DOHA: The first phase of the QR27bn ($7.4bn) worth New Port Project is set to be operational by the end of 2016 with the initial capacity to accommodate two million containers, which will eventually be increased to six million containers once the project is fully complete by 2020.
This was announced during a ceremony held for placing the last precast concrete block of the new port’s Quay Wall patronized by the Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani at project’s headquarters in Mesaieed yesterday.
The Minister of Economy and Commerce, H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani attended the ceremony along with the Minister of Transport, H E Jassim Seif Ahmed Al Sulaiti and a number of senior officials at the Qatar Ports Management Company (QPMC) and the project’s Steering Committee.
The premier listened to a briefing by the committee on the concluded phases of the 26-square-kilometre project and the remaining ones.
The Prime Minister learned about the divisions of the new port such as the economic zone, the commercial port and the naval base. He expressed pleasure that work is going in line with the time-frame set by the government, voicing his optimism that the project will conclude ahead of schedule.
He also called for finishing the project within time-frames in order to cope with the renaissance Qatar is witnessing on all fronts and achieve the Qatar National Vision 2030.
The Minister of Transport Al Sulaiti pointed the premier’s keenness on following up on the execution of the project and his support for the steering committee.
Speaking at a press conference, Al Sulaiti added that the prime minister is pleased that construction is going according to the plan and that he urged those in charge of the project to finish it within the scheduled timeframe and the set budget. He also said that the project is progressing ahead of schedule and that the full operation of the port was pushed forward by ten years from 2030 to 2020.
The multi-billion dollar project has so far recorded 45 million accident-free working hours as 9,000 workers carry out the project, increasing to 18,000 during rush times, Al Sulaiti said of the new port that is planned to compete with the largest ones in the Middle East.
The Premier’s presence in yesterday’s event is a huge push to everyone working on the project, Abdullah Al Khanji, QPMC, Chief Executive Officer and the General Supervisor of the project.
Al Khanji added that laying the last stone to the wall of the new port’s basin signals the conclusion of around 45-50 percent of the project, noting that this step will be followed by submerging the basin in water by the end of next year.
The basin’s wall comprises 35,224 stones each of them weighs 100 tons and is made up of a precast concrete block. Excavation work in the basin is expected to complete in December, one month ahead of schedule.