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|September 10th, 2006, 09:41 AM||#1|
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Gwadar Port Megaproject
The Gwadar Port Megaproject
Gwadar (Urdu: گوادر ) (also spelt Gawadar in English) is a coastal town in Balochistan, Pakistan, 650 km west of Karachi. The population of the town is almost 100,000 and is the headquarters of Gwadar District.
Strategic location of Gwadar, and possible oil lines through the region. Gwadar is located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, close to the important Straits of Hormuz, through which more than 13 million bbd of oil passes. It is strategically located between three increasingly important regions of the world: the oil-rich Middle East, heavily populated South Asia and the economically emerging and resource-rich Central Asia.
The Government of Pakistan has initiated several projects, with majority financial and technical assistance from China, to develop Gwadar's strategic location as a goods transit and trade point. The primary project is the construction of a deep-sea port at Gwadar to enable high-volume cargo movement to and from the landlocked Central Asian states. The new port will also encompass conversion facilities to allow for the movement of natural gas as a part of plans for a termination point for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan natural gas pipeline. The secondary project is a coastal highway connecting Gwadar to Karachi, whose $200 million cost will be completely financed by the Chinese. Gwadar will serve as a port of entry for oil and gas to be transported by land to the western regions of China.
The significance of Gwadar is great to both Pakistan and China. Pakistan will be able to have a strategic depth southwest from its naval base in Karachi that has long been vulnerable to blockade by the Indian Navy. There have been many reports that China, with permission from Pakistan, will also be able to dock naval ships in or around Gwadar. This has caused much concern by both the United States and India as both of these nations do not wish to see a Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean.
Gwadar is located on the Arabian Sea close to the entrance of the Persian Gulf, about 460 kilometres west of Karachi. In 1993, Pakistan started feasibility studies for the development of a major deepwater seaport at Gwadar. The port project commenced on 22 March 2002 with the first phase completed in December 2005.
The construction of the port has spurred other major infrastructure projects in the area. This includes the 700-km Makran Coastal Highway which is now complete. The road links Karachi with several ports along the coast including Ormara, Pasni, Gwadar and will be extended to the Iranian border in the future. The highway has reduced travel time to Karachi from 48 hours to only 7 hours. Other road projects include the Gwadar-Quetta-Chaman road which is due for completion in 2006 and a roadlink to the town of Khuzdar in eastern Balochistan. There are also plans for a terminal for passenger ships.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan has earmarked 3000 acres of land for a new airport which will be built 26kms away to the northeast of the existing airport towards Pasni and is likely to cost between $200-250 million. The new airport will be given international status and operate under the open sky policy. In the meantime there are plans to improve facilities at the existing airport.
Chairman of Dubai Ports World, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, who met President Pervez Musharraf on May 5th 2006, expressed a strong hope for management of facilities at the strategic Gwadar deep sea port and development of infrastructure in the southern port city and elsewhere in Pakistan.
In 2006, Ministry of Railways announced that Gwadar will be connected to Pakistan Railways network at a cost of $ 1.25 billion (Rs. 75-billion).
|September 10th, 2006, 09:45 AM||#2|
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Benifits of Gwadar
Besides the Geostrategic importance mentioned earlier, some of the evident economic benefits of the development of Gwadar Port are:
-Capitalize on opportunities for trade with landlocked Central Asian States and Afghanistan
-Promote trade and transport with Gulf States
-Trans-shipment essentially of containerized cargo
-Unlock the development potential of hinterland
-Diversion of influx of human resources from up country to Gwadar instead of Karachi
-Socio economic uplift of the province of Balochistan
-Establishment of shipping related industries
-Oil storage, refinery and petrochemicals
-Export Processing and Industrial Zones
-Reduce congestion & dependency on existing Ports Complex at Karachi/PQA
-Serve as an alternate port to handle Pakistani trade in case of blockade of existing ports
-Will become a Regional Hub for major trade and commercial activities
|September 10th, 2006, 09:52 AM||#3|
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The development of Gwadar Deep Sea Port as per approved PC-I and Master Plan is to be undertaken in two phases. Phase I will comprise of:-
- 3 Multipurpose Berths
- Length of Berths 602m
- 4.5 Km long Approach Channel Dredged to 11.5m-12.5m
- Turning Basin 450m dia
- One 100m Service Berth
- Related port infrastructure and port handling equipment & Pilot Boat, Tugs, Survey Vessel etc.
The port will be equipped with the essential port handling equipment and other infrastructure required for smooth operations of a modern port. On completion of Phase-I, the Port will handle Bulk Carriers of upto 30,000 DWT and Container Vessels of 25,000 DWT. Phase-I will be completed at a cost of Rs.14.9 Billion (US$. 248/- Million) and will complete in 36 months i.e. March 2005.
This Phase of the Project is planned to be built on BOO/BOT basis at an estimated cost US$. 600 Million. It will comprise of 9 additional berths as per following details:-
- 4 Container Berths.
- 1 Bulk Cargo Terminal (to handle 100,000 DWT ships).
- 1 Grain Terminal.
- 1 Ro-Ro Terminal.
- 2 Oil Terminals to handle 200,000 DWT ships.
Phase II of the project involves construction of more berths on BOT basis including two container berths, one bulk cargo terminal, one grain terminal with capacity handling vessels up to 100,000 DWT, one roll on/ roll off terminal, two oil piers for vessels up to 200,000 DWT and future expansion of two container berths. On completion of the project, Gwadar Deep-sea port would be on of the world's most strategically located port in this part of the world.
On successful completion of Phase-I, it is anticipated that the private sector would come forward to invest in the second phase of the Project. It is envisaged that the complete development of such a Mega project will take 8-10 years depending on the active participation of the private sector.
Cost of The Project
Total amount equivalent to Rs 14.9 Billion (248 million US dollars) were approved by ECNEC for Phase-I of the project. The financial agreement for development of Phase-I was signed with the Govt. of China on 10 August 2001 under which the Chinese will provide US$. 198 Million and the Govt. of Pakistan will provide US$. 50 Million.
Chinese: Grant US$ 18 Million.
New Grant Assistance US$ 31 Million.
New Interest Free Loan US$ 31 Million
Govt. Concessional Loan US$ 58 Million
Buyer’s Credit US$ 60 Million
Total US $ 198.00 Million
$50 Million (US).
Additional Development Cost:
Additional development costs were also envisaged for Electrical Supply 132 KV Transmission Line from Turbat to Gwadar at an approx cost Rs.360.00 million and a Railway line from Gwadar-Panjgoor-Dalbandin (515 Km) at approx cost of Rs.8, 500 million. This is however not a part of the sanction to the Gwadar Port Development Authority.
The Chinese have mobilized 450 personal from China and hired 512 local workmen as per following detail:-
Civil Works and Infrastructure Development
The design and construction of residential buildings and civil works of various port operation buildings and related infrastructure development is to be undertaken by Pakistani contractors and firms out of the US dollars 50 Million allocated for the Project. In this regard consultants have been hired and process for pre-qualification of contractors has commenced. Similarly, award of contract for the construction of residential area was approved by the MOC in June 2003 and the Contractor has already fully mobilized and a construction activity has started.
Master Plan of GWADAR
Concurrent with the Port development a Master Plan of Gwadar has been approved by Balochistan Government through NESPAK and which has been a hot topic of discussions at various forums. Implementation of the Master Plan is the responsibility of Govt. of Balochistan. Physically no headway has been made so far which is a matter of concern.
The following potentials have been identified in the Master Plan of Gwadar Deep Sea-port Project:
- Increased trade to and from Balochistan and Iran.
- Trade potential from Central Asian countries through Afghanistan.
- Transit cargo (liquid and dry bulk)
- Warehousing and assembly industries (EPZ)
- Oil storage, refineries, petrochemical industries etc.
- Handle the shipping traffic of the region.
Gwadar Master Plan envisages development of about 18,600 hectares of land for this project including the followings:
- Port development in Phase 1 & 11 on 400 hectares.
- An Export Processing Zone of 74 hectares located on land adjacent to the port in East Bay.
- A Special Industrial Zone of about 4,000 hectares lying to the north of the town.
- An oil refinery of 1,000 hectares located to the north east of the town, linked to the proposed oil terminal by an underground pipeline across East Bay.
- A residential area of 400 hectares stretching north of the existing town along West Bay.
To bring Gwadar close to the national mainstream, 700 Km long Makran Coastal Highway is in advanced stage of implementation. It will link Gwadar with Pasni, Ormara and Karachi. An other regional linkage is the Gwadar Ratto-Dero motorway linking it with Indus Highway through Turbat, Awaran and Khuzdar. A rail link is also planned to connect Gwadar to Quetta and Zahidan. Civil Aviation Authority also plans to upgrade the existing length of runway from 5,000 ft to 15,000 ft for operation of wide bodied jet air-crafts. The extension work will begin by end August, 2003 and the extension facilities will be available for use by end 2004.
Some of the evident investment opportunities:-
- Master Plan related infrastructure i.e. internal roads & services, water and power and communication services for the new township and the Industrial Zone.
- Private owned Ware Houses and Cold Storages.
- Private cargo handling equipment and trucking yards.
- Corporate Infrastructure i.e. offices for operating firms & agencies.
- Development of Industrial Zone and Industries.
- Development of Commercial/residential areas & buildings.
- Labour related amenities for thousands of workers employed on developmental work of Great Gwadar.
- Hotels & Motels.
- Hospitals, Colleges & Schools.
- Tourism related industry.
- Marine related industry i.e. shipyards, dry dock and repair yards.
- Marine Fuel bunkering for visiting ships to include large fuel storages and mobile barges etc.
- Oil refinery and large oil storages.
- Ferry services between Gwadar-Karachi/Oman/Bunder Abbas and UAE.
- Industrial Export Processing Zone
- Hinterland road; Gwadar – Rattodero Expressway (735 km) will pass through Turbat-Awaran-Khuzdar & Shahdad Kot.
- Gwadar-Quetta (via Turbat-Panjgoor-Kharan-Nushki) requires to be widened and improved. This link road will reduce the distance to Quetta from 1090 km to 795 km.
- Railway; Gwadar – Panjgoor-Dalbadin (515 km).
- Gwadar-Afghanistan via Quetta by National Highway- N-25.
|September 10th, 2006, 10:12 AM||#4|
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The biggest problem Gwadar was facing, was that it was isolated from Pakistan in all forms. Land, air and sea but that all changed.
Markan Coastal Highway
Also refered to as the N10, connects the port cities of Karachi to Gwadar was part of the masterplan to build the Gwadar Deep Sea Port. The highway passes through Somniani Beach, Ommara, Pasni and eventually to Gwadar. There are speculations that the highway will be built all the way to the Iranian Border, via Jiwani and onwards into Central Asia.
Construction of M8 Motorway
The M8 Motorway will be built to connect Gwadar with the backbone of the Pakistan National Motorway System. By building the M8, Gwadar will be directly connected to cities such as Multan, Lahore, Islamabad/Rawalpindi and Peshawar, and onwards into Afghanistan to the west and north into China and CIS, via the Karakoram highway. Along the way, other towns in Balochistan will be connected; these include Turbat, Hoshab, Khuzdar and eventually Rotadaro.
Extention of Pakistan Railway System to Gwadar
A rail link between Karachi and Gwadar will occur sometime in the future, but for now the main concern is to connect Gwadar with the upper country. Hence the government came up with a plan to set a new rail line connecting the cities of Peshawar and Quetta together, and eventually setting new rail lines down all the way to Gwadar. With this Gwadar will be connected with the whole nation and most importantly the Karakoram Highway, as the most northern station lies along this highway.
New world-class airport announced: Shaukat visits Gwadar
GWADAR (September 18 2005): The government has decided to construct a new international airport at Gwadar with state-of-the-art facility having world-class standard. This was announced by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz who was speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Gwadar Industrial Estate on Saturday.
He said that till the completion of the new international airport the existing airport is being upgraded, and necessary facilities were being provided so that there could be frequent communication between Karachi and Gwadar. Shaukat Aziz said that the Gwadar will not only be an industrial hub, but also attract tourist since it has got great potential for tourism.
He said that this is a historic day and pointed out that six years ago when President General Pervez Musharraf took over power he saw a dream of making a world class port in Gwadar and added that today we are seeing this dream becoming a reality.
He said that the President took up the matter of building of Gwadar port with Prime Minister of China who readily agreed to the proposal, so this port is a gift of China. The Prime Minister said that the seaports change the destiny of regions and countries.
He pointed out that six years ago, the President promised roads for Gwadar and that promise has been fulfilled with the construction of Coastal Highway which goes up to north and shall be a crucial link for Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Shaukat Aziz said, "We have to open our minds and allow foreign investors to come up with their investment which will usher in an era of prosperity and help create employment opportunities."
The Prime Minister said that in case the local skilled labour was not available we should welcome with open heart skilled people from other regions for development, progress and prosperity of Gwadar, which is not only in the interest of the-people of Gwadar and Balochistan, but also in the interest of Pakistan.
Shaukat Aziz announced that the federal government will establish Export Processing Zone in Gwadar on fast-track basis and will extend Coastal Highway up to Iran to promote trade and commerce with it.
In this connection, the Prime Minister said that import of gas from Iran will transform Balochistan and a decision on gas pipeline project with Iran after consideration of all aspects will be made in the national interest.
He said that local bodies' elections have demonstrated that people have rejected anti-development and negative forces.
Shaukat Aziz announced Rs 10 million for water supply to Gwadar and in response to demand of Balochistan chief minister Jam Mohammed Yousuf for desalination plant, he said that the government will bear half of the cost of desalination plant which will be grant of federal government.
Earlier, in his welcome address Jam Mohammed Yousuf said that Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz's contribution towards development of Gwadar and construction of port here are laudable and commendable.
He said that it seemed like a dream but Shaukat Aziz has made it a reality.
On the occasion, Balochistan governor Owais Ghani, federal ministers Zobaida Jalal and Naseer Mengal were also present.
Meanwhile, groundbreaking ceremony of Gwadar Port Civic Centre was also held on Saturday.
In his speech at the ceremony the Prime Minister said that the federal government was spending a record Rs 134 billion on mega projects for development in Balochistan.
"This has never happened in the history of Balochistan that such mega projects were ever carried out at one time," Shaukat Aziz noted, amid applause.
Balochistan Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani, Chief Minister Jam Mohammad Yousuf, Minister for Port and Shipping Babar Khan Ghauri, Minister for Social Welfare and Special Education Zobaida Jalal and Minister for Petroleum Naseer Mengal were also present on the occasion.
He said that this year Rs 21 billion had been allocated under annual development programme for Balochistan, which was about 10.5 percent of total outlay. "This is more than the share of Balochistan, in terms of population ratio to other provinces," he added.
Shaukat Aziz directed the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) to complete construction of Civic Centre within 18 months and undertake construction work on its own and not on built, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.
He said that minister of ports and shipping Babar Khan Ghauri was a man of action and he would ensure that work is completed in the stipulated time.
He said that this is a costly project and will be a model Civic Centre in the country, having offices, bank branches, utility store and residential blocks.
He announced the establishment of USC store in Gwadar, saying that it would be operational before the start of Ramazan.
He said that 500 out of 1000 houses would be given to fishermen at the housing scheme in Sur Bandar area.
Shaukat said he wants to take Pakistan on the road of development and prosperity and added that never in the history of Pakistan such development schemes were carried out by any government.
He said that people have been witnessing progress on these projects and therefore they would reject pessimistic elements.
The Prime Minister said that Gwadar Port would generate economic activity in the area and road network would connect it with Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia as the most important route in the region for transportation.
The Prime Minister said that the federal government would spend all money on development projects as the government has decided to federalise the schemes for rapid progress on these projects.
He said the second phase of Gwadar Port would start after completion of Phase-I. The GPA has been asked to make this port operational and market its facilities.
Shaukat advised the people of Balochistan to welcome investment in Gwadar. "The world has changed and this is the era of globalisation and you must welcome investors in Gwadar," he added.
The Prime Minister said that investment would open avenues for further development and generate job opportunities in Gwadar.
He said the government was working on a project to attract tourists to Gwadar. He said: "Hotels are coming up very fast, and I am happy to see new hotels in Gwadar, especially Pearl Continental Hotel."
He said that first flight of new ATR aircraft of PIA, replacing Fokkers, would land at Gwadar airport. "I have asked PIA to use this new aircraft on Karachi-Gwadar route," he added amid applause.
Addressing Senator Ismail Buledi, the Prime Minister in a lighter mood said that opposition "also supports our good work". He said the opposition should make positive criticism and also suggest remedies to help the government in the redressal of the problems.
He said that government wanted to set up a mega refinery at Gwadar to refine crude and supply in the region. [COLOR=blue]It would be a mega project and would take time. But the thinking on this project should start now, he noted.
He said that Balochistan government should further improve its governance and bring in more transparency in the working. The Prime minister noted that Balochistan has vast potential for development in agriculture, energy, livestock, mining, fisheries sectors and the government would explore all potential. "These sectors will generate employment opportunities."
|September 10th, 2006, 10:18 AM||#6|
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Transit Trade For Gwadar Port To Generate Over $50B
ISLAMABAD, Capital Territory: The Gwadar deep-sea port, to be completed by March 2005, will have the potential to generate over $ 50 billion in transit trade annually in future. Official sources said after becoming fully operational along with strong communication and transport links with Central Asian States, Iran, western provinces of China and commercial cities of the country, an estimated two-thirds population of Balochistan will become part of port-related activities. The mega project which includes construction of three berths in the first phase will generate job opportunities for thousands of people. Having the potential to handle ships over 50,000 tons weight, the port will have huge cargoes for transiting to the Gulf region through smaller ships. Reports emanating from the Gulf region suggest that authorities there are keenly interested in the project and for its early completion as their over-saturated warm water ports cannot absorb further pressures. The sources said situated on mouth of the Gulf, the warm water Gwadar port will wait for transit of huge discovered and undiscovered estimated 2500 billion barrels of oil in Central Asian Region to different destinations as the fuel-thirsty nations are looking towards this region to meet their future needs. The nearest port for such facilities is this under-construction port. This port will become a gate-way for the region. It also offers special opportunity for land-locked Afghanistan. The sources said foreign consultants have been engaged to overview the plan prepared by the Nespak for the port city. Modifications are expected in the original plan.
|September 10th, 2006, 10:19 AM||#7|
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US Interested In Gwadar Port
ISLAMABAD, Capital Territory: US Ambassador to Pakistan Ryan C Crocker said on Wednesday that his country was interested in Gwadar port’s development, as it would increase economic activity in the entire region.
Speaking to businessmen at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Crocker said the US wanted to facilitate the Pakistani businessmen in the USA. He assured the businessmen that access to commercial counselor section and visa and security related issues would be discussed to ease business travel to the USA. About the Pak-US Investment Treaty, Crocker said the third round of the treaty would be held in Washington in September. He said the US wanted active and productive economic ties with Pakistan as major US retailers were keen to invest here. He said exports of Pakistani goods to the USA had recorded a seven percent increase during 2004-05, showing that the economy was moving in the right direction.
Crocker said it was good to see that the Pakistani government was encouraging foreign investment, adding that progress on intellectual property rights and Anti Money Laundering Law, which were processed in parliament, would help resolve the concerns by US companies. He said the US would provide $ 300 million assistance to Pakistan during the current fiscal year for poverty reduction, and health, education and social sectors.
Crocker said the US government was aware of the necessity to engage itself with the private sector. He added that with the help of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the USA was providing funds to the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce to help resolve the child labour issue in the city. Crocker said the consortium of 50 US companies which was working to invest $1 trillion in the world had also shown interest in investing in various sectors of Pakistan. Praising the Pakistan’s role as a frontline state in the war on terrorism, Crocker said the United States wanted to build long term multi-faceted relationship with Pakistan. He added that the USA would provide an advanced version of F-16 aircraft to help Pakistan meet the defence requirements.
Earlier, Tariq Saddiq, president of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, informed the US envoy about the problems being faced by Pakistani businessmen with the implementation of the World Trade Organisation. app
|September 10th, 2006, 10:25 AM||#8|
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DPW faces Hutchison in race for Gwadar
DUBAI — DP World (DPW) will face stiff competition in Pakistan to win the rights for operating newly developed Gwadar Deep Sea Port, which is likely to be inaugurated during this month.
Sources told Khaleej Times yesterday that the Government of Pakistan is currently looking into the terms of reference for the port operator after which a close contest is expected between DPW and Hutchison Port Holdings of Hong Kong.
PSA International of Singapore is the third contender who has submitted Expression of Interest (EoI) to operate Gwadar Port after its formal inauguration, which is expected in August.
Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) already operates the two-berth Karachi international container terminal.
Sources said DPW is a preferred bidder for the port but it will have to face competition with HPH, which submitted its EoI at the last moment to join the race with Singapore port firm.
"The re-appearance of HPH in the competition is a significant move and it indicates a close competition among world's leading port operators for Gwadar Port operations," the sources opined.
Hong Kong's Hutchison Port Holdings earlier withdrew from the competition, however it is now being considered a serious contender for Gwadar Port, the sources said and adding that the decision who will run port operations will be taken before the port's inauguration.
Gwadar Port located at Balochistan province in Pakistan is being considered a future trading hub in the region because of its key location in Gulf. Initially, the port will face competition from Port Salalah of Oman and Port Chah Bahar of Iran. But after completion of phase two by 2010 it is likely to be one of the busiest ports in the region that will provide warehousing, trans-shipment and industrial facilities for trade with over 20 countries including Gulf States, central Asian Republics, Iran, East Africa, China and India.
"First phase of Gwadar Port is almost completed at the cost of approximately $300 million. The port is ready for operations, however no date is fixed for its formal inauguration," sources said.
"Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf and a top level Chinese leader are expected to inaugurate the first phase of the port during this month," sources said.
Sources further said serious contenders are lobbying to win the contract for port operations, however the decision will strictly be made on merit.
"China has shown interest in Gwadar Port operations and the UAE is also keen to win the rights for operating the port," the sources said.
"The company who will fulfil conditions mentioned in the terms of reference being finalised by Government of Pakistan is likely to secure the deal," sources said adding that terms of reference submitted by one of the contenders failed to impress the government. However, sources refuse to elaborate the terms of reference being prepared by Government of Pakistan.
In answer to a question, sources said ports in Pakistan are running under federal government control instead of the provincial governments. "There was no proposal under consideration to hand over Gwadar Port to the Balochistan government," they added.
Sources further said second phase of the port is likely to start later this year. "Ministry of ports and shipping has directed Gwadar Port Authority to launch second phase which will cost $865 million," they added.
"Phase two will be completed either on the basis of Built, Operate and Own (BOO) or Built, Operate and Transfer (BOT)," sources said adding that public sector financing will be required in case private sector does not respond favourably.
|September 13th, 2006, 05:48 AM||#12|
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This is interesting. I haven't read everything yet but why not jus build a deep seaport in Karachi? It's a big coastal city and it should have the resources to support a deep sea port.
|September 14th, 2006, 10:51 PM||#13|
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Karachi already has two...
Plus, Gwadar is closer to the landlocked CIS states, including Afghanistan...
|October 15th, 2006, 11:59 PM||#14|
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also, Karachi has the potential to be blockaded by the Indian military in the event of war, whereas it would be much harder to blockade gwadar. China is also interested in the strategic and military implications of a port at gwadar, as it would be a very useful place to project its interests in the S asian region, esp. towards India.
|November 29th, 2006, 05:41 PM||#16|
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'Megaport' with no ships rises from sands of Pakistan
GWADAR, Pakistan, Nov 28, 2006 (AFP) - Conceived as a gateway from China and Central Asia to the warm waters of the Arabian Sea, the Beijing-funded "megaport" of Gwadar is rising from the sands of Pakistan's poorest province.
At the foot of the rocky peninsula that overshadows Gwadar there are 600 metres (yards) of quays and five giant cranes. But with no decision yet on the port's foreign operator, not a single ship has docked here.
Past this brand new deep-water port, an inlet runs for dozens of miles (kilometres) towards the old town and fishing port of Gwadar, whose 100,000 residents have so far seen none of the fruits of the multi-million-dollar development that juts into the Gulf of Oman like a massive hammerhead shark.
And it's going to be a long wait yet.
"Here in 2015 you will see a mature Gwadar," says the proud director general of the Gwadar Development Authority, Ahmed Baksh Lehri.
Towards the eastern bay the authority plans to build a huge extension of the port with industrial and commercial zones, while to the west it envisages luxury building projects and modern infrastructure.
China, a close strategic and economic ally of Pakistan which has already co-built several projects including two nuclear power stations, has financed around 75 percent of the 250 million dollars it has taken to build the port. This will be the "Dubai of the 21st century," says one of the 62 estate agents in charge of renting out more than 1,000 square kilometres (620 square miles) of Baluchistan desert.
In sharp contrast to the enthusiasm of the developers, and others who hope to reap profits from the new port, the locals grumble that nothing has changed for the better since the construction began. Indeed, many complain that things are only getting worse.
So far all there is to show from all the work, investment, disruption and, for some, forced relocation is the construction of an unused port, overlooked by an empty five-star hotel inaugurated earlier in November by Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf.
"There is no development, no teachers in the schools, no doctors in the hospital, no work for locals," says Niaz Ibrahim, from the Rural Community Development Council, a non-governmental organisation, only slightly exaggerating the paucity of services for residents in the area.
Doctor Aziz Baloch of Gwadar district hospital, which struggles to provide healthcare because it lacks equipment and personnel, complains: "This megaproject is causing nothing but frustration."
-- "What good is compensation if you have no work?"
Work on the port and surrounding roads has already caused the displacement of some villagers, with varying results.
In Mullah Band district near the port, 37 families have each received between 500,000 and 1.5 million rupees (8,333 to 25,000 dollars) to move six miles north.
Saleh Mohammed, a 26-year-old bachelor, is happy with his compensation as he has been able to build a modern house on the 400 square metres of land he received from the government.
His neighbours Shaban Ayub, 35, and Mohammed Asim, 25, are equally happy with their new neighbourhood.
Nevertheless, as fishermen they have lost their source of work and future income is in doubt. In that, they are not alone.
Grandmother Medina is the matriarch of a family that long relied on the resources of the ocean for income, but all her five sons lost their livelihoods and had to move away to find work once the port development began.
She summarises their worries: "What good is getting a million rupees if you lose your job?"
The story is not the same for all the fishing families of the area.
At the fishing port there appears to be plenty of activity and one fisherman says: "The new port doesn't bother us at all."
Pointing to the fact that the port is not likely to open before the first quarter of 2007, another fisherman shrugs off questions about the impact of the development with a joke: "Of course, there aren't any boats."
He goes on to express his concerns, however, about the security measures, including naval patrols, that the fishermen will have to deal with once merchant ships do start arriving at the new port 300 metres away.
Eventually, the developers says, everyone will have to move.
The Gwadar Development Authority says it has overseen the "gradual and voluntary" transfer of 1,300 fishermen -- 3,000 to 5,000, according to the fishermen themselves -- to the villages of Pishukan and Sur Bandar, at the far ends of the west and east bays, 50 and 25 kilometers away respectively.
Around 100 families have already been forcibly relocated to Sur Bandar.
"They have sent us to a cemetery," laments Jan Bibi, the mother of a family living in a shack erected in one of the many unfinished houses that stand here, shells with rooves but no walls. She says she received no compensation.
"No more villagers will be displaced," says the development authority chief, Lehri, adding: "Our only hope is that people will themselves want to leave congested areas.
"From 100,000 inhabitants today, Gwadar is expected to have 1.7 million in 2030," he says, adding that amid the sands of Baluchistan "everything is yet to be built".
|December 1st, 2006, 07:10 PM||#17|
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|February 8th, 2007, 05:31 AM||#18|
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Pakistan to get 100 MW electricity from Iran
7 February 2007
(c) 2007 Reuters Limited
ISLAMABAD, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Pakistan signed an accord on Wednesday to gain access to 100 megawatts of electricity from Iran for its newly built Gwadar deep-sea port on the Arabian Sea.
Under the agreement, Iranian company Tavanir will provide electricity to Pakistan's state-owned Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) for the port at 6.25 cents per kilowatt hour, the authority said.
Pakistan plans to inaugurate the port in March.
The port, built with help from China, is about 450 km (280 miles) west of the Pakistani city of Karachi and about 70 km (45 miles) east of the Iranian border.
The Iranian electricity will be supplied through a 170-km (106 miles) long transmission line, WAPDA said in a statement.
"The total cost of the project is $86 million. Out of which $26 million will be borne by Tavanir and is included in the tariff," WAPDA said.
Pakistan's economy, which has grown by an average annual 6-7 percent over the past four years, is driving energy and electricity demand in the country of about 160 million people.
The country's total installed capacity of electricity generation stood at about 19,439 megawatts in the fiscal year 2005-06, according to official estimates.
Singapore port operator PSA International [PSA.UL] is to run Gwadar port for the next 40 years.
|May 15th, 2007, 06:11 AM||#19|
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New Pakistani deep sea port a boon for Chinese trade, but locals see little benefit
12 May 2007
GWADAR, Pakistan (AP) - By the azure waters of the Arabian Sea, a remote Pakistani fishing town is being transformed into a massive deep sea port to cash in on the inexorable rise of the Chinese economy.
Gwadar port, a US$250 million project that is 80 percent Chinese funded, is expected to start operations later this year to capitalize on its strategic location between South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. The port lies near the Straits of Hormuz, through which about 20 percent of the world's oil is transported.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz recently claimed Gwadar could "change the map of shipping in the world" and serve as a regional energy hub for shipping and refining oil from the Gulf.
But the development of this barren peninsula has received a hostile response from impoverished tribesmen who say it is depriving them of fishing waters and bringing no economic benefit to locals.
Tribal insurgents are suspected in the killings of six Chinese workers in the Baluchistan province since the project got off the ground five years ago -- including a May 2004 bombing that killed three Chinese engineers.
China's interest is driven by concerns about energy security. It is seeking a place to anchor pipelines to secure oil and gas supplies from the Persian Gulf. Beijing also believes that helping Pakistan develop will boost economic activity in its far western province of Xinjiang and dampen a simmering, low-intensity rebellion.
"It will greatly benefit China's trade to Europe, Africa and Middle East," said Moonis Ahmer, an international affairs professor at the University of Karachi. "It will also give a boost to the economy in southwestern Pakistan."
Some international security experts speculate that the Chinese navy may use Gwadar for port calls, though current arrangements do not explicitly provide for that.
"You can never rule out the strategic use of the port if China has sufficient economic interests in the region that it wants to protect," said Ayesha Siddiqa Agha, a Pakistani defense analyst. "But that would provoke India, which it does not want to do."
China-India ties have improved lately, but are still strained because the two sides fought a war in 1962 over their border.
China, which has long-standing ties with Pakistan, has financed US$198 million of the total cost of US$248 million to build the port, with the rest covered by the Pakistan government.
State-owned China Harbor Engineering Company did most of the port construction, bringing in 350 Chinese engineers, technicians and other skilled workers. With most of the port construction complete, only a few Chinese workers now remain in Gwadar.
Much of the transport infrastructure needed to link Gwadar with Pakistan's northern neighbor is yet to be built, but potentially, it will nearly halve the overland distance from China's landlocked western provinces to the sea: from about 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) to China's east coast, to just 2,000 (1,250 miles) south to Gwadar.
The first stage of a 900-kilometer road is under construction that would eventually link this southwestern tip of Pakistan with the country's north-south Indus Highway, facilitating overland transport from Gwadar toward China.
The link road should be complete within five years, says Ahmed Baksh Lahri, chief of the Gwadar Development Authority.
It will still be a tough drive: passing along the Karakorum Highway that winds through the rugged mountains of northern Pakistan and crossing into Xinjiang province via a border crossing point at 4,693 meters (15,397 feet). The route is often blocked by snow in winter.
Longer-term plans also call for road and rail links from Gwadar that would pass through strife-torn Afghanistan to Central Asian states.
In March, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf presided over the ceremonial inauguration of the port, although officials say it will be several more months before the three shipping berths open for business.
Singapore's PSA International Pte Ltd. last year won a bid to operate the port for 40 years, and the government has exempted it from corporate tax and all import duties on equipment and machinery. China did not bid to operate the port.
Khurram Abbas, the chief of PSA's operation in Gwadar, said PSA plans to invest between US$5 billion to US$8 billion over the 40-year period. He forecast the port would generate revenues of between US$17 billion and US$31 billion during that time.
That should transform the local economy beyond recognition, but Gwadar's 70,000 residents are skeptical. Fishermen -- the main vocation here -- complain they have already lost out.
"The port area was our prime fishing area and we used to make thousands (of rupees) every day, but not now," said Lal Bakhsh, a fisherman in his 40s, explaining they now had to cast their nets further afield in the Arabian Sea.
Currently it appears the chief beneficiaries of the Gwadar's boom are outsiders.
Qasim Khan, who comes from northwestern Pakistan, runs a prosperous real estate business. He said investors from big cities like Lahore and Karachi were buying tracts of land in Gwadar, anticipating values will appreciate sharply.
That is a source of resentment among ethnic Baluch. Militant tribesmen in the province, Pakistan's poorest, are already waging a low-level insurgency, accusing the central government of pocketing too much revenue from Baluchistan's natural gas reserves.
"In the name of so-called development, the land of the people of Gwadar is being taken away," said Hasil Baloch, secretary general of Baluchistan National Party. Baloch also claimed that skilled laborers from outside were getting all the jobs in the port's construction.
Authorities deny any locals have been forcibly evicted from their land. But town mayor Abdul Ghafoor Kalmati said the government has failed to build a vocational college that was promised five years ago that could have alleviated the shortage of local skilled labor.
"Gwadar has been a neglected town of deprived people," he said. "They deserve much more."
|August 14th, 2007, 09:48 PM||#20|
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New Gwadar International Airport Project
Abdul Sattar Khan
LAHORE: The move of the Defence Ministry through the Prime Minister’s Secretariat has failed to persuade Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Yousaf to provide the required land at the price fixed by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) for the project of New Gwadar International Airport.
According to the decisions taken by Ecnec, 6,500 acres of land is required for the airport at Rs 175,000 per acre. But the Balochistan government is ready to provide 4,300 acres at Rs 350,000 per acre.
The federal government has allocated Rs 1.05 billion from the Provincial Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the purchase of the land for the project.
As per the estimates finally worked out by Ecnec, it was decided to arrange 6,500 acres at the price of Rs 175,000 per acre for the airport. However, the Balochistan government reduced the area of land and increased the price.
In the light of the provincial government’s decision, the land to be given for the project was 4,300 acres, while the price had been increased to Rs 375,000 per acre.
The federal authorities tried to bring the government of Balochistan back to the contents of what has been decided by Ecnec. However, when the authorities concerned took all the aspects into account, particularly the skyrocketing land prices in Gwadar, they have subsequently settled the issue close to the decisions taken by the provincial government.
Moreover, the CAA while reviewing the reduction in the area of land has concluded that it would not alter the design of the New Gwadar International Airport.
“Even the reduced area of land is sufficient for the new airport project,” claims a CAA official. The authorities concerned are confident that there will be no need for further land even in future expansion when after a decade or so the number of passengers and flight traffic is expected to increase manifold.
Presently, the passenger growth is estimated to be around 28,000 per year. By 2020, the terminal side would easily accommodate more than 300,000 passengers as per the estimated future growth of passengers.
Similarly, in phase II, when the future growth rate of passengers is expected to touch one million, the terminal even then will be able to accommodate such a huge number of human traffic who will be using the New Gwadar International Airport.
However, the question is if all is manageable within the presently-acquired land for the airport, then why did the authorities concerned sought 6,500 acres at the initial stage of the plan?