What specific tasks does the New Port Project (NPP) seek to fulfill?
The vision for the Project is to develop a world-class port with advanced cargo handling systems, sustainable designs, as well as rail facilities that will link the port to the wider GCC region. Designed with the need to achieve this vision in mind, and to deliver much needed capacity, the Port will have many facilities, including three high-throughput container terminals, a multi-use terminal, and a general cargo terminal, as well as facilities for the Qatar Coast Guard and an offshore supply base. With an access channel of 10 km in length, 15m deep, and 300m wide, the port will be capable of handling the largest container vessels. With advanced port facilities and equipment, including the latest mobile harbor cranes, the port will offer fast and efficient services for unloading goods.
What are the main benefits of the New Port Project being a greenfield project?
Firstly, ports are capital-intensive investments, and, therefore, it is always best to plan for their long-term use and viability by taking the country's projected development into consideration. The projected growth in Qatar's import volumes dictated our master planning for the port. The demand for raw materials to complete large construction projects to prepare Qatar for hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup exceeds the capacity of the current port. The new port needs to meet those demands. On the project, our master planning was helped not only by it being a greenfield development but by the choice of location for the port. The choice of location was a strategic decision, and the result of an extensive research process during which seven other sites were also investigated. The current site offers several advantages. Firstly, the location is close to Umm Said and uses the same shipping channel. Secondly, this is an area that can and will be developed in future and is government owned. Lastly, its location will allow integration with other ongoing transport projects. Additionally, the proximity to the Qatar Economic Zone 3 and Mesaieed Industrial City will also maintain synergies between these industrial developments.
The Project is budgeted at $7.4 billion. How is the trajectory of this project organized?
As we designed the Port with the capacity to increase its cargo volumes, the facility will be completed in three phases. With the completion of Phase I by 2016, Container Terminal 1 will become operational at an annual capacity of 2 million TEUs. The completion of the Phase II and III expansions by 2020 will eventually result in a combined capacity of 6 million TEUs.
Both Qatari and foreign companies have shown interest in collaborating on the Project. What criteria do you use in the tender process and are you still inviting foreign companies?
The NPP is proud to be a pioneer of a robust and transparent tendering process. Our website is an important part in that process. The website lists, in detail, the scope of work of the current tenders, the awarded tenders, and the future tenders. There are strict approval procedures for the award of any contract, including the endorsement and approval of the separate Technical and Tender Committees and submissions are only opened if tenderers meet the minimum technical requirements. In terms of bid qualification, local companies must be financially capable to perform, as well as having the required experience and having a team of experts at their disposal. Their equipment also needs to be of a high standard. Infrastructure and buildings must be awarded to Qatari companies while, for equipment and marine projects, we allow international parties to bid directly since certain equipment is generally not manufactured here in Qatar.