The first phase of port Qasim comprised of one dedicated iron ore and coal berth, seven multipurpose berths each 200 meters long for handling of bulk cargo, a 45 kilometers long navigation channel and allied port infrastructure. The first project to come on stream and to be commissioned in 1980 was iron ore and coal berth to synchronize with the completion of Pakistan’s first steel mill in public sector.
This berth was connected directly with steel mill through a trestle and conveyor belt so that the cargo unloaded from the hatch of ship would reach straight to the work yard of steel mill. This project was followed by four multipurpose berths to handle dry bulk cargo like wheat, rice, fertilizer etc.
The Port Structure
The main structure of these multi-purpose berths, also known as marginal wharf, was based on construction of large caissons or huge reinforced concrete boxes filled with sand. I will not go into the technical details of this project and will confine myself to its salient features only which may be of general public interest. Massive sand filling was required to fill these hollow concrete boxes, and we had plenty of sandy hills all around the area. By the time all caissons of the marginal wharf were filled up with sand and the jetty back-up area was reclaimed, the sandy hills had vanished and we were able to get a vast amount of land available for port infrastructure facilities.
Nespak National Engineering Services Pakistan
Thanks to the most appropriate dual-purpose design criteria adopted by Canadian consultants, M/s Swan Wooster in local association with NESPAK (national engineering services Pakistan) whereby massive sand dunes were used for port construction and the land was cleared of heaps of sand, for use of port infrastructure. And I am happy that I was part of this team.