Falling world oil prices have no effect on Qatar’s ambitious transportation projects that include rail and the new Doha port, says the transport minister.
Investments to the tune of a whopping $44bn have been made in these projects so far and another $38bn has been earmarked for (transportation) projects to be executed in future.
This was disclosed by H E Jassim Seif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, the Minister of Transport, at the Fourth Annual Qatar Transport Conference.
The two-day event opened at the Doha Sheraton yesterday and the idea is to let the private sector explore investment opportunities in the multi-billion dollar transportation projects Qatar is executing in part preparation to host the 2022 World Cup.
Because these are all vital transportation projects, sliding crude prices wouldn’t be allowed to impact them, said the Minister.
Talking about the role of the private sector in these projects he said their involvement has been to the extent of 55pc, which is huge.
“We had planned it all and discussed work opportunities in our projects with the (private) companies and asked them what they could do.” “Work on all our projects is proceeding smoothly and as planned. Some works like underground tunneling for the railway project, for instance have, in fact, been completed ahead of schedule,” Al Sulaiti said. He said state state-run transport company, Karwa, should be ready to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in preparation for listing on the Qatari bourse by 2016-end. The company’s Articles of Association have been amended for the purpose but the exact timing of the IPO launch would actually be decided by the regulators of the capital markets.
Speaking at the conference, Acting CEO of Hamad Port (the New Doha Port), Muyassar Jameel Al Qattami, said all construction work related to the port will be completed by 2015-end.
And the port should begin operating by the beginning of 2016. Until now some 72 percent of construction work of the project is over, he said. “And the remaining 28 percent should be completed by the year-end.”
Al Qattami said cranes had already been installed at the port and they are ready for work. About private sector’s involvement, Al Qattami said their share in contracts of the port project has reached about 50 percent.
Meanwhile, Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary-General of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, said at the conference that the apex panel is actively coordinating with the agencies concerned to ensure that all projects related to the 2022 event are implemented in time and attain capacities required to hold the World Cup and welcome the world soccer fans.
Al Thawadi said Qatar planned to build eight to 12 stadiums for the 2022 event and the exact number is to be specified by 2015-end.
Al Thawadi said the first stadium to be ready for the mega event will be the Khalifa Stadium and it is expected to be completed by 2016-end.
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