A similar ship-building project is also being deliberated at Port Qasim in Karachi, Pakistan’s financial capital and southern port city which hosts the country’s mammoth steel plant presently incurring heavy losses.
The two advanced shipyards would design and develop ships and other maritime security equipment for the Pakistan Navy. “Chinese, Iranian and Turkish companies are competing to purchase the Pakistan Steel which could become operationally profitable if two or three shipyards are built,” one senior PSM official told BE2C2/PKonweb.
“The existing shipyard (in Karachi), the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, lacks capacity to meet new requirements of the force. Its [PNSC] performance, however, would improve in competition with the two under consideration,” an official of Pakistan Navy told The Express Tribune on the sidelines of the on-going defense exhibition, IDEAS 2016, at the Karachi Expo Center.
He added that the PNSC would hand over a large fleet tanker to Pakistan Navy by June 2017 which is being constructed in collaboration with Turkey.
The official said that Pakistan Navy is considering buying super-fast ships from China and Turkey for its special squadron to be deployed at the Gwadar Seaport for maritime security purpose.
“A squadron may have four to six warships,” the official said.
The ships would be bought soon keeping in view their immediate need in the fleet, he said, adding two defense ships have already been deployed at Gwadar.
The official said the role of maritime forces has increased in Pakistan since the country has made the Gwadar Seaport operational and speeded up economic activities under the $55b China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He said China would also deploy its naval ships in coordination with Pakistan Navy to safeguard the port and trade under the CPEC.
Chinese boats for Navy
A representative of the China Shipbuilding Trading Company told The Express Tribune that his company would provide six patrol boats to Pakistan Navy.
“You will see relevant development next month. The developments may include delivery of the first of six boats,” he said. He said his company had provided four missile warships to Pakistan in 2013.
“One such vessel was developed at Karachi Shipyard in collaboration with the (Chinese) company,” he said.