The Pakistan government has cleared a proposal to transfer management and operation of Gwadar Port from Singapore’s PSA International to China Overseas Port Holdings Ltd.
The transfer was approved by Pakistan’s cabinet council on Thursday, according to local media reports.
“Both companies have settled their deal,” said Pakistan Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, without indicating a timeline for the transfer.
Kaira said the concession agreement and relevant government notifications would be amended to ratify the change.
PSA took a 40-year concession to build and operate the port in 2007, but construction has been largely financed by China.
“PSA could not develop or operate Gwadar ‘as desired.’ The Chinese will make ‘more investment’ to make the port operational,” Kaira said.
Gwadar, about 330 miles from Karachi, is located in Pakistan’s western province of Balochistan, just outside the Straits of Hormuz and near key shipping routes passing through the Persian Gulf. The port's existing multi-purpose terminal is capable of handling conventional and container ships with drafts up to 47 feet.