Qatar has awarded a $1.2bn contract to the Middle East Dredging Company (MEDCO) to dredge the approach channel for the New Port Project south of Doha.
The contract also involves the dredging of the basin as well as 400ha of land reclamation for a Naval Base and the construction of the two outer breakwaters at both sides of the Channel.
Under the project, MEDCO will dredge a 20km-long access channel and a naval base basin, reclaim about 4.5km² of land with dredged materials for the construction of the naval base as well as dredge around 45 million m³ of hard rock material.
The project also involves compaction and ground improvement, the construction of rubble mound outer breakwaters on each side of the channel and the construction of rock revetment at the perimeter of the naval base.
MEDCO will also be responsible for supply and installation of navigation aids and environment mitigation work, including re-location of coral, sea grass and mangrove that would be affected by the works.
Work in the project is expected to start later this month and will be completed by early 2016.
Qatar is carrying out the New Port Project at a cost of QR27bn ($7.4bn) which will spread across an area of 26.5km² and have a container handling capacity of 6 million teus.
The port, which will be located near Mesaieed, will be completed in three phases, with the first phase providing the port with an initial capacity of two million teu from 2014.
Phase two of construction will commence in 2020, while the third and final phase is expected to start in 2030.
After completion, the port will handle container traffic, general cargo traffic, vehicle imports, livestock imports, bulk grain imports, offshore support vessels, cruise vessels, coastguard vessels and a marine support unit.
China Harbour Engineering had previously won the contract in January 2011 to start construction on the port basin and inner breakwaters.
Plans are also in place to link the facility with the New Doha International Airport and a railway station connected to the GCC Railway Network.
MEDCO is a joint venture among state-owned Qatar Holding, United Development Company (UDC) and Belgian Dredging and Environmental Group (DEME).