More European firms eye big Qatar projects
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
DOHA FACED with worsening debt crisis and the real prospect of recession at home, several major European companies seeking new investment opportunities will be attending the annual Qatar Projects 2012 conference which will take place from February 5-8 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Major projects worth more than $106 billion will be awarded between now and 2022 in the country, with significant investment in oil and gas, heavy industry, electricity generation and water desalination, social infrastructure and transportation links, figures from MEED’s 2011/12 Qatar Projects indicate.
Infrastructure spending will dominate the next five years with around $65 billion due to be invested in a series of new transportation schemes including the new $11 billion Doha International Airport, the $6 billion Doha port project and a $25 billion metro and railway.
“More European architecture and construction firms are expected to head to Qatar as it invests heavily in building a world-class infrastructure system both for the FIFA World Cup Finals in 2022 and for Qatar Vision 2030,” said Edmund O’Sullivan, chairman of MEED Events.
British engineering firm Atkins is the latest European company to be awarded a project in Qatar after it won a $107 million contract this month to set up a central planning office for infrastructure and transport contracts, its second major contract win there in recent months.
“This latest contract win in Qatar strengthens our position in the region even further as we are working with government stakeholders to help them to deliver the most comprehensive and integrated infrastructure investment programme in the region’s history,” said Uwe Krueger, chief executive of Atkins.
Atkins is one of several European firms attending the conference. Others include Mott MacDonald, Foster + Partners and GMP Architekten.
Multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran, is another company that is increasing its focus on Qatar after it opened its second GCC office in Doha last year.
The 2012 event has been expanded to include more client-led presentations and case study analysis, providing an in-depth look at the mega projects and investment and construction opportunities available. Increased focus on market research data with detailed sector profiles and forecasts providing invaluable future project information will add a new dimension to the debate with two days of interactive discussion.
The list of confirmed speakers includes HE Abdulla bin Saoud al Thani, governor of Qatar Central Bank; Nasser Ali al Mawlawi, president of Ashghal; Remy Rowhani, director-general of Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry; George Nasra, managing director of IBQ; Saad Ahmed Ibrahim al Mohanadi, CEO of Qatar Railways Company; Khalifa al Sowaidi, managing director of Qafco; Monjid Abdelmajeed, managing director of Redco Construction - Almana and Jalal Yousef al Salihi, director of infrastructure affairs at Public Works Authority (Ashghal).