Qatar eyes 'best knowledge, best contractors' to support |
Gulf Times - 06 July, 2012
Qatar is looking “for the best contractors and best knowledge in the market,” to support its infrastructure expansion plan, a top official of New Doha Port Project has said. Addressing the Meed Qatar Infrastructure Projects 2012 conference in London on Wednesday, Nabeel Mohammed al-Buenain, project executive director, New Doha Port Project, said the country wants to make sure that the projects are “maintainable to optimise cost and design”.
Al-Buenain said, “During the design phase we’re looking for reliability and operability. We’re taking time to ensure that projects are maintainable. We want to optimise cost and design.”
Al Khaliji Bank chairman Sheikh Hamad bin Faisal bin Thani al-Thani also attended the Meed conference. The sheer scale of developments within the scope of the Qatar National Vision 2030 for the country was made clear through presentations on key infrastructure projects.
Andy Miller, director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Qatar, spoke about the importance of prioritising projects to ensure that critical work was not held up. “Qatar can afford to do anything,” he said. “The question is – should it?”
He called for the project pipeline to be unblocked, jettisoning non-essential elements, to allow “the people at the top” to have the time think about the big picture.
He stressed the importance of planning control and proper zoning. Describing what Qatar is aiming to achieve within the framework of the Qatar National Vision 2030 as “extraordinary”, he said it was important to create a linked up environment.
“The Metro creates the spine of the city, but I want climate controlled walkways so that when it’s 50C, people can walk between buildings, rather than going from building to building in a land cruiser with 35 minutes spent looking for parking at either end,” he said.
Abdulsattar al-Rashid, chief executive officer, Ras Abu Fontas, Qatar Electricity & Water Company (QEWC), spoke about the upsides and downsides of providing water and electricity free of charge to Qatari citizens.
“Qatar is the only country within the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) where water and electricity are free to the citizens. This is thanks to HH the Emir of the State of Qatar, and as a Qatari I want this to continue as it benefits all of us,” he said. However, from a commercial perspective, he recognised that without subsidisation people would be “more efficient” in their use of energy and water.
Al-Rashid explained that currently the power capacity exceeds demand by 30%. “Our peak consumption is about 6,000MW, with an installed capacity of around 9,000MW, so we have 3,000MW extra,” he said. Every year sees a rise in consumption of 600MW-800MW, so it will be necessary to have a new plant to meet demand by 2017, he said.
Concerning the possibility of using nuclear power stations, al-Rashid said this option would require a joint decision by the GCC countries.
QEWC is expanding its role as an international investor. Al-Rashid described investments in Jordan and Oman, and negotiations with Dubai, and expressed an interest in Europe and the US. QEWC is currently looking at the possibility of acquiring a fully operating plant in the US. Operating as a baseline supplier of electricity to countries within the GCC is under discussion at ‘high government levels’, he added.
For water, he said, needs can be met up till 2030 with new plant coming on stream to meet demand. “We will have a new plant coming up in April 2013 providing 36mn gallons per day.”
Mansoor Saleh Bu Mattar al-Muhannadi, manager, Waste Treatment Centre, Ministry of Environment, spoke about the state-of-the-art integrated Domestic Solid Waste Management Centre, which converts waste to energy. DSWMC is entirely self-sufficient in generating its own electricity, exporting excess to the Qatari Grid, he said.
The compost centre produces around 750 tonnes per day and al-Muhannadi said the company was looking into the possibility of exporting any excess. Currently the excess is sent to landfill but the goal, he explained, “is zero landfill with all domestic waste being either treated, recycled or incinerated.”
Partners are being sought to market and export the excess, he said.
There are also schemes underway to deal with the 8.5mn tyres discovered in landfill in 2011. These include low scale enterprises for companies to collect, cut and export the tyres, and larger scale building of additional factories for tyre-recycling.