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KGTL CEO, Khurram Aziz Khan’s interview with the TFD

The following is the interview of KGTL CEO, Khurram Aziz Khan given to the Special Correspondent of The Financial Daily International.

Q. Would you like to share your profile with our readers?
A. I’m the Chief Executive Officer with global experience of 27 years in port and terminal operations, with a career spanning various international roles. Currently, I am the CEO of AD Ports Group container terminal at Karachi Port, namely Karachi Gateway Terminal (Private) Limited Part of AD Ports Group. The Group has an integrated portfolio of world-class ports, economic zones, maritime, logistics and digital businesses driving the growth of international trade.
Prior to joining KGTL, I held a leadership position at International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), a renowned Philippine-based port and terminal operator with a global presence. I have remained the CEO of ICTSI’s container terminal in Pakistan.
My professional journey began at P&O Ports, where I held various senior management positions.
Q. Would you like to share some details about the two concession agreements between AD Ports Group and KPT?
A. Under the terms of the 25-year concession agreement signed in February 2024 between KPT and AD Ports Group, a Joint Venture between AD Ports Group, as a majority shareholder, and Kaheel Terminals, a UAE-based company will manage, operate and develop the Bulk and General Cargo terminal berths 11-17 at Karachi Port’s East Wharf, further enhancing Karachi’s position as a key player in the maritime industry.
The concession grants the Joint Venture full operational control of East Wharf encompassing a 1,525m quay length for the multipurpose general cargo and clean bulk terminal adjacent to the container terminal encompassing 800m quay for the container terminal, secured through a previous concession in June 2023. The general cargo will primarily consist of steel, paper, and clinker, while the clean bulk terminal will focus on grains and fertilisers.AD Ports Group plans to invest approximately $75mn in the first two years, including upfront fees and investments in superstructure and equipment, which will be used to improve the overall efficiency and create storage facilities. As part of the agreement, the Joint Venture will inherit East Wharf’s existing operations, ensuring the transaction will be earnings accretive immediately upon completion.
Q. What changes took place after this joint venture or is it still the same?
A. Since the concession agreement between AD Ports Group and KPT, KGTL started its journey to accelerate trade and economy of Pakistan, unlocking a new chapter of growth and progress.
Q. How much more investment is expected?
A. AD Ports Group plans to invest approximately $75mn in the first two years in the multipurpose terminal, including upfront fees and investments in superstructure and equipment, followed by further investment of USD 100 million within 5 years which will be used to increase efficiency and capacity by 75%.
AD Ports Group has made long-term investments into the Port of Karachi and is committed to the long-term development of Karachi Port. AD Ports Group is set to embark on a transformative journey of investments in Karachi Port, their strategic vision encompasses not only the expansion of their container terminal “KGTL” at Karachi Port but also a comprehensive improvement of the port infrastructure.
Q. What about technology up gradation? What is the new equipment provided by AD Ports Group including RTG, Container scanners? Is there any Terminal expansion plan?
A. The development of berths and yard space infrastructure will adhere to international standards, accompanied by the integration of cutting-edge equipment like QCs and RTGs. This initiative aims to substantially enhance terminal efficiency and reinforce our commitment to a safety-centric culture. The expansion element includes extension of the quay wall of the Terminal by 200m, the deepening of berths, and expansion of the container storage area.
Q. What is the KGTL competitive edge?
A. KGTL is the only terminal having a cluster of Gulf based cargo. Customers having Food/Perishable Items and Scrap Commodity prefer calling KGTL due to expertise in handling these commodities. Wide range of services calling to and from the Gulf gives advantage to the trade industry.
NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier) Preferred terminal: We have implemented streamlined processes to cater specifically to the needs of NVOCCs, ensuring quick turnaround times and minimizing delays in cargo handling and documentation.
Onsite Container Freight Station (CFS): The establishment of a Container Freight Station (CFS) within KGTL premises represents a significant advantage for trade, providing them with a competitive edge through enhanced storage capabilities and reduced operational costs. The strategic location of the KGTL CFS positions it as a pivotal node in Pakistan’s logistics ecosystem, facilitating seamless trade operations and efficiency in cargo handling.
Onsite Rail Link for upcountry & Afghan trade: KGTL has a dedicated port-to-port and cost-effective freight train service which provides an edge for upcountry customers and Afghan trade, considering the easy access for loading/unloading cargo and cost-effective services.
Q. Did you provide relief to your customers in terms of demurrage and detention?
A. We are committed to delivering efficient services to our customers, ensuring the timely clearance of their consignments. Should they encounter any challenges, we remain readily available to assist and facilitate them in the most effective manner.
Q. Did KGTL start its journey to reduce carbon footprints?
A. Acknowledging the dynamic nature of the shipping industry, it is imperative to take substantial measures to reduce carbon footprint, KGTL is dedicated to offering vessel shore connections for vessels berthed at our terminal, emphasizing our commitment to environmentally responsible practices.
Most of the equipment at KGTL are electrically operated, instead of the traditional diesel. This significantly reduces emissions, underlining our commitment to encouraging a greener and more sustainable future for port and terminal operations. Moreover, the sustainability of marine ecosystem is an integral part of the industrial growth strategy of KGTL and we look forward to collaborating with government stakeholders to initiate environmentally responsible practices.
Q. Could you please share the achievements made under your CSR initiatives?
A. KGTL is an ardent advocate of demonstrating socially viable business operations. As a respected Corporate Citizen, we continually strive to strengthen the communities around us.
KGTL is supporting the massive climate action initiative by KPT in the establishment of a Mangrove Park. Over 10,000 mangrove saplings will be planted.
This Ramazan, we went beyond celebrations and shared the blessings with those who needed it most. We undertook several CSR activities that involved interacting with the children of SOS Village and Dar ul Sukun and spent quality time with the elderly at the Edhi Foundation Old Age Homes.
KGTL is offering need-based merit scholarships to help deserving students accomplish academic excellence and make smooth transition in the professional world. Additional to the university education fees this programme also includes the provision of laptops, monthly stipends and job opportunities at KGTL upon completion of their education.

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