MEED Qatar Transport Forum: Qatar on Track with more than $40B worth of Transport Projects

Doha, Qatar: Qatar is moving ahead with more than $40bn worth of planned transport projects, delegates at MEED’s 4th annual Qatar Transport Forum were told last week. These include the expansion of Hamad International Airport (HIA) and Hamad Port, the Doha Metro and long-distance passenger and freight network, and the expressway program. One of the highlights of the Qatar Transport Forum, which was held under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Qatar, was the public unveiling of plans for the estimated $8bn expansion of Hamad International Airport (HIA). NDIA Steering Committee Project Director Peter Daley outlined the procurement timeline along with descriptions of the project scope, which includes an expansion of the main terminal building and concourse D and E. Plans for two additional container terminals at Hamad Port were also announced. The terminals would increase the QR27bn ($7.3bn) project’s handling capacity to 6 million TEUs by 2020. The first phase of the megaproject, which involves installing more pre-cast blocks than the pyramids, is due to open at the end of 2016, Aecom’s Program Director Tim Verdon told the Forum’s attendees. Qatar Rail’s Chief of Service Delivery Andrew Tailor updated the Forum on Qatar’s $20bn-plus integrated transport plan. A world record 21 tunnel boring machines are being used on the Doha Metro project, which so far has completed almost 50 kilometres of tunnels. A total of 26,000 workers are working on the project, equating to more than 78 million man hours worked as of end of August. Work on the Lusail tram scheme is even more advanced, with four of the five at grade stations completed, while the tender for the first phase design and build of the long-distance freight and rail network will be issued to contractors early next year. On the roads side, Eng. Nasser al-Kuwari, Manager of Highway Projects department at Ashghal, presented an overview of the QR40bn ($10.8bn) expressway program. The massive project, which involves 1,000km of new or upgraded roads, 240 major interchanges and 360 bridges, has already seen 43 major contracts awarded. A total of 15 contracts are either in the market or are being prepared, while a further 23 are in the planning stage. Summarizing the considerable number of opportunities in the Qatar transport sector, Ed James, Director of Content and Analysis at MEED Projects, revealed that the overall pipeline of planned projects in the state exceeded $200bn. Transport along with construction were the two largest individual sectors in the pipeline. The Forum was opened with a speech from His Excellency Jassim bin Saif al-Sulaiti, Minister of Transport, in front of a highly-distinguished audience that included H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, H.E. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Al Thani, Minister of Economics and Trade, H.E. Ali Sherif Al Emadi, Minister of Finance, H.E. Dr. Hessa Al Jaber, Minister of Telecommunication and Information Technology and H.E. Abdullah Bin Saleh Al Khulaifi, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs. The Forum’s stakeholders included Qatar Rail who was the Platinum Sponsor, the Strategic Event Partners were UrbaCon Trading & Contracting, Al Khayyat Contracting & Trading, Qatar National Bank and Mowasalat. The Forum’s Gold Sponsors were the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and Joannou & Paraskevaides. Qatar Development Bank was the Development Sponsor, Qatar Airways was the Official Airline Sponsor and ooredoo was the Official Telecom Sponsor. Manateq was the Economic Zones Partner and Atkins, Lean Park and Milaha were the Forum’s Silver Sponsors. Huawei, ALYSJ Joint Venture, GBM and Q Shield were the Forum’s Exhibitors and Sky News Arabia was the Official News Partner. Additionally, the US-Qatar Business Council was an official media partner.