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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Doha’s Al Waab fuel station closes for renovations

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Al Waab station. Credit: Doha News

One of Doha’s busiest fuel stations has temporarily closed for maintenance, employees there confirmed.

The Al Waab petrol station on Al Waab St. shut suddenly a few days ago.

The closure evoked dismay among motorists, many of whom are already bemoaning a shortage of fuel stations in the center of the city.

One member of staff said the works were for “tank maintenance.”

But on the plus side, the closure is likely to be short-term. And the pumps should re-open early next week, station attendants added.

Meanwhile, customers are being re-directed to the Al Mana fuel station on Salwa Road, near the junction with the expressway.

All shops and services on the station concourse remain open to the public.

Safety rules

This isn’t the first time a privately-owned fuel station has closed to install new, dual-skin storage tanks onsite.

The popular University Petrol Station on Al Jamia Street and West Bay Petrol Station on Al Istiqlal Street have also been instructed to do so, their manager told Doha News last year.

Al Andalus petrol station. Credit: Peter Kovessy / Doha News

The changes follow updated government requirements for fuel tanks, which were introduced in 2016 amid safety concerns.

The move came after the Al Andalus petrol station on C-Ring Road experienced an underground explosion in 2013.

After that, the government set up a regulatory body to standardize and oversee stations around the country.

Closures

Since then, around half-a-dozen privately-owned stations have closed down, for various reasons.

This includes Al Markhiya Station at Burger King intersection.

However, a recent shipment of “doublewall” tanks to the site has prompted hope among commuters that it may soon undergo renovation and re-open.

Dual-skin tanks at Al Markhiya petrol station. Credit: Doha News

Meanwhile, national fuel distributor Woqod is continuing to expand its network of petrol stations across the country.

It plans to open 15 new stations during 2017, and has a target of 100 stations by 2020, its chief executive, Ibrahim Jaham Al Kuwari said this month.

Some 10 of the stations planned for this year are already under construction and all will be fitted with longer-length hoses to enable vehicles to re-fill from any pump, he added.

The plan is less ambitious than previous targets. In 2014, Al-Kuwari said Woqod planned to operate 100 stations by 2017/18 and some 150 by 2022.

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