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10 February 2009 09:04 am

:eco:New port won’t damage coral reefs: officials

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CORAL reefs from the site of the New Doha Port may have to be moved to another location, an official connected with the project said yesterday. Kent Edvin Pedersen, head of environmental department at Cowi A/S, said a baseline study was underway on the measures to be taken. The effort would be to minimise the damage to the coral reefs and also to suggest mitigating measures when a channel is dredged for the port. Earlier, Cowi signed a contract with the port steering committee under which the company would be the consultant for providing environmental impact assessment (EIA) studies. The deal was signed by committee chairman Abdulaziz al-Noaimi and Cowi project director Mogens A Hviid. The environmental impact assessment studies which meet the requirements of the Ministry of Environment and in accordance with relevant Qatari laws and regulations form an integral and important part of the project. The company will also help to define, specify and implement appropriate mitigation measures through all stages of the project, officials said. The value of the contract is QR26.42mn. The consultant will also be responsible for carrying out environmental monitoring during and after the construction of the new port. The study will be conducted in two phases - the first will take 10 months and the second phase will last 15 months, Pedersen said. The New Doha Port will be located north of Mesaieed City and all operations of the existing port will be transferred to the modernised, expanded facility which is expected to be ready by the end of 2014.The new port is part of the Qatar National Vision 2030 to build a bridge between the present and the future. The project will occupy 20sq km of land and will be integrated into Economic Zone 3. It will be a world class facility and will be designed and constructed to the highest international standard. The port includes dedicated terminals for containers, general cargo, bulk grain, vehicle carriers, livestock and offshore supply support operations and other facilities. The environmental consultant will liaise with the project’s design consultant, Worley Parsons Qatar, and with the project’s programme management consultant AECOM (Consult Maunsell). The steering committee contracted these two consultants in November 2008. Construction on the port is expected to start after the EIA studies. Cowi will work jointly with the design consultants to ensure that the environment is always taken into account while designing the project, Pedersen said. Cowi A/S, an international firm specialising in environmental science, economics and engineering, has provided multi-disciplinary consulting services throughout the world for nearly 80 years. http://gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=272092&version=1&template_id=36&parent_id=16