China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a windfall opportunity for maritime sector, has also resulted in the growth prospects for shipbuilding industry in the country. But, the Karachi Shipyard with limited tonnage capacity is unable to compete with regional yards particularly in the Gulf which are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for all the four major areas of operation – shipbuilding, ship repair, oil rig construction and oil rig support. At present, bulk of the regional business is being captured by major yards in the Gulf like Dubai Dry Docks in the UAE, King Salman Global Maritime Industries Complex in Ras Al-Khair, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi Shipbuilding (ADSB) in the UAE, Nakilat Damen Shipyards Qatar (NDSQ), Oman Dry-dock Company (ODC) at Duqm Port and Kakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd in Qatar and Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard (ASRY) in Bahrain.
The existing facilities at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) are not sufficient considering the PNSC’s fleet requirement, growing prospects of Pakistan’s economy, modern era for different category vessels, emerging requirement on the trade route and availability of more competitive services in the region. Deadweight tonnage of the biggest Aframax Tanker Quetta in current PNSC’s fleet is 107,215. Whereas, KS&EW has 2 Graving Docks with limited capacity (i.e. capacity of one dock is 18000 and other’s 26000 DWT) and 3 Shipbuilding Berths with miscellaneous capacity (i.e. capacity of one berth is 6000 DWT, second is of 15000 DWT and third is of 26000 DWT).