Pakistan Shipbuilding Industry and Blue Economy

Karachi Shipyard, the oldest and the only major shipyard in Pakistan, is experiencing unprecedented growth.  It is rapidly expanding manufacturing facilities to respond to growing demand for both civilian and military vessels. Karachi also has several small boat yards near Karachi Fish Harbor where craftsmen build wooden fishing vessels with their hands to meet fishermen's demand.  There are now plans in the works for building a new shipyard in Gwadar.  Pakistan has the potential to build a large "Blue Economy" in its 290,000 square kilometers of coastal water or about 36% of the country's land area open for tapping vast resources in it.  These resources include seafood and energy resources as well as international transport and trade connectivity with the rest of the world. It offers opportunities for water sports, recreation and tourism in the coastal areas of Pakistan. Pakistan needs a large fleet of ships to defend it and to take full economic advantage of it. 

Blue Economy. Source: World Bank

Karachi Shipyard:

Several new dry docks are being built at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) to cater to growing demand from Pakistan Navy and other government agencies. Two patrol boats have been built jointly with Dutch builder Damen at KSEW and delivered to Pakistan Customs.  

Four Type-039B ‘Hangor Class’ Chinese designed AIP submarines are planned to be built at KSEW. Keel-laying ceremony was held recently at KSEW for Turkish-designed MILGEM corvettes for Pakistan Navy. There are discussions underway to build Dutch Damon corvettes at KSEW for Pakistan Navy. 

Karachi shipyard is too small for servicing large ships owned by Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC). 

Karachi Fish Harbor:

Pakistani craftsman are continuing to build wooden fishing vessels for domestic and foreign buyers. They deliver 30 to 40 fishing vessels every year, in addition to repair work at the yard. Their foreign customers include fishermen from Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and UAE. 

Currently, the builders are taking orders for cargo vessels since the demand for fishing boats has gone down due to a variety of reasons, including the use of over-aged vessels, according to Arab News


Gwadar Shipyard:

Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) has recently acquired land in Gwadar to establish another major shipyard where much larger ships can be built and serviced. KSEW chief Rear Admiral Ather Saleem has told The News “The decision has been taken in view of increased movement of ships and maritime activities at Gwadar Port in the backdrop of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).”      
KSEW in Karachi currently has 2 dry docks of limited capacities of 18,000 and 26, 000 DWT. It also has 3 shipbuilding berths with capacities of 6000 DWT, 15000 DWT and  26000 DWT. These are too small for Pakistan National Shipping Corporation cargo ships and tankers. Deadweight tonnage of the biggest PNSC tanker Aframax Tanker Quetta is 107,215.  

Blue Economy:

Pakistan has a 1,000 kilometers long coastline on the Arabian Sea with maritime sovereignty over 200 nautical miles deep Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and 150 nautical miles of Continental Shelf. This adds 290,000 square kilometers of sea or about 36% of the country's land area open for tapping vast resources in it. 

Pakistan's "Blue Economy" in this extended economic zone includes seafood and energy resources as well as international transport and trade connectivity with the rest of the world. It offers opportunities for water sports, recreation and tourism in the coastal areas of Pakistan.  Pakistan needs a large fleet of ships to defend it and to take full economic advantage of it. 


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Comments

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan Extends Security of its #Maritime Sea Limits with modern #technology to protect its assets and increase its #naval power is crucial to benefit from a #BlueEconomy. Ensuring safe navigation of #commerce is vital for building geo-economic strength https://sino-sphere.com/pakistan-extends-security-of-its-maritime-sea-limits/

by Sabena Siddiqi

Recently, Pakistan has taken some unprecedented pro-active measures vis a vis the security of its maritime lanes. Apparently, the changing geopolitical dynamics in the neighborhood have compelled Islamabad to take these sudden measures to maintain its strategic dominance as an important maritime state in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

According to the official documents, foreign warships and nuclear submarines will have to take prior permission before entering Pakistan’s territorial sea limits. And if the sovereignty of the territorial waters is transgressed, the offenders will be tried under Pakistani law.

Likewise, foreign military aircraft will also not be able to pass through the airspace above these territorial waters without acquiring the requisite permit. Due to the country’s central location, these added restrictions could hold implications for the surrounding region in the days ahead.

Here are the background and some of the main factors which push Pakistan to take this significant step.

For starters, securing sea-lanes became necessary at this juncture as Gwadar port has faced growing threats in recent years. Located in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, the port has attained tremendous strategic and symbolic value ever since it became the lynchpin of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship corridor of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Even before this development, the port had unlimited potential as it has the distinction of being one of the world’s largest deep-water ports.

Prone to constant risks of terrorism, piracy, and illicit trafficking, the security of Gwadar port needs to be made sustainable to protect large-scale foreign investments there and make it the launchpad for Pakistan’s economic recovery in the geo-economic era. Not only that, the whole of Baluchistan and CPEC routes passing through it remain at risk unless the coastline and borders are secured.

Next, in a recent development, Israel and the UAE have normalized their relations and are installing a secret station on Socotra island which is 350 kilometers south of Yemen and in Abu Dhabi’s control. Collecting intelligence across the region, the station will be able to operate from the Bab el-Mandeb Strait to the Gulf of Aden and the Middle East.

Claiming to monitor the movement of Houthi militants in Yemen as well as Iranian naval movements, this surveillance station can also examine sea and air traffic in the southern part of the Red Sea. However, according to political and strategic experts, the Socotra intelligence-gathering base will be used to monitor Iran, China, and Pakistan.

Therefore, it can become a security risk for the Gwadar port. Even though the Socotra spy- station is not operating at full capacity yet, this potential encirclement had to be contained. Recently, an Indian analyst, Haider Abbas, has specifically stated that the Socotra base will be used to keep tabs on Pakistan.

According to him, “This rapidly changing scenario is altering the world situation as never before, as Pakistan which means China, would now be under the Israeli radars. If any sabotage is to happen at Gwadar then Pakistan-China would blame Israel and Gulf-states equally, hence, the relations of Pakistan with Gulf-states is going to be strained forever.”

Covering one more angle, Ibrahim Fraihat, a professor from the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies has observed that, ‘This base can provide critical security services to the US regarding the Chinese economic activity, especially its trade with Europe.” He has also explained that “Trump is engaged in a trade war with China and needs to monitor the Chinese commercial activities.”

Riaz Haq said…
#Turkish President Erdogan launches welding of 3rd Milgem warship being built for #Pakistan #Navy. Two of Milgem corvettes will be built in #Turkey and the other 2 in Pakistan, at #Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) with technology transfer. https://www.dawn.com/news/1603331

Speaking at the ceremony, President Erdogan said Pakistan is "our brotherly country with whom Turkey enjoys excellent relations".

He underscored that the defence collaboration for the construction of Milgem class warships was another milestone in Turkey-Pakistan defence ties.


President Erdogan said both Pakistan and Turkey were living in difficult geographical regions and both countries were facing similar challenges. He affirmed that Turkey would continue to support friendly and allied countries in the defence field.

Referring to his visit to Pakistan last year, President Erdogan said the two countries signed a Strategic Economic Framework that would provide the necessary institutional framework to further enhance bilateral ties.

All Turkish dignitaries who spoke at the ceremony hailed the Pakistan-Turkish brotherly relations and reiterated Turkey's support to Pakistan on core issues of its national interest.

The contract for four Milgem class corvettes for Pakistan Navy with concurrent Transfer of Technology (ToT) was signed with ASFAT Inc, a Turkish state-owned Defence contractor firm in 2018.

According to the plan, two corvettes will be built in Turkey and the other two will be built in Pakistan, at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) — Pakistan Navy's specialised shipbuilding division — that also involves technology transfer.

Milgem vessels are 99 metres long with a displacement capacity of 2,400 tonnes and can move at a speed of 29 nautical miles.

These anti-submarine combat frigates, which can be hidden from the radar, will further enhance the defence capability of the Pakistan Navy.

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