CONSTRUCTION RENAISSANCE

Kuwait 2018 | CONSTRUCTION & REAL ESTATE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Eng. Awatef Soliman al-Ghoneim, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Works (MPW), on extensive development plans across sectors and in collaboration with other countries.

 Eng. Awatef Soliman al-Ghoneim
BIOGRAPHY
Eng. Awatef Soliman al-Ghoneim has been Undersecretary at the Ministry of Public Works since 2014. After having served the Ministry of Public Works in several other capacities, she worked as Chief En-gineer of the Sanitary Engineering Sector from 2001 to 2004. In 2008 she was appointed to the post of Assistant Undersecretary of the Government Center of Testing, Quality Control and Research. In 2013 she moved to the position of Assistant Undersecretary Sanitary Engineering Sector, after which she was assigned to her current designation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Ku-wait University.

How do you assess the contribution of MPW to the comprehensive development of Kuwait?

MPW endeavors to achieve comprehensive development in various vital fields in the country. Our strategic plan, Public Works 2035, includes the launch of several projects that will have great benefits in several fields. These projects are diverse and have multiple beneficiaries, such as the Ministry of Education, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Department of Marine Transport, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health, and other ministries, institutions, and authorities. One of the most important strategic objectives of MPW is the construction and completion of the new terminal of Kuwait International Airport. This project increases the capacity of the airport to 25 million passengers annually in the first phase. It also meets the highest standards of generating and preserving sustainable energy. Another significant transport project is the upgrade and development of Mubarak Al Kabeer Port. This project is deemed to be the cornerstone of the marine transport system and the development plans of the entire northern area of the country. With the completion of these two strategic projects, Kuwait will witness a qualitative leap in the field of transport, which is considered to be the main momentum of development. MPW also has strategic plans to complete the establishment of a number of health facilities. As education is one of our strategic objectives, we completed the construction of the headquarters of the Ministry of Education in South Surra, an architectural masterpiece that embodies the idea of the boom—a traditional Arab sailing vessel—being part of the Kuwaiti heritage. MPW has also designed three complexes of special schools in three different areas in the country with an eye to provide integrated care, education, and special-needs training. The strategic objectives of MPW do not stop at that; it has further expanded to other areas such as the construction of the main headquarters of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, which will soon be completed and stand as a distinguished architectural landmark reflecting the civilized nature of Islamic art. Another of MPW's strategic objectives is to renew, develop, and upgrade sewerage networks all over the country, alongside the construction of several wastewater treatment plants. This takes us to one of the most strategic goals of MPW, which is the preservation of the land and sea ecosystems in Kuwait to protect the environment and mitigate the negative impacts of floods.

How does MPW seek cooperation with other countries in the spheres of transport and infrastructure?

MPW cooperates with other countries through concluding a number of protocols, agreements, and MoUs. Over the course of the past few years, MPW has closed partnerships with ministries and governments from around the world. In 2014, the MPW signed an MoU with the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, around the development of infrastructure, sewage water treatment, harbors, and the safety and conservation of the environment. An MoU was signed between the governments of Kuwait and Spain for bilateral cooperation in the field of transportation infrastructure. An MoU was also signed with Hungary, and we are currently preparing a visit of an MPW delegation headed by myself to Hungary to examine the potential cooperation opportunities in the field of public building constructions, sanitary engineering projects, and logistic services through acquiring expertise and developing work in a way that achieves the best interests of both parties. Finally, a cooperation agreement in the field of construction and transport infrastructure with France is about to be activated and put into force. There is also coordination, cooperation, and participation via several joint committees with a number of countries in which MPW suggests proposals, topics, and visions in the field of infrastructure development, sanitary engineering, construction projects, harbors, maintenance, and the like.