We chat with chairman Mr. Abdul Aziz Mohd. Al Noaimi of new port steering committee
On 19 June 2007 His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, issued Emiri Decree No. 37, setting forth the creation of the world’s largest greenfield port development. Strategically located south of Doha, the mega project will span a 20 square kilometer area and have an annual total cargo handling capacity of 6 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). In the coming years Qatar will see significant growth in the importation of raw materials and goods, underscoring the need for a new advanced commercial port facility. The New Port, strategically located outside the capital city of Doha, will be a world-class facility, a leader in state-of-theart technologies and a vital component of Qatar’s economic infrastructure.
As Qatar heads toward hosting the World Cup in 2022, the New Port Project continues its path toward operational readiness by 2016; reflecting the country’s ambitious expansion plans envisaged in the Qatar National Vision 2030. In turn, master planning for the New Port is closely aligned with the Qatar National Vision 2030 pillars of environmental, economic, human and social development. Balancing development with protection of the environment is a key concern for the New Port and construction is taking place with environmental preservation paramount; multiple simulation studies, physical modeling, geotechnical and metoceanic analysis and in-depth environmental studies have been undertaken in order to facilitate a responsible implementation of the project.
As a major gateway to Qatar, and a significant investment in the country’s future, the New Port will serve the expanding trade needs of Qatar, supporting key objectives set forward in the Qatar National Vision 2030 and acting as a catalyst for export industry development.
What is the New Port Project?
As the existing Port, located in the city’s Corniche District, has reached its maximum capacity and its location is not compatible with the long-term development plans for the city, the Government of the State of Qatar decided to develop a new Port, approximately twenty five kilometres south of the city.
The New Port will be a world-class facility, a leader in state-of-the-art technologies and a vital component to the country’s infrastructure. The development is consistent with other major projects in Qatar including the New Doha International Airport, Lusail City and The Pearl.
What are the major components of the New Port?
The NPP includes the development of the New Port, a new Navy base for the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces, and a new Economic Zone 3 Canal. The New Port – total area of 20 square kilometers: The New Port will cater for the expected growth in container traffic, as well as general cargo traffic, vehicle imports, livestock imports, bulk grain imports, offshore support vessels, cruise vessels, coast guard vessels and a marine support unit. The New Port will also be a centre for marine traffic and trade for the foreseeable future, generating sustainable economic benefits on the basis of high-quality design and effective measures for protecting the environment.
The New Port will be developed in multiple phases and comprise three container terminals with a combined capacity in excess of six million TEU per annum. The Master Plan for the New Port provides for a rail terminal that will connect to the Gulf Cooperation Council railway, providing the port with links to neighbouring countries.
The New Base for Qatar Emiri Naval Forces – Total area of 4.5 square kilometers: The Government of Qatar is also planning a new base for the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces. The new Navy base will be located immediately east of the NPP site. The base will also act as “host” to the headquarters of the QENF Special Forces and the QENF Training School.
The Industrial Canal of the Qatar Economic Zone 3 – Total area of 2 square kilometers:
The new Economic Zone 3 is envisaged to become an integrated economic development area that utilises Qatar’s resources in a sustainable manner, bringing added value to Qatar’s Economy. The QEZ3 will become a self-contained development with industrial and residential facilities and will foster ecological recreational areas within the vicinity.
How the new site selected and what was the main criteria for selecting this site?
The port is located south of Al Wakra and north of Mesaieed. Initially, five locations were identified as suitable locations. These locations were evaluated based on a number of criteria including Construction and operating cost;Environmental impact; Fill balance; Relationship with the future QEZ3; Relationship with MIC; Land transport connections; Marine traffic accessibility; Expansion possibilities; Security and vulnerability; and Construction risks including programme considerations. The evaluation process identified the now proposed site as the most favorable in terms of the above selection criteria.
What is the total size of the project?
Total three components of the project will cover an area greater than 26km2 What is the total cost of the project?
The cost of the project will be in excess of 27 billion QAR covering the New Port the Navy Base and the Economic Zone 3 Canal. When will phase 1 of the New Port project be completed? Phase 1 of the project will be completed in the first quarter of 2016.
What will be the total capacity of the port?
Phase 1 of the project will have the capacity to handle 2million Twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). Phase 2 will increase the capacity by 2 million TEU’s and phase 3 will take the capacity to a total of 6 million TEU.
The port will be able to handle the importation of 1 million tonnes of grain, 750,000 livestock per year and 500,000 vehicles per year. What are the technical specifications of the project? The project includes the construction of port basin approximately 3.8km in length, 700m wide and 17 m deep. The access channel will be 10km in length, 15m deep and 300m wide. The naval base will be approximately 4.5km2 and the Qatar Economic Zone 2 Canal will be approximately 2 km2.
How does this project fit into Qatar’s 2030 Vision?
The Vision for the New Port emanates from Qatar’s National Vision 2030, which aims to transform the State of Qatar into an advanced society by 2030 through sustainable development. The development is consistent with other major projects in Qatar including the New Doha International Airport, Lusail City and The Pearl. The New Port will be a world-class facility, a leader in state-of-theart technologies and a vital component to the country’s infrastructure. As Qatar heads toward the hosting of the World Cup in 2022, the NPP continues its path toward opening in the first quarter of 2016. The New Port will be a major gateway to Qatar and will reflect the country’s unique identity and culture through architectural design and environmental preservation.
How will the NPP be linked and integrated with other major transportation projects (such as the GCC rail network and causeway) that Qatar is undertaking?
Qatar is in the process of planning a passenger and freight rail network to make use of the proposed GCC rail network. The project is being developed jointly by Deutschbahn International and Qatari Diar. The proposed Qatar rail network includes a connection to the GCC rail into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia via Abu Samra and a connection to Bahrain via the proposed Bahrain Causeway. Within Qatar, there are proposed rail connections to Dukhan, Ras Laffan, Al Shamal and NPP/ MIC. The connection to NPP and MIC is currently being developed by the Qatar Rail Project.
The New Port will become a main competitor to other ports in the region – how do you propose to attract new business to Qatar’s new port?
The New Port is developed as a worldclass port resulting in significant features unlike any in the region. These include stateof- the-art cargo and container terminals, cargo handling systems, sustainable designs as well as rail facilities that will link the port to the greater region.
The increased capacity and world-class facilities of the New Port will act as a catalyst for the economic growth of the area and the country as whole. It will be connected to the major transportation routes, which are being planned as a part of the master plan for Qatar. The growth of the port and industries in the surrounding areas will provide opportunities for employment, and as these businesses grow, there will also be a requirement to develop residential and recreational areas, schools, hospitals, and shopping malls.
What will be the New Port’s unique selling points that will make it better and more efficient than others found elsewhere?
The port itself will be unique in serving the State of Qatar. The Port will be developed as a world-class modern port, efficiently and cost competitively accommodating commercial port traffic. Once complete, the port will include state of the art port terminals, and associated equipment, as well as a dynamic and flexible port operator that provides the platform for any successful port enterprise. The new development will also include integrated rail connections.
Environment and Safety Construction of any new project has some sort of environmental impact attached to it.
What steps are you taking to minimize environmental impact at the New Port? Construction of a project this scale will always result in impacts to the environment. The government of the State of Qatar will ensure that the environmental impacts of the project, during both construction and the subsequent operation of the port, are mitigated to the maximum extent possible. It has already been recognized that the location of the New Port is close to environmentally sensitive coastal areas. The NPP has a dedicated environmental consultant responsible for defining, specifying and implementing appropriate mitigation measures through all stages of the project.
Where do you place ‘safety’ in measuring the performance of the project?
At the top – safety is the number one priority on this project – we want to have a new port for Doha built to the highest quality, on time and to budget but not at the expense of people’s lives. To support this aim, the project has its own Safety Policy Statement, signed by the Chairman of the SC, placing safety right at the top of the project aims.
What is the safety record on site to date?
To date, our first contractor has worked over 5 million man-hours with 3 Lost Time Incidents. We will continue to support our contractor in achieving a high standard of safety. Is an Environmental Impact Assessment required for this project? A large scale coastal development such as the NPP will have the potential to impact on a variety of environmental features; therefore the Ministry of Environment (MoE) requires that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) be undertaken. The NPP has an approved EIA from the Ministry of Environment for the existing construction activities.
How are you going to protect the environment and minimize any impacts?
The MoE requires that a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP)and Operational Environmental Management Plans (OEMPs) are developed and approved by the MoE, prior to commencing the construction an operational activities respectively.
A CEMP is used to ensure that the commitments made in the EIA and permit conditions provided by the MoE are implemented during construction. Similarly, an OEMP is used to ensure that the NPP achieves high environmental standards, satisfies legal requirements, limits the impacts of the Port operation to the minimum possible, and satisfies the requirements for an environmentally sustainable port Contracts and Tenders:
What is the total number of contracts in this project?
There are approximately 33 packages covering the three aspects of the New Port, the navy base and the Economic Zone industrial canal. 12 packages have beenawarded, with 12 packages pending award and 9 future packages.
What are the types of contracts in this project?
The types of contract are dredging, reclamation, excavation, quay wall construction contracts, infrastructure, roads, water supply and telecommunication contracts, building contracts and port equipments, cranes, transfer and uploading gears.
The NPP Steering Committee awarded the first major construction contract to CHEC in January 2011 for the construction of the Port Basin and Inner Breakwater. The 3.2-billion Qatari Riyal contract involves developing the port’s foundation and excavating over 63 million cubic metres of rock. The excavated material will be used to reclaim approximately 10 square kilometres of land included in the port development.
The second and biggest construction contract of Dredging, Reclamation and Breakwaters was awarded recently on May 18, 2012 to the Middle East Dredging Company (MEDCO) with a budget of 4.5 billion QAR.
What procurement routes are being used on the NPP?
• Prequalification (Interested companies complete Prequalification documents which are assessed by an Evaluation Team to arrive at a tender list) • Expressions of Interest (Companies advise of their interest and submit brief details in writing. Expressions of Interest are assessed by an Evaluation Team to arrive at a tender list) • Restricted Tender (A restricted tender list is used based on market knowledge or previous Prequalifications carried out for similar work on the project) • Open Tender (Interested companies request tender documents (no restriction on applicants)
What types of areas are assessed during Prequalification?
• Relevant Experience • Equipment • Capacity • Financial Strength • Environmental • Safety & Health • Quality Management
How do you select the successful tenderers?
NPP has a series of steps designed to ensure the project is completed by companies who have been rigorously evaluated in terms of technical and financial competence. There are strict approval procedures for the award of any Contract, including the endorsement and approval of the separate NPP Technical and Tender Committees. Each Contract Package undergoes separate Technical and Commercial evaluations. Commercial submissions are only opened if tenderers meet the minimum technical requirements.
Typical technical criteria are:
• Methodology • Programme • Equipment • Personnel • Safety & Health • Environmental • Quality Management • Compliance with Conditions of Contract Technical and Commercial evaluations are carried out by Evaluation Teams in a secure and confidential environment.
What Conditions of Contract are being used on the Project?
We are using the internationally recognised FIDIC suite of Contracts with some amendments to suit the nature of the project. The major Construction Packages will be based on the FIDIC Conditions of Contract for Construction 1999 (also known as the ‘Red Book’).
How does NPP forecast the related information to its tenders?
NPP takes a transparent approach in forecasting tenders. For that specific reason, we have recently launched a new version of our website, www.npp.com.qa accommodating a dedicated section on Awarded, Current and Future Tenders.