DREDGING and excavation on the multi-billion dollar world-scale deep water port at Mesaieed will begin next year, a senior official associated with the project has said.
Craig Holland, vice-president of Aecom, the programme and construction manager for the New Doha Port Project, said a “great deal” of construction activities on the QR16bn first phase would be seen in 2011.
“We are working towards completing the first phase of the new Mesaieed port by 2014,” he told Gulf Times yesterday.
Holland said the New Doha Port Project would have a container capacity of 2mn TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) a year in the first phase.
On completion of the third phase (expected by 2030), the port will have a container capacity of 6mn TEU, he said.
Spread over 20 sq km, the port will be equipped to handle the world’s largest ships, each laden with up to 12,000 containers.
The government has constituted a New Doha Port Project (NDPP) Steering Committee to oversee the Mesaieed facility which will come up on the northern side of the industrial city.
Asked whether the global economic slowdown had an impact on the New Doha Port Project, Holland said: “Nothing has been indicated to me so far. I think we need to see the potential of the project when it is ready for take off. By the time we complete the New Doha Port Project, it would be a big asset to Qatar.”
The new port is being designed to meet Qatar’s requirements “well beyond 2030”. It is expected to be a key driver of the national economy, contributing significantly to the GDP.
The port will provide further impetus to Doha’s development, the economic zones being set up and to the growth of the Mesaieed Industrial City as a whole.
Demand for extra capacity is driven by Qatar’s growing population as well as the upsurge in economic activity, particularly in industrial and construction sectors. Imports of foodstuff as well as household and luxury goods continue to rise as the population and income levels increase.
At the same time, the numerous new industrial and energy projects in the country require equipment and construction materials from abroad and will soon need export capacity as manufacturing comes online.
Recently, Oxford Business Group said the container capacity at existing Doha Port was only 400,000 TEUs. In 2007, the port terminal handled 340,000 TEUs, an 8% increase on the year before. Since cargo growth is expected to rise at a higher rate in the coming years, the port is likely to find itself increasingly stretched.
“However, this facility will be decommissioned once the new commercial deep sea port becomes operational. The new port will eventually replace the cargo and container terminals at the current Doha port,” Oxford Business Group said.
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