Following the directives of the Ministry of Industries and Production, the state-run grain trader diverted the urea shipment from Gwadar to Karachi Port. Sources told Business Recorder on Tuesday under the recent 0.15 million tons urea import, the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) decided to transport major urea through Gwadar Port as the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has already given a preference status to Gwadar Port aimed at keeping it operational.
The TCP planned import of two consignments (first and last), out of three, through Gwadar Port. Accordingly, first ship namely MV Sinar Kapuas carrying 50,478 tons of urea was arrived at Gwadar Port on September 15, 2015 and is under discharging. While, FAP terminal (Port Qasim) was nominated for second urea consignment and a vassal MV Jiarun carrying 52,700 tons of urea has reached Karachi, however it is waiting outside the terminal for 3 days to berth due to congestion on the port. Similarly, as per schedule at the time of sail of last consignment, the TCP asked the shipper to discharge cargo at Gwadar Port. However, when the vessel was on way to Gwadar Port, suddenly, the management of the TCP diverted the vessel towards Karachi Port. “MV Dubai Sun with 54,300 tons of urea was originally scheduled to arrive at Gwadar Port but it was diverted to Karachi Port,” they added.
Now, MV Dubai is berthed at Karachi Port on September 27, 2015, however, facing slow discharging as some 500 tons of urea has been offloaded on first day, reportedly, to non-availability of transport. A high official of the state-run grain trader has confirmed that MV Dubai Sun vessel has been diverted from Gwadar to Karachi Port on the directives of federal government, ie, Ministry of Industries and Production as National Fertilizer Marketing Limited (NFML), a wholly owned subsidiary of National Fertilizer Company and responsible for the transportation of imported urea, was unable to manage the transport at Gwadar Port due to Eid holidays.
He said the TCP has always followed the ECC rulings and preferred Gwadar Port for the import of urea. “Some 22 urea shipments, out of 41, were imported through Gwadar Port during last two years,” he added. The TCP official said efforts are being made for timely discharging of urea from the vessels. He hoped that the TCP will complete the urea operation within given time as daily discharging at FAP is over 5,000 per ton per day and some 3,500 per ton per day at KPT.