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IFC FINANCES PORT TERMINAL IN PAKISTAN


Susana Romero


WASHINGTON, D.C., July 23 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved a $12 million loan and a $1.5 million equity investment to help finance a container terminal at the Port of Karachi, Pakistan. IFC is the member of the World Bank Group that promotes private sector investment in developing countries. The Karachi terminal will be IFC's first investment in the infrastructure of Pakistan and the country's first private port terminal. At the project's development stage, IFC also provided advice to the project sponsors on structuring the concession with the Karachi Port Trust, the port authority. The company which will implement and operate the project will be formed by a consortium led by Premier Mercantile Services (Pvt.), Ltd., a member of the Marine Services Group, and one of the largest companies in Pakistan in stevedoring and operation of container terminals. The project is expected to be completed in four years, at an estimated cost of $87 million. The IFC financing will help upgrade exist
ing berths and install modern container handling equipment and a computerized traffic data processing system. The new terminal will make it possible to handle containers in a more efficient and reliable manner and increase the container and cargo handling capacity to a total of 450,000 twenty-foot equivalent units per year. It will help meet the increasing demand by exporters and importers and contribute to the development of the Pakistan economy. "The terminal is a sound beginning in IFC's efforts to promote infrastructure projects in Pakistan through private sector participation and to support the government's privatization program," said Everett J. Santos, Director of IFC's Infrastructure Department. "The private port development will increase the competitiveness of the Pakistan industry in the export market."