pakistani companies.
He said the main coverage area of the free economic zone will be 923 acres and work on it is likely to start in the next phase.
About Eastern Bay Express, he said the work was started from October this year and it will be completed in 30 months. It will be an express access way linking the Gwadar Port to the Coastal Highway, he added.
He further said the development work of the port is ahead of the time line as far as construction of different projects of the port is concerned. Commenting on benefits to the local people, he said the Gwadar Port development and allied facilities would generate more employment opportunities for locals after resolving power and water issues.
The work on Pakistan China Vocational and Technical Institution will soon be started to meet the demand of the skilled workers for the port and free zone.
The land has been acquired for this purpose while design and feasibility study have also been completed. It is expected that construction work will start by end of this year, he said.
He hoped that after its completion of the institute, the youth of Gwadar will be imparted special training enabling them to get employment on the different projects.
Munir Jan, however, pointed out that the local people are already getting employment at different ongoing activities of the port.
The Gwadar Institute of Technology is already functioning and the students who were imparted technical training in its first phase have got employment at the port.
About the future of Gwadar, he said, it has a bright future as this important city was being developed as per the model of Shenzhen, a Chinese coastal city. “We have studied model of Shenzhen but Gwadar port has natural facilities.”
About launching of Gwadar port master plan, he informed it will be launched in December as it has been completed and expressed the confidence that it will enhance business and trade activities.
Munir Jan said at the micro level, Gwadar is witnessing a number of activities. A lot of local and foreign visitors come and stay here. The national flag carrier, PIA has a daily flight and hotels have 100 percent room occupancy and are running a good business.
About the new Gwadar airport construction, he said it will be completed with the Chinese grant. “All the initial work including design and the feasibility study has already been finalized and the groundbreaking is likely to be performed in January,” he added.
The DG Gwadar Port Authority said that one of the largest plane, A-380 could land at the airport which will be completed in 36 months.
This year, two important events including an expo and Asian Parliament Association Assembly were organized in the Convention Centre to seek further investment.
The expo, held in January was participated by foreign delegates while 23 countries attended the Asian Parliament Association Assembly held in October this year.