Half of new Qatar port projects to go to local firms

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Half of the projects for Qatar's new port at Mesaieed will go to local companies in a move to boost the domestic private sector.

The US$7.5bn port should be completed by 2030, with its first construction phase to become operational by 2016. Eighteen projects worth around US$2.5bn have been tendered and half of them have been awarded to local companies. Another eight projects are expected to be tendered this year.

The 26.5 sq km site includes a new port, a new base for the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces and Qatar Economic Zone 3.

According to Nabeel Mohamed al-Buenain, project executive director at the New Port Project (NPP), the policy is to promote local companies. Talking to Gulf Times, he stressed that smaller local companies will be treated on a par with larger ones. Joint ventures will be admitted, provided the Qatari company has at least a 51 percent stake in the venture.

After the legal battles that have resulted in delays in the opening of Qatar's new Hamad International Airport, the New Port Project executives say they have ensured recovery mechanisms in case of delays from the contractors or subcontractors.Thirty-eight percent of excavation has already been completed by China Harbour Engineering. After finishing the first phase by 2016, the second container terminal with a capacity of 2mn TEUs should be operational by 2022.

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