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Industrial uplift: KSEW's contribution.

For any newly-emerged country, establishment of heavy engineering base, acquisition and development of technologies and its dissemination into the industrial roots of the country is a stupendous task. When Pakistan came into existence, in 1947, there was no such heavy engineering base that could provide a take-off for the process of industrialisation. Aware of this fact, the then Government decided to establish a shipbuilding, ship repairing and heavy engineering workshop. The project was assigned to Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC).

The first heavy engineering base of Pakistan named Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited (KSEW) was established in 1956 and started commercial production at limited scale in 1957. As work on its development continued, it picked up steadily and by early sixties had started medium size shipbuilding, ship repairing as well as manufacture of plants, machinery and structures for the local industries.

At the time of establishment of KSEW, the engineering and other industries in Pakistan were of a primitive level and engrafting such industries with modern techniques was necessary to make them economically viable. In the wake of those conditions, KSEW stood to undertake the challenging job of setting out standards, acquiring requisite technical knowhow and disseminating it into the industrial culture of the country for achieving growth of industrial sector in general and the engineering industry in particular.

KSEW was primarily designed to build and repair ships which was, of course, the need of a country having long coastal line and sizeable fleet of merchant navy. It was, however, a wiser decision to ingrain KSEW with a tertiary production facility of heavy general engineering to cater to the fabrication and engineering requirements of country's fast growing industrial sector. This wise decision not helped industrial growth but proved wiser still when during the slump in shipbuilding all ever the world. KSEW maintained its survival by diversifying to the general engineering activities.

It is indeed difficult to rope in all the activities of KSEW in the field of general engineering as it has and is capable of manufacturing a variety of plants, machinery and components. To mention some, the galaxy of engineering products of KSEW include heavy transmission/distribution line structures, overhead electric travelling cranes, level luffing cranes, industrial boilers, LPG storage tanks, pressure vessels, oil storage tank farms, living caravans, sewage treatment plants, heavy structures and gates for power tunnels, dams, barrages and thermal power plants, handling equipment for petroleum and petrochemical industries, steel, iron and non-ferrous castings, cement mills and, above all, complete turnkey sugar plants.

The above activities in the engineering sector are, of course, in addition to the ship-building and ship repairing works where KSEW, besides catering to the local maritime industry, has also earned international recognition by building a number of ships for foreign countries. Its foreign customers include Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Islamic Republic of China and a Belgian firm. By building four ships for China, KSEW could fly its flag higher on the international waters.

Some of the areas in general engineering sector where KSEW contributed significantly for the industrial uplift of the country are given hereunder:

1. Sugar Mill Machinery 2. Petroleum/Petrochemical Industries 3. Power Generation 4. Industrial Boilers 5. Castings

1. Sugar Mill Machinery: KSEW's history in the manufacture of sugar plants dates back to early sixties. The first-ever sugar plant was manufactured by KSEW in 1962 which was set up at Jaipur Hat in the former East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. This was followed by orders for two more sugar mills set up also in the former East Pakistan at Mubarakaganj and Nilphamari in 1965. Since then it is continuously serving the sugar mills not only by manufacturing new plants but also by catering to their seasonal and BMR requirements. Some of the sugar plants manufactured by KSEW in recent past are for Sanghar Sugar Mills, Faran, Sugar Mills, Matiari Sugar Mills, Al-Abbas Sugar Mills and Khairpur Sugar Mills. KSEW offers the latest technology in this area which has a distinct superiority over other manufacturers.

2. Petroleum/Petrochemical Industries: initially KSEW started with the construction and erection of storage tanks and later went into more sophisticated area of manufacturing LPG storage tanks, Desalter Vessels, Sulphur Recovery Plant, Dehydration Plant, Drilling Rigs etc.

KSEW also manufactured and supplied a number of Living Caravans to provide urban comforts in rural areas for the personnels of oil companies mobilised at far-flung drilling sites.

3. Power Generation: KSEW has fabricated structures and tankages for various thermal power plants, located at Quetta, Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Kot Addu and Guddu. In the hydel-power area, draft tube gates, together with other equipment, were manufactured for Tarbela Dam. KSEW is a regular manufacturer of components for the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant.

4. Industrial Boilers: Besides packaged fire tube boilers, KSEW's bagasse fired water tube boilers are known for their fuel efficiency. At all such sugar plants were KSEW's manufactured boilers are installed, a lot of bagasse is saved for alternative use.

5. Castings: KSEW's castings (iron, steel and non-ferrous) are known for strength and reliability. Cane crushing rollers, castings for soda ash plant, mill cheeks etc. are some of the known products of KSEW which have earned a good name.

Providing basis for a professional response to facilitating manpower's transformation in to a skilled society is a service of vital importance for the social uplift of any nation. KSEW has, in this direction, too, performed a vital role in the development of human resources by imparting training at all levels from engineers down to skilled workers. KSEW's trained manpower is yet another asset for the industrial uplift of the country. For safety reasons, the standards set out for shipbuilding are very tough and do not allow any bargain on quality of material and execution.
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Title Annotation:Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Limited
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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