Thursday, 11 March 2010

QR45bn to be spent on roads

Web posted at: 2/28/2010 7:4:17Source

::: THE PENINSULA DOHA: The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has announced that it will launch projects worthQR70bn in the next five to eight years. While QR45bn would be spent on road projects, QR25bn has been set aside for major sewage projects. Ashghal would launch 22 major road projects during the period, revealed Nasser Al Mowlawi, Acting General Manager, Ashghal. "The projects are being envisaged to meet the demands of the country's future growth as visualised by the General Secretariat for Development Planning. Once these projects are completed, Qatar will have world-class roads and sewage networks", he said. Mowlawi said the Emir, H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Heir Apparent, H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, were closely monitoring the progress of the project works. "Top Ashghal officials visited the Heir Apparent and the prime minister on separate dates and briefed them on the major proposed projects of Ashghal", Mowlawi said. A detailed presentation of the projects was made before the Heir Apparent on February 24, 2010. Ashghal officials also explained future projects to the prime minister on February 2, 2010. The officials also briefed him about the details of the tendering process, Mowlawi said. Local companies are free to bid for contracts in the proposed projects. Mowlawi said Ashghal would launch three major road projects in the coming month. The first project (Project VII) would cover the design of Rayyan Street, Khalifa Street and Al Busthan Street. The second project (Project VIII) is related to the designing of E-Ring Road and the Central Market roads. The third project (Project IX) will cover the designing of Al Farussia, Hewar and Al Khafji streets. The tenders for these projects were floated in October 2009.Ashghal has also signed agreements with some internationally reputed companies for maintaining its key arterial roads. Ashghal's "Smart Transportation System" to monitor and control the traffic on busy streets, is expected to be launched by the end of this year. The project, scheduled to be implemented in a phased manner, would be completed in three to five years, Mowlawi said. "Once this system is in place, motorists can commute between Al Khor and the New Doha International Airport within 35 minutes", he said. Local firms to get big slice of railway projectWeb posted at: 2/28/2010 7:3:3Source ::: THE PENINSULA/ By MOHAMED SAEEDDOHA: Local contracting companies would be awarded major works in the proposed multi-billion dollar rail project, some 70 to 80 percent of which will comprise construction work.The proposed railroad network is planned to operate on four major routes that would link various areas of the country to one another, according to an official. Dr Hassan Al Fudallah, Vice-CEO of Qatari Diar, was talking to Qatar News Agency about the three mega railway projects (the metro network within Greater Doha, the over-ground railways covering entire Qatar and eventually linking it to the rest of the GCC region, and cargo trains). The metro network will have four routes - a Red Route, Green Route, Yellow Route and Blue Route. The Red Route will start from Mesaieed, cross Al Wakra, the New Doha International Airport, downtown Doha and Lusail, and reach Al Khor and Al Shamal. The Green and Yellow routes will link the eastern part of Doha to its west. The Blue Route is designed to run along C-Ring Road, said Al Fudallah. Work on the QR133.5bn railway project will begin only when the ongoing comprehensive preliminary studies are completed. The metro rail project will cover a total distance of 354km and the trains will run at speeds of 80 to 160km per hour. The ground rail network will cover a total distance of 345km and traverse the entire country and passenger electric trains will be running at between 220 and 350km per hour. The projects are to be completed in phases between 2010 and 2016 and will take into consideration Qatar's bid to host the football World Cup in 2022. This network will be linked to the GCC railways by 2017. Cargo trains covering major economic centres in Qatar will be running at 120km per hour. Explaining the benefits of the mega transportation project, Al Fudallah said the project will provide the country with sophisticated transportation system and hence support Qatar's plan to achieve sustainable development.Besides the economical and social benefits, the project will also will have a positive environmental impact as it will cut fuel consumption by cars. As 70 to 80 percent of the project will comprise construction work, it is believed the project will give a boost to local contracting companies.

Qatar to spend $20bn on roads

Qatar has set aside $20bn for road construction over the next five years, according to a senior Ashghal official
By Sarmad QaziStaff Reporter
Qatar’s Public Works Authority (Ashghal) yesterday laid out road projects worth around $20bn to be carried out over the next five years.“The budget for the next five years is $20bn,” Jamal Shareeda al-Kaabi, acting manager of Design Department (Roads and Drainage) in the Public Works Authority, said at a conference organised by London-based Meed magazine in Doha yesterday.
One of the major projects is the F-Ring Road which will be linked to the New Doha International Airport (NDIA), with Khamis Al Obaidli as its starting point. “Tenders for this project will be called in three weeks from now,” al-Kaabi said. From Khamis al-Obaidli, the road will be further connected to the Industrial Area and that stretch will be known as the Al Muntazah Highway.
“This particular project will resemble ‘Salwa Road’ with many commercial shops on either side. There has been a delay due to its re-designing as a proposed rail network had to be incorporated,” al-Kaabi said.
Al Muntazah Highway will be tendered out next year.
Another key project is the Arc-Ritz Roundabout which will be linked to the proposed Doha Bay underground crossing. This road, with three major interchanges, includes a link from Intercontinental Roundabout to Ras Abu Aboud.
“Utility is going to be the biggest challenge in this project,” al-Kaabi said. “The road across the Doha Bay is right now with the Urban Planning & Development Authority (UPDA) and (the project) is set to go ahead.”
Westwards, towards Dukhan, the Shahaniya-Rayyan Roundabout route would be tendered out next week, al-Kaabi said. This is another major highway with four-carriageways on both sides with possibly five interchanges.
The Rayyan Roundabout will be connected to Souq Waqif, providing faster access from the “Tilted” Roundabout to the Corniche.
“This is now under technical consultation and we are working with the UPDA as a joint team. Construction may start in two years,” al-Kaabi said.
Additionally, Ashghal plans to construct a link road from Landmark Mall to the Industrial Area and a Wakrah bypass. A four-lane East-West corridor, starting from behind the Industrial Area and passing through the under-construction Barwa City, is also in the offing.
Currently under design is the Phase 2 and 3 of the North Road, a 100-km stretch of highway that includes 22 bridges and connects to the planned Qatar-Bahrain causeway
“This is a five-year project and it will start this year (with work continuing) in the next two years… A big portion of $20bn will be utilised during this time,” the official said. lAshghal plans to award an estimated QR500mn ($137mn) contract by the end of the quarter to build the final phase of Doha’s largest sewage plant, an official told the Meed conference. “We are finalising the evaluation stage,” Jamal Ali, a senior consultant to Ashghal, said.
Four international companies are participating in the bidding process to build the fifth and final phase of the Doha South Sewage Treatment Plant, Ali said, adding that a recommendation for the winning firm would be made next week.
Qatar is also expected to award a deal for a new 2,000 megawatt power plant this year, a senior official from the Qatar Power Company said during the Meed conference.

Pledge to reducecongestion on roads
A senior Ashghal official yesterday acknowledged that the current “traffic (congestion) is indeed as bad as it feels” while insisting the authority was in a better position now than ever to tackle issues like project delays and traffic diversions. Jamal Shareeda al-Kaabi said one of Ashghal’s major aims was to reduce congestion on roads. “Much relief will come with the completion of the February 22 Street (Omar Al Khattab Mosque to Al Sadd) in six-to-eight months.”

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Barwa comes to the rescue of subcontractors
Web posted at: 12/13/2009 3:31:32

DOHA: Barwa has started delivering outstanding payments that the now-defunct main contractor owed to subcontractors who had completed work on the Barwa Masaken (Alsailya and Mesaimeer) project, the company said yesterday.

The move has come after the main contractor for the project, Panceltica, became insolvent in July, leaving many of the subcontractors without payment.

Barwa had no obligation to these sub-contractors, however, it believed this move would be necessary for the completion of the project in the best technical conditions, the company said in a statement issued yesterday. “Barwa has taken the initiative to demonstrate its commitment to the developer community and ensure that local subcontractors’ outstanding payments are resolved,” said Barwa Deputy Chairman, Hitmi Ali Al Hitmi.

This has taken some time due to the detailed financial and legal process that has followed the termination of Panceltica, to ensure only subcontractors who had delivered work were compensated. “We are delighted with this conclusion as we wanted to support those who have been committed to the Barwa Masaken project so that they could continue working with confidence,” he added.

EXCLUSIVE: US $2.5 billion claim over Dubai Metro

Construction Week
by Benjamin Millington on Dec 10, 2009

The RTA is disputing a massive US $2.5 billion (AED9.18 billion) claim from the consortium responsible for building Dubai Metro, according to a source connected to the project,Construction Week has learned. The RTA has not denied the claim.

When asked if the claim was valid, RTA corporate communications director, Peyman Younes Parham said: “We won’t comment on any contractual issues.”

The source, who did not want to be named, said the consortium is insisting it is entitled to $2.5 billion in unpaid certified amounts and additional escalation costs, variation costs and delay costs due to changes in the metro design and specifications, but the RTA does not agree.

“(The RTA) is totally disputing it, they have said the money is not due and in actual fact, the consortium is already being overpaid,” he said.

“Right now it is just a claim and hasn’t got to the arbitration stage. But it is probably the biggest claim for a civil works contract ever seen in Dubai, possibly the world.”

If the claim proceeds to the courts it will be one of the most significant cases in Dubai’s construction history, he added.

The Dubai Rapid Link (Durl) consortium includes Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation, Obayashi Construction and Kajima Corporation of Japan and Yapi Merkezi of Turkey.

The consortium was awarded a $3.39 billion contract in 2005 to build the metro’s red line and a $1.11 billion contract to build the green line in 2006.

In August the RTA chairman HE Mattar Al Tayer conceded that the cost of building the metro system had increased by “billions” since the original contracts were awarded.

He said more than half of the project had changed in terms of its design and facilities since its inception to cope with the growing needs of the city.

According to estimates the cost of the project increased by 75% to around $7.6 billion.

Durl corporate affairs manager Sam Majed also refused to talk about the claim.

“We don’t make any comments about anything related to the project, definitely nothing aboutcontractual agreements between us and the client, it’s all part of a 100% confidentiality agreement, so absolutely no comment,” he said.

It is still unclear how much Durl has been paid for their work on the project, but in November the general manager of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Middle East office Koji Okamoto told The Nationalnewspaper they were “still awaiting payment.”

Ten of the 29 stations on the metro’s red line opened in September, with the green line expected to be operational next year.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Dubai contractors face bankruptcy threat

by ConstructionWeek staff on Dec 8, 2009

Tabari also warned that many developers could go out of business next year
Tabari also warned that many developers could go out of business next year

By Andrew White

The construction industry in Dubai has no chance of recovery in 2010, Khaldoun Tabari, vice chairman and CEO of Dubai-based engineering contractor Drake & Scull International, has said.

Speaking at the Arabian Business Conference 2009, he added that for construction companies solely operating in the emirate, there were big problems.

"If you are 100 percent in Dubai with nothing outside you are dead," he told Arabian Businessin an interview.

“What does it mean if you are dead? If you are a construction company and you pay 10,000 or 20,000 people, and you do not get any work because there’s an abundant supply of buildings, you are going to be bankrupt.”

The UAE's real estate and construction sectors have been badly hit by the downturn. A recent report suggests they have seen the biggest declines in the Middle East region. Some 566 projects have been shelved or cancelled in the country – the majority of which are in Dubai – according to the research house Proleads.

Tabari added that Dubai real estate operators were likely to face further difficulties over the coming months.

“We had hundreds of real estate developers, but these are not going to exist anymore, that’s a simple fact,” he said.

“There’s going to be consolidation or they’re going to go out of business, because they’re not going to make their payments. We’re going to see less and less developers in this business; it will be an orderly exit.”

Listed on the Dubai Financial Market, DSI operates in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), and civil contracting in addition to the development of design and build engineering expertise in infrastructure, water & power (IWP).

Tabari also revealed that the company was looking to buy two companies in Saudi Arabia, at a combined value of up to $400m, during the first quarter 2010. He has already said that two planned acquisitions in Kuwait and Qatar will cost $40m to $55m.

In November, DSI bought 82 percent of a water treatment company from Bilfinger Berger AG, Germany’s second-biggest builder, to tap growing regional demand. DSI acquired the majority stake in Passavant-Roediger for $39m.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Bilfinger Berger plans to pull out of Qatar
Web posted at: 12/2/2009 2:34:3
Source ::: The Peninsula

DOHA: Fed up with the way it is being treated by the Public Works Authority (Ashghal), German construction major Bilfinger Berger is planning to pull out of Qatar. The company, which is involved in some key projects in the country, announced yesterday it was seriously considering the pull out due to disagreement with Ashghal.

“The bad experience with the Doha project prompts us to reconsider our commitments in the Gulf region”,

Reuters quoted Bilfinger Berger Chief Executive Herbert Bodner as saying to the German media yesterday.

The CEO’s announcement comes in the wake of the German construction major losing a legal battle with Ashghal over the multi-million riyal Ashghal project, a key component of Ashghals’ prestigious Doha expressway project. Obtaining a court order in favour of it, the Ashghal has now issued orders to hand over the project work to three Qatari companies.

In fact, the German company was expecting the contract termination long ago. The project uncertainty has hit it so hard that it was forced to cut its full-year (2009) profit forecast by at least $145m. It reduced its forecast for earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) this year to a range of ¤210m to ¤230m against the previous forecast of ¤250m.

Bilfinger’s Q3 2009 Interim Report contains detailed reference to their flopped project works in Qatar. In fact, the Q3 report begins with the statement that the company’s total earnings were burdened by risk provisions made in relation to a road construction project in Qatar.

“In the third quarter of 2009, as previously reported, we recognized provisions totaling ¤80m for Doha expressway project in Qatar. This resulted in an EBIT for the first nine months of 2009 of ¤140 m. EBIT in the prior-year period was burdened by one-time effect in the amount of ¤65m, which was partially offset by a capital gain of ¤9m”, the report said. Barwa City is another major project that Bilfinger is working on in Qatar.

Industrial Interchange: Two more phases almost ready
Web posted at: 12/1/2009 5:47:51
Source ::: The Peninsula/ By Joyce C AbaƱo
Plans are afoot to open the Industrial Interchange’s second and third phases in March and April next year.

DOHA: Konstruktor Engineering, the construction company handling the first three phases of the Public Works Authority’s (Ashghal) Industrial Interchange Project, plans to hand over the second and third phases of the project for opening in March and April 2010 respectively.

A structural engineer at Konstruktor Engineering said they plan to hand over the three-lane Al Furusiya Road leading to the Industrial area upper bridge in March 2010 and the overpass in April, the second and third phases of the QR650m project, which is part of the Doha Expressway, to Ashghal. The project is aimed at connecting the north of Doha with the south and the east with west. Konstruktor Engineering, the contractor for the construction of the third phase of the Doha Expressway project, announced that they plan to hand over the 600-metre underpass from Al Furusiya leading to the Industrial Area and the 450-metre overpass from Doha to the Industrial Area in March and April next year respectively.

The Industrial Interchange (Phase III) is part of the overall Doha Expressway project which includes 12 other packages.

Package three includes the construction of an intersection at the north-east corner of the industrial area at the junction of Salwa Road and Al Furusiya Street. The engineer said they have set these target dates for the handing over of the two parts of the project next year, including the 80-metre roundabout.

The Industrial Area Interchange Project comprises 13 phases in total. The project includes the construction of a three-lane dual carriageway, service roads on both sides, and two multi-level interchanges, in addition to the development of the network infrastructure and landscaping work. According to the engineer, Konstruktor Engineering is now seeing to the last phases of the project, like covering the railing, and looking into some of the most important part of infrastructure work on the bridges and some parts of the underpass.

(The project is supposed to be completed in 26 months (October 2008), started in September 2006 - The Peninsula, Wednesday 19/7/2006 July, 2006).

Konstruktor Engineering Qatar, a branch of Croatia-based Konstruktor Inzenjering dd Split, is one of the leading infrastructure developers widely engaged in the construction of civil and industrial engineering projects across the world.

the peninsula