Imran Khan during the inauguration of the 7,300-tonne capacity shiplift and transfer system at Karachi Shipyard. Image Credit: Ag

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan has inaugurated the 7,300-tonne capacity shiplift and transfer system at Karachi Shipyard which would improve the efficiency of the shipping sector.

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan, Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Haider Zaidi, Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal and other parliamentarians and Pakistan Navy officials attended the launch ceremony.

Imran Khan termed it “a gift for the people of Pakistan on its 75th Independence Day” and congratulated Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW), Pakistan Navy and Ministry of Defense Production (MoDP) for setting up the modern facility in Pakistan.

“The government is committed to support local industry and is working on friendly policies to enhance shipping and fishing in our waters” to improve efficiency and create business opportunities for Karachi Shipyard. “This facility is a true testament of government’s efforts towards industrialization, capacity building and self-reliance.” He expressed hope that the facility will be used to the fullest in the role envisaged by the planners and maximum benefits will be accrued from the investment for job and wealth creation.

The contract of the shiplift and transfer system was signed under the auspices of MoDP with funding provided by Planning Commission of Pakistan as a public sector development project.

The shiplift and transfer system will provide docking and repair facilities to vessels up to 7,300 tonne and has the capacity to accommodate 12 ships at a time. The newship transfer system with its electro-hydraulic trolleys will work as a large elevator platform to raise the ship out of water for dry-docking ashore and lower it back into water after completion of work, according to the official statement.

MD KS&EW Rear Admiral Athar Saleem said that the project has been launched to increase the existing ship repair capacity and improve the efficiency of Karachi Shipyard.

“The new system brings in a revolutionary concept against the existing docking technology,” which could repair only one ship at a time currently.

Some of the advantages of the new facility include recovering a ship from sea, transferring to any of the repair stations and the shiplift can then be immediately available to lift or lower next ship, thereby increasing productivity exponentially according to number of available parking spaces. It “will significantly increase Karachi Shipyard’s revenue thereby high tax returns and more job opportunity for locals” he said.

The new facility will contribute to the productivity of Karachi Shipyard and fulfill ever increasing demand of Pakistan’s shipping industry. The works generated by enhancing the ship repair capacity will outflow to the public and private industrial sectors.