Construction works on new Doha International Airport project on schedule
In one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken in the Middle East, the construction of the platform of the new international airport in Doha, Qatar, is on schedule, thanks to the vital groundwork laid by the reclamation joint venture under the leadership of Qatar Dredging Company (QDC).
The new airport is currently under construction on reclaimed land, four kilometres east from the existing airport. As part of the first phase of the development a platform of 22 km2 is to be constructed – half of which is reclaimed from the sea – requiring in total a massive movement of 62 million m3 of rock and sand.
The execution time for this enormous platform reclamation project is 24 months, with a completion date set at December 1, 2006.
The platform reclamation contract was awarded in December 2004 by the NDIA Steering Committee at a sum of 1.559 billion Qatari Riyals to a consortium under the lead of QDC, a Qatari registered company with shareholders that include United Development Company (UDC), the Government of Qatar and DEME (Belgium). Other consortium partners are Dredging International (Belgium), Great Lakes Dredging & Dock Company (USA), and Boskalis Westminster Middle East (the Netherlands).
“In order to allow large, high capacity dredging vessels to approach the project site it necessitated a 6km access channel to be cut by the QDC-owned ‘Al Mahaar’, which is among the 10 most powerful rock cutter dredgers in the world,” Marc Stordiau, Vice Chairman of QDC and Chairman of the consortium board, said.
Since then, an extensive fleet of vessels has been deployed to create and deepen this channel. The capacity of the fleet was increased to 11 dredgers: four heavy duty rock cutter dredgers and a number of medium size hopper dredgers and four booster stations at a time have been deployed to widen and deepen the channel over the full length to the required depth of -13.9m.
QDC is deploying its own fleet as well as vessels chartered from the joint venture partners.
Four jumbo-size hopper dredgers have been positioned at the project. After dredging sand at offshore areas up to 40km out at sea, they transport a cargo of between 13,000 m3 to 15,000 m3 of sand for a single load (the equivalent of some 750 trucks).
Omar Al Fardan, Managing Director of QDC and UDC Board Member, said of the progress: “We’re delighted to be involved in a massive infrastructure development such as this. The Government of Qatar has invested heavily in transforming the nation and QDC’s contribution has played a vital part in keeping the airport development on stream.”
The jumbo dredgers are connected to a pipeline system which discharges the sand onto the platform at the designated phasing section, the east runway.
During the last weeks, productions by “Al Mahaar“ (now deployed in the “rehandling basin” with 2 to 3 hopper dredgers dumping in front of it), of over 70,000 m3 per day pumped on shore are not uncommon. The combined progress of the platform reclamation has been stepped up to an impressive total production rate of 130,000m3 per day or 4 million m3 per month.
On the first area handed over, the piling works to create a firm foundation for both a passenger terminal and concourse building are underway, creating an impressive new international airport.