Newly-launched night navigation increases FOTCO’s terminal capacity by 30pc

Fauji Oil Terminal and Distribution Company (FOTCO) in collaboration with Port Qasim Authority (PQA) on Wednesday commenced night navigation of oil vessels at the FOTCO terminal, a move that increases the company’s capacity by 30%.

Oil vessel ‘MT. Ardmore’ carrying motor gasoline berthed at FOTCO by Port Qasim Authority pilots under night navigation protocols. The milestone was achieved through joint studies and pilot simulations, as well as alignment of berthing standard operating procedures (SOPs).

FOTCO termed the development as a major breakthrough in the oil-import handling operations.

“Night navigation enhances FOTCOs’ capacity to handle petroleum vessels by up to 30%, which now translates into 18 vessels in a month,” FOTCO General Manager Adnan Samdani told Business Recorder.

It will help resolve port congestion and save heavy demurrages faced by importers including Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) during peak season.

“The country’s growing needs of petroleum products coupled with increasing reliance on imports warranted an efficient functioning of port infrastructure across the country,” Samdani added.

With FOTCO and PQA handling over 70% of imported finished petroleum products, efficient operations at the port and terminal are critical for the country’s energy security.

“Further efforts in rationalising berthing plans, vessel performance, and maximising cross country pipeline utilisation through FOTCO will result in ensuring longer-term sustainable, efficient and cost-effective supply of petroleum to the end consumer.”

Samdani said that currently, demand for petroleum products is depressed, but the decision to enhance the capacity is a strategic one, and serves a longer-term view.

“28 years ago, when this terminal and this expensive jetty were built, there were only furnace oil imports of around 3 million tons. The decision was strategic by the Fauji Foundation and now around 10 million tons of all oil products are managed through this terminal,” he added.

Company Secretary and Brigadier Noor Ul Hassan (retd) said FOTCO has had zero incidents of oil spills or any other accidents in its 28-year history.

FOTCO is a joint venture of Fauji Foundation and Infraavest Ltd. of Singapore, owns and operates a marine oil terminal at Port Qasim. Costing $100 million, it was established in 1995 and has since handled over 180 million tons of oil.

The terminal is capable of handling 10 million tons of oil per annum at the existing jetty, whereas, through capacity optimisation initiatives, excess throughput of 2 million tons can be accommodated.

FOTCO has been able to achieve a turn-around time of 24 hours, a record for such operations in Pakistan. It is the only terminal equipped with the most modern Automated Jetty Monitoring System in the country, the company says.

“While the company has aggressive expansion plans in place to expand port handling facilities, it is still prudent to maximise utilisation of existing infrastructure through addressing existing bottlenecks including vessel pumping rates, larger parcel size and optimise planning and SOPs,” said Samdani.
Source: Business Recorder

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