(By Yasir Habib Khan):-
Since CPEC is catalyzing saga of developments in Gwadar, fresh efforts are afoot for the allotment of the most suitable land for the establishment of “New Modern Shipyard” in Gwadar, the country’s deep seaport in Balochistan, with an objective to incentivize commercial shipbuilding and repair industry, create new jobs and spur economic growth.
PMC project manager Dadullah told Gwadar Pro that the Balochistan government allotted 750 acres of land in Moza Kappar Gwadar which lies at a high altitude against sea level. “The allocated land does not fit to basic formalities and merits required for the construction of Gwadar Modern Shipyard. Technically shipyard needs land that lies at zero elevation,” he added.
With taking on board all stakeholders, he said, cutting edge insights and astuteness were brainstormed. “Feasibilities were also hashed out to make the project cost-effective, productive and result-oriented. In the final proposal, instead of Moza Kappar, we proposed the area of Surbandar as the most appropriate land for the construction of Modern Shipyard. Surbandar has zero elevation. Secondly it is incorporated in Gwadar Master Plan 2050. Thirdly it has natural shelter with ecological advantages. Lastly many allied facilities are easily available around the Surbandar land,” he added.
GDA official said that GDA had demarcated 750 acres of land for the new shipyard project at Moza Kappar which is around 60 kilometers away from Gwadar Port. While new proposed land at Surbandar is just 24 kilometers away from Gwadar Port, he added. “Apart from offering essential dry docking facilities to the cargo ships visiting Gwadar port, the Gwadar Shipyard would also offer services for building new ships,” he added.
“Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments have announced a collaboration by signing an MoU for the establishment of Gwadar shipyard in February 2021. The project in the strategically located Gwadar city is of ‘great regional importance’ and also significant for the socio-economic development of Balochistan and overall Pakistan as it will ‘create employment for the locals’ and boost revenue generation for the province,” he mentioned.
“Shipbuilding industry is important for a country’s economy, prosperity and social development as it’s a job multiplier and a key industry that is closely linked with several other industries,” maritime analyst Shabir Jalil said. This industry plays an important role in the commercial sector thus contributing to economic security and strengthening national security. China, Japan and South Korea are currently the three countries that dominate the global shipbuilding industry.
At present, Pakistan’s shipbuilding, repair and maintenance work is undertaken at the state-owned Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW). Since the mid-1950s, KSEW has built over 500 commercial and naval vessels of different types for both local and international customers. The biggest vessel built by Karachi Shipyard was merchant ship Al Abbas, a 28,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT) carrier. DWT is a measure of how much weight a ship can carry.
The new proposed shipyard at the deep seaport of Gwadar with “improved capacity and state-of-the-art facilities” will fulfill the modern shipbuilding and repairing requirements of Pakistan and also address the emerging demands of the regional countries.