KARACHI (APP) - The work on phase-I of 1.6 billion dollars Deep Water Container Port has started at full pace. The Port in its first phase will comprise four berths having 1500m-quay length while channel and berthing face will be dredged to 16 meter initially, but the quay wall is designed for 18m depth. The container terminal will have both road and rail connections to the hinterland including the proposed Cargo Village in the Western Backwaters of Karachi Port. Chairperson KPT Nasreen Haque told APP on Monday that the project has been undertaken with a vision to transform Karachi Port into a modern, competitive, user-friendly port and a transhipment hub of the region. This initiative, she pointed out, braces the KPT to cater to the new generation of Container ships comes on the drawing boards, like the fifth and sixth generation ships. The PDWCP would facilitate large mother ships/feed vessels and shall help transform the Karachi Port into a transhipment hub of the region and in addition would help in substantially reducing the trading costs. The overall PDWCP development comprises Marine Protection Works, Quay Wall Construction Works, Dredging and Reclamation Works and Navigational Aids Marine protection works for the project shall include construction of 3 breakwaters and a sand dyke and envisages to comprise of three rock or concrete (CORE-LOC units) armoured breakwaters to provide shelter to the port basin and for preventing sediment transport into the basin. Nasreen Haque said the scope consists of Keamari Extension - repairs as deemed necessary to strengthen existing Groyne, Oyster Rocks Breakwater, Construction of breakwater and concrete pedestrian access along shore side She said the advertisement for the Contract of Marine Protection Works has been published on 1st May, 2009 and tendering has commenced. The Quay Wall works for Phase-1 have been envisaged to comprise approximately 1500m of continuous piled wall with filling behind the new wall to +4m KPD, including anchor wall, tie backs and backfill, cope and anchor wall beams, rear Crane Rail Beam, bollards, fenders and quay ladders. The advertisement for the Contract of Quay Wall works has been published on 1st May, 2009 and tendering has commenced. She said the Dredging of Port Approach Channel, Dredging of Basin, Dredging for Quay Wall Works and Reclamation using suitable material from the dredging operation to form the container terminal area to +4mPD etc. come under the purview of the Dredging and Reclamation works. The contract for Dredging and Reclamation have been awarded to M/s CWE on 26th November, 2008 wherein 32.0 million cubic meters of dredging and 8.0 million cubic meters of reclamation was to be carried out. It may be mentioned here that Prime Minister had performed the ground breaking of the Dredging and Reclamation works on 18th April 2009. Chairperson explained that Karachi Port has been gradually shifting its role from a public sector operating port to a landlord port. So far two container terminals, (KICT and PICT), have been set up in the private sector on a BOT basis. The viability of PDWCP with respect to the geographical location of the port was proved when in response to the KPTs request for proposals for setting up of the PDWCP, four world-renowned firms responded. After an exhaustive exercise of evaluation of the most competitive bid, M/s Hutchison Port Holdings Limited (HPH) of Hong Kong has been awarded the contract. She pointed out that Private Sector Participation will be on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis. The lease of the terminal will be for an initial period of 25 years extendable for another 25 years, on mutually agreed terms and conditions. M/s. Hutchison Port Holdings Limited (HPH) Hong Kong will be required to develop the site into a full-fledged state of the art Container Terminal capable of receiving and handling Super Post Panamax Container Ships. Terminal Capacity will be 3.1 Million TEUs Expected initial investment by M/s. HPH is US $457 Million and KPT has been assured a minimum royalty payment of USD 1.1B to KPT over the concession period. She said as per the traffic projections the earnings will go up to USD 2.6B from royalty and lease and USD 971M from wharfage and wet charges during the concession period. The total expected income therefore stands at over USD 3.5B over the next twenty five years.