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
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.
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.