KARACHI - The authorities of Port Qasim have allocated space area in the name of edible oil and molasses at Port Qasim but molasses have not been exported from the port since 2000, The Nation has learnt. Sources told The Nation that molasses have not been exported for many years yet an area has been allocated which is being used for other purposes that have increased the risk of its misuse. The concerned people have demanded that the area should be opened and its name should be changed. According to the information stated by the Port authorities, the terminal presently comprise four multi-purpose berths in a linear length of 800 meters each divided into 200 meters length. Berth No 1 has a design capacity of around 2.5 million tonnes per annum. Vessels over 25000 DWT carrying edible oil, chemicals and molasses are being handled at this berth. Pakistan is said to be the largest exporter of molasses, which is used in extracting ethanol gas out of it while some countries such as Brazil are using molasses to make petroleum. It has been argued that vessels are too large to accommodate molasses at the port, yet it has been denied by General Manager Planning and Development Brig. Niazi. He said that this was not the case at all, because ships carrying molasses are usually of 15 to 20 thousand tones and the capacity of the port accommodating vessels is up to 50 thousand tones. The sources told that reasons are that the tanks made especially for storing molasses are not facilitated at Port Qasim, however, tanks made for edible oil could be used for molasses but it is strange that the authorities do not use them. They are using liquid cargo tanks, he added. The Port Qasim authorities, when contacted, told that the draught at Port Qasim is 13 meters, however the sources told that they are working on it currently and their current draught is not able to handle ships, carrying molasses, which usually are up to 75000 DWT. The decline of 20pc has been recorded in the import of edible oil which is of $105.341 million in April 2009, against $131.835 million of same period of last fiscal. And the export of molasses was of $9.329 million in April 2009 against $4.834 million of the same period of last fiscal with the increase of 92pc.