Master of Business Administration Executive

Faculty / School

School of Business Studies (SBS)

Year of Award



Dr. Rameez Khalid, Associate Professor, Department of Management

Project Type

MBA Executive Research Project

Access Type

Restricted Access

Executive Summary

In order to load/discharge the cargo, oil tankers require special berth which connect the shore infrastructure with the ship. In Pakistan, one berth is installed at Port Qasim whereas 3 are installed at Karachi Port. Ships can only arrive at or sail from Port Qasim during Day light. This leads to additional delay during operations at Port Qasim. Imported Crude for 3 Refineries, Finished Product imports/exports, Edible Oil imports, Chemical Imports, and Molasses export is all handled at Karachi Port. Due to the large volume handled at KPT, the waiting time is increased, which increases the cost. Due to the location of these ports, the Vessels can only berth during the high-water tide.

One solution for this can be setting up of an offshore berth, commonly known as SPM. These SPM’s are common in our region and one is already operating in Pakistan. While using an SPM, Vessels do not require to wait for the high water tide which reduces chances of Demurrage on account of waiting time of the Vessel.

Literature review suggests that Pakistan being a net importer of Oil should focus on developing the state-of-the-art Port facilities as this would reduce the operational cost of the industry. Moreover, the Refineries are upgrading their obsolete technology which will allow them to maximize the throughput. The upgradation would increase the dependence of Refineries on Port Authorities. The technical aspects of Literature review along with Financial Model reveal different aspects related to SPMs.

Using convenient sampling, the professionals of Oil Industry / Port handlers were contacted to complete the primary research. Whereas the literature reviews discussing several aspects of berths, the market of Pakistan Oil industry helped complete the secondary research. The outcome of this secondary research was used to prepare an Interview Guide which was finalized after the pilot interview.

This research was limited to an independent berth of a Refinery, the results would differ if the port authorities conducted a similar study.

To allow sustainable Refinery Operations and restrict buffer inventory maintained by a Refinery, the interviews concluded that it is necessary to have sufficient berth arrangement.

Pakistan’s POL product market is 23.1 million Metric tons of which PRL currently shares 5% and targets 17% once the current project is completed. Even though the Refineries are upgrading, Pakistan will still not be self-sufficient in Local POL production.

The ideal location for an SPM can be found near Karachi Port. This location is sufficient to handle Oil Tankers which arrive at Karachi. By installing SPM, Refinery would save US$ 60,000 Port Charges per Vessel and Rs 0.3 /M. Ton KPT Wharfage, during the entire 25 year of useful life. The operating cost would be $40,000 per Vessel and Capex of ~US $25 Million. Although, the project in not profitable if installed and used only by PRL, it can be a viable if the utilization of the SPM is increased.

This study focuses on the strategic importance for the country of setting up an SPM, the operational flexibility for PRL and the significant enhancement in the capacity of the port.


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