Pakistan Senate Committee calls for shipbuilding growth
April 16, 2024
The third Azmat-class fast attack craft. Photo credit: Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works

Pakistan Senate Committee calls for shipbuilding growth

The Pakistani Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production called for expediting expansion to the Pakistani shipbuilding industry through pushing through an already project for constructing a shipyard in Gwadar, the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) reports.

In a briefing to the Committee, the Managing Director of Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW), Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah, outlined that KSEW had thus far constructed 445 vessels of various types and displacements for domestic and overseas customers.

The Committee Chairman, Senator Lt. Gen (retired) Abdul Qayyum, stated that shipbuilding is a key input for economic growth and prosperity. The Committee was concerned with delays in the construction of a second shipyard in Gwadar, outlining that it would result in an increase in employment if completed.

In July, the Committee had recommended that construction of the Gwadar Shipyard be expedited. But at the time, Chairman Abdul Qayyum expressed “concerns” of the program steward, which at that time was the Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP).

However, work is underway to improve Pakistan’s shipbuilding efficiency and output.

In July, KSEW signed a $29.8 million U.S. order with the Norwegian company TTS Group for the latter’s Syncrolift ship-lift-and-transfer system. Slotted for delivery in 2019, the Syncrolift, along with a network of “advanced hydraulic transfer trollies”, will enable KSEW to manage up to 13 projects in-land.

In its 2015-2016 report, the MoDP stated that the Syncrolift lift-and-transfer system would allow KSEW to “increase business capacity and efficiency of ship turnover by three times.”

KSEW’s forthcoming programs include the construction of a 90 m Damen Shipyards offshore patrol vessel (OPV); four air-independent propulsion (AIP)-powered submarines of a China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co. Ltd design (with the first steel-cutting ceremony scheduled for October 2020); and – if a deal is inked – two MILGEM corvettes in collaboration with Turkey’s Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret AŞ (STM).

Currently, KSEW is currently constructing the fourth Azmat-class fast attack craft-missile or FAC(M) for the Pakistan Navy along with a 1,500-ton maritime patrol vessel for the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency. It is also working with STM to upgrade the Navy’s three Khalid-class Agosta 90B AIP-equipped submarines and completing the 17,000-ton Pakistan Navy Fleet Tanker.