PIBT plans to expand coal handling capacity to 16mn tons

PIBT plans to expand coal handling capacity to 16mn tons

KARACHI: Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT), country’s only fully mechanized bulk terminal, plans an expansion of the terminal’s coal handling capacity to 16 million tons from existing 12 million tons.

Presently, PIBT has a coal handling capacity of 12 million tons, and last year we handled over 10 million tons.

Infrastructure projects are planned and developed in advance, and analysts see increased demand going forward. The company is all set to enhance the capacity to 16 million tons, which is estimated to cost around $70 million.

Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT) is a fully mechanized bulk cargo handling terminal in the country built on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis as per the international standards.

PIBT is a national infrastructure project which has been providing state-of-the-art terminal services since the commencement of its commercial operations in April 2017.

Economic recovery is pacing with a boom in construction sector, and coal is required by every industrial units using boilers.

Local cement demand in the recent months has been lacklustre due to heavy monsoon rainfall in Punjab coupled with construction activities halted by Eid and Muharram.

Demand will pick up going forward putting companies in the North region in a position to increase prices to pass on the impact of rising input costs particularly the coal price hikes.

Moreover, with relative stability in Afghanistan and Chinese investment commitments, cement and steel demand in Afghanistan would multiply. This would open up opportunities of Pakistan’s cement and steel firms resulting in increased demand for fuel by local industrial units.

Given record high coal prices, some slowdown in demand is anticipated for a couple of more months, then it will normalize.

Coal prices are primarily influenced with unprecedented Chinese demand ahead of Christmas and Year-end.

Recently freight rates across the globe had increased to an all-time high of $36,000/ day. Also, coal is now being traded at an all-time high of $150/ton.

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