Ahmed Nassar Al Kowsi (left), Logistics Director, Qatar Rail, with Edmund O’ Sullivan, Chairman, MEED Events, opening discussions on Qatar Projects 2013 at Grand Hyatt Hotel, yesterday. (Kammutty VP)
BY MOHAMMAD SHOEB
DOHA: Bidding process for the ambitious Qatar Rail project will begin soon. Excavation work of tunnels for the underground rail lines is expected to start by the end of 2013, a senior official of Qatar Rail said yesterday.
“Construction work for Qatar Rail project will begin by the end of 2013 and during the peak construction period, over 20,000 workers are expected to work daily until 2016,” Ahmed Nassar Al Kowsi, Logistic Director of Qatar Rail, told The Peninsula on the sidelines of Qatar Projects 2013, organised by Meed Events.
According to Al Kowsi, Qatar, over the period of next 10 years, is expected to announce about 500 projects related to infrastructure development, including railways, roads, electricity (construction and upgrade of power grids), stadiums, hotels and others.
The majority of these projects would be coming from Qatar Rail, Kahramaa, Ashghal and Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee.
These projects are expected to create high demand for construction-related materials such as steel, cement and others. Qatar Rail alone will need about eight billion tonnes of steel to complete the project.
“Qatar Rail will need an amount of steel equivalent to a quantity from which about 200 Eiffel towers can be built. And the amount of excavation material generated from the tunnels will be capable of building seven pyramids of Egypt,” added Al Kowsi.
Qatar has plans to built four rail lines namely Red-South, Red-North, Green and the Gold spread across the country. A major part of these lines will run underground. Contracts for the excavation of tunnels are expected to be awarded to four companies very soon.
“We are expecting about 17 million cubic metres of excavated material to be generated from the metro project which requires special handling in terms of removing it from the construction sites to the locations for final disposal. And Qatar Rail has found very good solution for that,” he said.
Asked to comment if there could be any possible use of such a huge excavated material, he said: “We are sure about the 100 percent utilisation of the excavated material from tunnels. Some of the materials will be used for backfilling of stations and some will be used for landfills.”
Logistic production areas designated for Qatar Rail will be the main areas where the materials of this huge magnitude will be taken for future use.
Some of the areas are wetlands located beyond Al Rayan area, while the remaining areas are located in the south of Airport and in the north of Mesaimeer area.
Asked if he saw any shortage of accommodation for the huge influx of construction workers, he added: “Arranging accommodation is in the hands of design and building contractors. The FIFA organising committee is considering bringing cruise ships to accommodate visiting guests and spectators.”
Asked if Qatar was running out of time to implement FIFA-related projects, he said: “I don’t know about other projects, but as far as rail projects are concerned, we are exactly on schedule.”