Updated on March 22 with the latest renderings of the new port project
French defense systems firm Thales has won a security contract to protect the $7.4 billion (QR27 billion) site of Qatar’s new port project, it announced this week.
The commercial port, which was officially renamed Hamad Port last month by the Deputy Emir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Thani, is set to soft launch by the end of this year, and completion of the first phase is slated for the end of 2016.
It is hoped the facilities at the new port will help resolve existing bottlenecks in the construction material supply chain, as Qatar develops its infrastructure ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Located in Umm Al-Houl near Mesaieed, the port will cover a site of around 20 sq km and will include three container terminals with an eventual combined annual capacity in excess of six million containers per year.
In addition to an expected increase in container traffic, it will also accommodate general cargo traffic, offshore support, coast guard vessels, a marine support unit, imports of vehicles, livestock and bulk grain.
The port area will also house a new base for the Emiri Naval Forces and “Qatar Economic Zone 3,” a new industrial area integrated with residential units.
Announcing the new contract for what is said to be one of the world’s largest greenfield ports, Thales said in a statement that its mandate is to:
“Provide a high technology integrated solution managed by a security command and control center, including a perimeter intrusion detection system, a perimeter surveillance and lighting system, a redundant IT communication network, a redundant video storage system, an under vehicle surveillance system and a tetra communication system. The secured area will have a 19km perimeter.”
Its port security command and control center will “bring an integrated response to piracy, trafficking, smuggling and global threats of terrorism. Maintaining port security is of utmost importance and Thales will be providing a complete and real-time situational picture of the site,” it added in the statement.
In January last year, the country’s transport minister said construction on the site would be speeded up, to put its eventual completion some 10 years ahead of its original 2030 deadline.
Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti said that the plan was to merge the first and second phases of the $7.4 billion project so that the third phase is completed in 2020, which would significantly improve the country’s import capacity in the run-up to the World Cup.
Getting enough raw materials into the country on time to facilitate the completion of the state’s numerous ongoing infrastructure projects has been one of the biggest challenges cited by construction and logistics experts in Qatar.
Thales was also previously awarded a contract to provide security for Hamad International Airport (HIA).
According to its website, the firm is responsible for delivering and installing an integrated security and communication systems for the airport, including the passenger terminal complex and the airport campus facilities. The scope of works includes 12,000 CCTV cameras, 3,000 access control points and 150Km of fiber optic backbone.
In December last year, Thales also signed a contract with QDVC for the delivery of communication and control systems for the Lusail Light Rail, it said. This includes providing telecommunications and security, supervisory control and data acquisition, automatic fare collection, fire detection and maintenance management.