(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Mohammad Shoeb | The Peninsula
Doha: Works for the development of Phase II of Hamad Port has already started. With the works progressing on schedule, the second container terminal (CT-2), which is part of the expansion project, is set to become operational by next year, said a top official of QTerminals, which has been awarded the contract.
QTerminals is a terminal operating company jointly established by Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani) and Qatar Navigation (Milaha).
'Because of the rapid growth of the Qatari economy, we have already started the development works of Phase II of the Hamad Port, which consist of another container terminal. QTerminals has been awarded the design, develop and operation contract for the CT-2, Neville Bissett, CEO of QTerminals, told The Peninsula.
Bissett added: 'We have already started the process and looking at appointing a design consultant, and then we will go to appoint contractors to carry out the civil works. And in parallel, we are also in the process of procuring the equipment that will go with the CT-2.
Asked about the exact date of the completion of the Phase II project, he said that the timeline is still very fluid but at least the first phase of the CT-2 will be operational next year.
He also said that QTerminals is currently working to improve the efficiency of CT-1 of Hamad Port, which is growing very quickly.
'Within a short period of time, we have seen significant growth. So we need to release further infrastructure to handle the growing number of vessels coming to the port. Therefore CT-2 has become a critical expansion of the Hamad Port, Bissett said.
Since the operations began at Hamad Port in December 2016, roughly over three million tonnes of bulk and breakbulk cargo has been imported to Qatar, and most of that has been directed to the massive infrastructure development, including stadiums, roads, metro, and many other projects in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.
'In terms of the development projects in Qatar, Hamad Port accounts for between 95 and 96 percent of all the goods entering the country at the moment, said the CEO of QTerminals.
QTerminals at the moment operates Phase-I of the Hamad Port which is consist of several facilities, including a container terminal (CT-1), a general cargo terminal (which is also called multi-use terminal) that handles cars and other vehicles, heavy equipment and livestock, and other areas which is called offshore-supply services terminal to support the oil and gas industry.
QTerminals is also responsible for enabling Qatar's imports and exports, its maritime trade flows and stimulating economic growth locally and regionally. It recently announced that it will be offering incentives to the main shipping lines that have direct services calling at Hamad Port and do not transship within a range of 250 Nm from Hamad Port. This is aimed at establishing the port as a regional hub and maximise the productivity and efficiency of the state-of-the-art facility.
'Hamad Port is a sovereign asset with a huge investment. We are encouraging shipping lines direct to the Hamad Port rather than transshipping. We intend to continue handling bigger vessels to ensure higher returns to the investment. Weare working to enhance the productivity and efficiency of the port in various ways, noted Bissett.