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PM Abbasi inaugurates first 'dirty cargo' terminal, says democracy necessary for development

PM Abbasi inaugurates first 'dirty cargo' terminal, says democracy necessary for development

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi formally inaugurated the country’s first dirty cargo terminal at Port Qasim near Karachi on Saturday.

Sponsored by the Marine Group of Companies, the Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT) handles coal, clinker and cement cargo at the Port Qasim.

Addressing a ceremony organised on this occasion, the prime minister said Pakistan had required this terminal for a long time. Few terminals around the world could match the quality of the PIBT, "the terminal of the future", he said.

He said the terminal is environment-friendly and would help kickstart exports of cement and clinker from Pakistan.

"This is the lone government in the history of Pakistan which started projects and also completed them before the end of its term," Abbasi said.

He said the PML-N government had inherited a number of crises when it started its term in 2013, but the government had made electricity available by starting projects to produce more than 10,000MW in the last four years. The government has also ensured that gas is provided to each gas consumer.

"After December, people will get whatever amount of gas they require, and new connections will also be issued," he said.

Abbasi emphasised that the country would not develop if there was no democracy. He said democracy is a process and its flaws will be eliminated only if the process moves forward.

"A high growth, low inflation scenario exists in the country today," the premier said, vowing to resolve all the challenges faced by the economy.

Earlier, upon his arrival in Karachi for a day-long visit, the premier was received by Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair and Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Built at a cost of $285 million, the PIBT began commercial operations in May. The dedicated terminal can handle 12m tonnes of coal per annum.

Due to state-of-the-art mechanisation and full automation, the PIBT can handle coal, clinker and cement in two days compared to seven days by a coal cargo ship with similar tonnage at the Karachi Port.

The Pakistan International Bulk Terminal Ltd, under a 30-year built-operate-and-transfer agreement with the Port Qasim Authority, has built its own jetty equipped with two coal ship unloading cranes and one cement/clinker loading crane.

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