KARACHI          -        About 56 per cent petroleum products are imported through shipping berthed at Karachi Port Trust (KPT), and the KPT is ensuring that no delay takes place on its part in handling of petroleum products carrying ships, under the current petrol crisis situation in the country.

These views were expressed by a spokesperson of the KPT in a statement on Tuesday.

It said that the KPT had instituted proactive measures to enhance its liquid cargo handling capacity.  KPT has made all possible arrangements for uninterrupted berthing of tankers by using port’s available potential for smooth and quick decanting of Petroleum Oil Lubricants - POL products without delay by giving priority to MOGAS carrying vessels, the statement said.

It said that the KPT is operating round the clock even during the pandemic COVID-19 lockdown situation because port activities have been declared by federal and provincial governments as essential services to keep the economic wheel of the country in momentum. 

Being the economic gateway of Pakistan, the KPT has taken all requisite operational measures in liaison with concerned government departments to ensure that cargo handling at the port remains unaffected during the lockdown period, it added.

Special storage and warehousing is provided to the cargo being handled at the port under the complexities arising as a result of lockdown. Additionally, KPT has given unprecedented waiver in demurrage period to the trade community.

Under the policy guidelines and continuous supervision of Federal Minister of Maritime Affairs, Ali Haider Zaidi, KPT is meeting the requirements of all the stake holders and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) through efficient and vigilant handling of incoming oil tankers arriving at the port.

The OMCs are receiving their respective shipments without any delay on part of the berthing and decanting arrangements.

Declaration of Karachi Port Services as essential services by Federal government and complete support of the provincial government in facilitating port operations highlights the importance of essential requirement of continuing imports and exports for sustaining daily life and economic activities, especially under the global COVID-19 situation.

Under these daunting challenges of COVID-19, numerous complications are emerging including petroleum shortages.

While ensuring Government’s directions for enhanced precautions and reduction in non essential staff at work to minimize spread of the ongoing pandemic coronavirus, the KPT staff is relentlessly performing to maintain the port operations at its full potential rather more efficiently.

The KPT management is undertaking all possible efforts to ensure its traditional commitment to serve the nation through uninterrupted supplies, with least costs, the statement concluded.