Going green: Qatar to invest $182 billion in eco-friendly infrastructure
Qatar will invest around QR664 billion ($182 billion) in infrastructure, excluding projects in oil and gas sector, in the next five years, said H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, the Minister of Economy and Trade yesterday.
“The building materials manufacturing sector is particularly important in Qatar in light of the unprecedented boom in the construction and real estate sector,” said the minister while addressing a conference organsised by the GCC and Yemen Building Materials Manufacturers Forum.
“It is expected to have an exponential rate of building materials manufacturing activities to execute infrastructure megaprojects. In fact, the estimated value of the projects to be executed in the five coming years is QR664 billion ($182 billion) without including oil and gas projects or private sector ventures,” he said.
He said there were 432 building materials manufacturing companies in Qatar worth $10.4 billion and employing 36,400 individuals in the areas of cement, gypsum, sand, stones, glass and fibreglass used in building materials and plastic materials used in the manufacture of pipes and insulating materials, dyes, construction chemicals, and metal industries such as iron and aluminium used in the manufacture of construction materials.
He said that globally the importance of green building is on the rise and Qatar government is keen on encouraging such buildings.
“There is an international trend towards green buildings. Thus, we are witnessing an increasing attention given to eco-friendly materials and offering incentives to produce these materials and use them in the construction of new buildings in GCC countries in order to achieve sustainability and protect the environment,” he said.
“We are keen to adopt investment opportunities in the area of green products in order to achieve sustainability for new buildings and facilities,” he said.
“Demand of building materials is increasing and studies reveal that GCC building materials manufacturing facilities are still incapable of meeting the needs of the building market,” said Abdulaziz bin Hamad Al Ageel, Secretary General, The Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC). “Thus, building materials are being imported from international markets. For instance, despite the increase in the number of metal products industries (2,685 factories in GCC countries), most of these factories are still considered SMEs with a total investment value of $11,033 million,” he said.
Experts said that rise in green buildings has increased the demand for building materials required to build such buildings.
“The new worldwide trend is towards green buildings, the production and use of eco-friendly materials and energy efficiency within facilities. This movement resulted in the creation of new and unconventional building materials that are in line with the new building specifications requiring the use of green materials and offering incentives to manufacture these materials in order to achieve the highest levels of sustainability,” said Al Ageel.