KARACHI Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) has invested only $ 34.3 million against the committed investment of $ 550 million for the Gwadar port development. TheNation has learnt that the PSA had committed to invest $ 55 million in the first five years since they executed Concession Agreement (CA) but invested only $ 34.3 million so far. They have invested $ 6.1 million in pre-operations and start up cost, $ 12.5 million in quay cranes, $ 1.2 million in upgradation of civil structure and electrical system, $ 3.7 million in pre-Ops maintenance and spares replacement, $ 3.7 million in financing costs, $ 4.8 million in additional bulk cargo equipment, and $ 1.3 million in engineering studies for expansion of berths. The initial business plan submitted by PSAI was encouraging for making the port operational by 50 percent in 2007, 100 percent in 2008 and onwards, including GPAs share of revenue. The sources concerned informed this scribe that the business plan also indicated bringing of cargo comprising general, bulk and containers. However, PSAI responsibility to manage and market has turned out to be a complete failure and it is not adhering to its submitted plans. Meanwhile, Gwadar Port Authority has implemented its part of the agreement regarding port promotion. Moreover, the concession-holder (PSA Gwadar) was supposed to submit five years business plan on rolling basis, operating performance data, five years indicative investment schedule and five years indicative forecasting information, but neither of the above said has been complied with as yet. The real picture of the investment is that PSAI has shipped and installed 22 years old (reportedly) two refurbished gantry cranes, 200 meters of single line track and one substation to cater for the required extra power. According to sources at GPA, the commissioning of both the gantry cranes is required by competent independent authority for safe use, as this important action of commissioning was never carried out because terminal and cargo handling operations/procedures do not apply only to PSAI but also apply to sub contractors etc. Interestingly, so far some 2.3 million tonne bulk cargo of Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has been channelised through Gwadar port, and not a single commercial ship anchored at the port since its inception. The port experts said utilising Gwadar Port for bulk cargo will be a complete failure and difficult to make it a container port and future hub port of the region. This was the reason why acting chairman Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) Ghulam Farooq pleaded for the cancellation of the CA with PSA during the meeting with mediamen earlier this year. The sources said DP World had approached for similar port operation of bulk cargo for the first 15 years, but the offer was rejected as the motive of such offer by DP was to save Jebel Ali port from losing its container business. Moreover, in shipping world, rivalry always exists between neighbouring countries, for instance Iranian port CHAH BHAR is on fast pace for setting up transit business with Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics. So Gwadar Port to be developed as hub port of the region for transit cargo to hinterland, Afghanistan, Central Asian Republics and western China is of great importance. This can only be achieved if appropriate steps are taken at early stage, firstly for its permanent marketing/operationalisation and secondly for immediate future extension for container terminals. According to the sources, it is of paramount importance that if PSAI, is really interested to make port operational for international business, it should invest at the earliest in further extension of terminal area for containerised cargo and its equipment, otherwise catching up with rival ports shipping business will turn out to be a dream.