KARACHI - Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) Chairman Arif Elahi has said that due to launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan is going to witness major growth in its shipping and energy sectors.

He was delivering a key note address at an interactive workshop organised by (PNSC) to attract investments and find solutions from numerous international experts of the Marine-fuel Bunkering Industry.

Highlighting the vast potential and robust developments that promise great business opportunities for investors in bunkering ventures, the

PNSC chairman, in an inspirational speech, expressed PNSC’s interest in initiating such kind of ventures.

The Executive Director (SM) Fleet of PNSC, Tariq Majeed, who was the Moderator at the workshop, and other senior executives from PNSC highlighted the regulatory incentives, tax relief and support provided by the government to the establishment of bunkers, which play an important role in fueling the shipping operations and global cargo vessels, coming to the seaports of Pakistan.

“Over the years, PNSC has shown outstanding performance in its global shipping operations, earning nearly Rs2 billion in annual profits. It has raised its capacity to carry 700,000 tonnes of dead-weight annually, while it safely and successfully carries 90 percent of Pakistan’s oil imports,” he said, and added, “It is now planning to forge partnerships with the bunkering enterprises, oil refineries, financial institutions and traders of marine-fuel, willing to invest in new machinery, cranes and dredgers for strengthening the infrastructure at the seaports of Pakistan.

The experts had insightful discussions on the various challenges and opportunities in this essential sector. With more than 4000 international vessels docking on the Pakistani ports, there is a need to develop more modern facilities and oil-testing labs to ensure quality and save the unnecessary expenditures incurred by the ships arriving in Pakistan. 70 percent of the costs in shipping operations go into the fueling of vessels. As the demand for marine fuel increases in Pakistan, global investors can find great opportunities in bunkering ventures in Pakistan by creating synergies with the local entrepreneurs, thus creating higher quality standards.

Due to sharp reduction and volatility in global oil prices, this whole industry needs to work in cohesion to minimise the risks, optimize growth and meet the emerging challenges.

The pioneering event was attended by many leading experts, professionals and stakeholders from the bunkering industry from Pakistan, Middle East and the United Kingdom, including the Manager Sales of World Fuel Services London, Maximillian Canegie-Jones; Global Operations Manager of Lloyds Register Fuel Oil Advisory Services of UK, Naeem Javed; General Manager of Rais Hassan Saadi Group of Dubai, Mujahid Hassan; and senior official of Dan Bunkering Dubai, Adil Qayyum.

Among other notable delegates were Director of Marine Fleet Management Singapore, Ahmed Pervez; Head of Bunkering PNSC, Saad Masood, and the Commercial Manager of Pakistan Refinery Ltd, Samiur Rahman, along with senior level representations from major financial institutions like Standard Chartered Bank, which was represented by Adil Salahuddin, Head of Financial Markets.