ISLAMABAD: Pakistan National Shipping Corporation shares in the stock market have increased from 63 to 83 per cent. An official of the Ports and Shipping Ministry said that the present management has introduced a number of reforms in the organisation to make it a profitable entity. He said the organisation has specifically focused on trade with Pakistan State Oil in recent months and reserves of the PNSC now stand at $ 1.5 billion.
“Previously, the organisation was noted for making continuous losses, but now it has started showing signs of progress,” he said, adding that the present management of the PNSC is devising a strategy to increase its trade manifold in the next couple of years.
The official said the financial position of the PNSC can be gauged from the fact that its shares in the stock market have increased from 63 to 83 percent in recent months. PNSC once had as many as 70 vessels in its fleet, but now this has only reduced to five vessels owing to mismanagement and incompetency in the organisation, the official said.
He said the ministry has now been endeavouring to add two new vessels in the PNSC fleet to enhance the organisation’s capacity. “We are hopeful the new oil tankers will be added to the PNSC fleet by the end of this year,” he said.
Elaborating on the ministry’s plans to procure new vessels, he said that two oil tankers – Aframax Tanker and LR1 Product Tanker – would cost around $42 million. The ministry had issued tenders for the procurement of tankers in November last year, but later scrapped them without citing any reason. “We are going to issue new tenders for the procurement in the next couple of weeks. In fact, we are in search of a credible company that could meet our demand timely,” he said. The official said it is a big investment to buy new tankers; therefore the ministry does not want to make any decision in haste.
The PNSC has transported approximately 80 million tonnes of crude oil since 1998 when it started tanker operations. At present, the organisation operates three modern double hull Aframax tankers of 107,000 DWT capacities. In addition to serving national trade, the PNSC has also made inroads in the regional markets, transporting crude oil to other countries, including Singapore, Kenya, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh.