State-run Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) is planning to build a new terminal in Karachi to ease pressure on the country’s only dedicated grain and oil seed facility at Port Qasim.

“This terminal, once established, will divide the shipping traffic load at Port Qasim,” said PNSC executive director Rashid Siddiqi.

Port Qasim had been struggling to meet the needs of oilseed, cereal and fertiliser shipments, with some ships having to wait three weeks to discharge cargo, a Bloomberg report said on 22 October.

The new terminal, which is expected to have cargo handling capacity of 1,600 tonnes/hour, will cost about US$200M and investors include the PNSC, Karachi Port Trust and a private company.

Siddiqi said there were also plans to build oil storage facilities at local ports and the grain terminal project had been presented to port and federal government ministries for approval and was expected to be completed in a year.

The terminal would help boost profit and sales for PNSC, which had been in decline for six years, said Bloomberg. PNSC has been slowed down affected by a slow international liquid cargo market due to and a government ban on furnace oil imports which was only lifted this year.