KARACHI: Marble City Karachi (MCK) will be developed on 300 acres, with an expectation to attract an estimated $50 million in investment, said Syed Qasim Naveed Qamar, Special Assistant to Sindh CM on Wednesday.
He also highlighted key parameters, benefits, and facilities of the project while addressing a road show for MCK at a local hotel. More than 500 potential local and international investors attended the event.
On the occasion, Sindh Economic Zones Management Company CEO Abdul Aleem Uqaili informed the participants that MCK would be developed as an industrial estate to uplift the value-added marble and granite sector and allied industries in Sindh. “The project is a design, build, finance, operate, maintain and transfer project through a public-private partnership (PPP) framework,” he informed.
The project would offer state-of-the-art infrastructure, utilities at the doorstep, and easy access to the ports of Karachi. The project’s proximity to the Northern Bypass, Karachi, also connects it with the rest of the country.
MCK would uplift the value-added marble sector and allied industries in Sindh. It would likely attract more than 50 such enterprises.
The request for a proposal for the project was launched through the international competitive bidding process on November 17, 2022. The advertisements were published in local and international media.
The consortium of consultants comprised of EY Ford Rhodes, EA Consulting, and Haidermota have been engaged as transaction advisors.
The core objectives of the project were to provide a secure, purpose-built industrial zone for not only the dimension stone (marble and granite) sector but also allied industries in Karachi and providing improved facilities for value-addition stone sector, a statement said.
The initial land allocation ratio of the saleable area for marble and allied industrial players would be 70:30 respectively. The land allocated for marble players would be offered on the first-right-of-refusal basis for 12 months, it said.
The developer should arrange the entire funding for the development. Project revenues should be routed through an Escrow account, the statement added.
IE and IA should verify construction progress, following which the payments for construction should be released.
“Zone enterprise applications that propose value-addition for the sector may be given preference,” it said.
According to a report of the Planning Commission of Pakistan, the industry was an important one in the global market with the total essential value chain of $60 billion annually.
“China accounts for 80 percent of Pakistan’s total marble exports, however, the major portion of the exports to China is in raw form. Russia, USA, Japan, Korea and European countries demand finished marble products, and thus constitute less than 10 percent of our export,” the report added.