Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT) is all set to enhance coal handling capacity of the terminal to 16 million tonnes from 12 million tonnes, which is estimated to cost around $70 million. This was stated by PIBT Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Arslan Iftikhar, reported a private television channel on Saturday. Iftikhar said that despite record high prices, the demand for coal remained stable. He said that last year PIBT handled over 10 million tonnes, adding: “Infrastructure projects are planned and developed in advance, and we see increased demand, going forward.” “PIBT is a national infrastructure project, which has been providing state-of-the-art terminal services since the commencement of its commercial operations in April 2017,” Iftikhar said. The economic recovery is pacing with a boom in the construction sector, and coal is required by every industrial unit using boilers. The Pakistan International Bulk Terminal is a fully mechanised bulk cargo handling terminal in the country on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis as per the international standards. The PIBT CFO said given record high coal prices, “We anticipate some slowdown in the demand for a couple of more months, then it will normalise”. He said that the international coal prices were primarily influenced with unprecedented Chinese demand ahead of Christmas and Year-end. “We hope this demand will ease by November 2021.” He said recently the freight charges across the globe had increased to an all-time high of $36,000/day. Also, coal is now being traded at an all-time high of $150/tonne. “The terminal can discharge a 60,000 tonne coal vessel in less than two days of operations,” the PIBT CFO said, adding that earlier the imported coal was handled manually at the stevedoring berths at the Karachi Port Trust (KPT0, which took 8 to 10 days/ship, that too without compliance of environmental laws and approval of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency.