KARACHI - The steel cutting ceremony of a 600 ton Maritime Patrol Vessel for Pakistan Maritime Security Agency was held at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) on Tuesday.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal was the chief guest on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan congratulated the Karachi Shipyard and M/s China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSTC) on timely completing construction of the vessel.

He said that induction of MPVs will go a long way towards defending the country’s sovereignty and safeguarding rich natural resources of the area.

He further said the government was committed to developing maritime infrastructure along the coast to prepare for trade expansion.

“The upcoming China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will transform Pakistan into a regional economic hub, and prove to be a ‘game changer’ for the region,” he prophesied

He congratulated the Karachi Shipyard on the awarding of a contract for new generation AIP submarines, which, he said, was a landmark achievement.

While sharing his views about the development in the maritime sector, he said the Ship Lift and Transfer System would further enhance the capacity of Karachi Shipyard, whereby the repair of 13 ships would be possible at one time.

Ahsan ensured his continued support to the Karachi Shipyard for the upgradation and maintenance of its infrastructure, and motivated its workforce with the pledge to make Pakistan a leading shipbuilding country in the region in line with its potential and ideal location.

KS&EW MD Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah, in his welcome address, said that construction of 600 ton  MPV at KS&EW signified the trust and confidence the government reposed in Karachi Shipyard.

The 600 ton Maritime Patrol Vessel is a state of the art, multi mission vessel with steel hull and aluminum super structure.

He said the ship would be fully capable of ensuring maritime security, search and rescue missions in Maritime Exclusive Economic Zone of Pakistan. He further said that this year KS&EW will be launching two ships and launching projects for three new ships.

The ceremony was attended by high ranking government officials besides the workforce of Pakistan Navy, CSTC (China), KPT, PMSA, PQA, KS&EW and the corporate sector.