Early marine access to the new Hamad Port in Qatar
On 26 February 2015, the Deputy Emir of Qatar His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Thani officially started the controlled flooding operations for the new Hamad Port Project in the presence of His Highness Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Prime Minister and His Excellency Jassim Saif Al Sulaiti, the Minister of Transport.
The New Port Project Steering Committee awarded MEDCO (Middle East Dredging Company Q.S.C.) the QAR 4.5 billion (approx. 1 billion Euro) contract for the dredging and construction of the approach channel part for the ‘New Port Project’ in March 2012. MEDCO is a Qatari company jointly owned by United Development Company (UDC), DEME and Qatar Holding. The contract includes the dredging and excavation of some 45 million m3 of hard rock for the access channel, the land reclamation for a new 4.5 square km offshore Naval Base and the construction of two large outer breakwaters comprising 4.5 million ton of rock in total. A substantial portion of the New Port Project has been dry excavations. This dry portion of the new port – up to 15m below sea level – is protected from the sea by a temporary dike.
Thanks to the excellent progress made by MEDCO, the Client recognized the opportunity to start port operations early and engaged in an effort with the contractors to optimize the program. As a result, the Client has gained 7 months on the contractual milestone of marine access to the port and to the quay walls. Full completion of MEDCO’s Contract on the Project remains set for mid-January 2016.
A controlled flooding operation using an ingenious system of locks and siphons is to let a total of about 75 million m3 of seawater into the new port albeit never exceeding 50cm per day for safety reasons. The MEDCO siphon alone produces some 37.000 m3 per hour. By end March, the water on the inner side of the temporary dike will reach sea level and the Cutter Suction Dredge ‘Ambiorix’ opens full marine access to the port by removing the temporary dike.
MEDCO was also issued the New Port Project 2014 Quality Award recently. This award acknowledges the best Quality Performance by a contractor within the New Port Project for the annual KPI category with a score of 87.05%.
The New Port Project includes three container terminals with a combined annual capacity in excess of six million containers per year and a railway station connected to the GCC Railway Network. The rail link connects the New Port to the other Arabian Gulf States.
‘Middle East Dredging Company Q.S.C.’ (MEDCO) was established in Qatar in June 2004. MEDCO is a partnership between the Qatari company United Development Company (UDC), Qatar Holding (Government of Qatar) and DEME. The company is very rapidly growing and operates a proprietary fleet of modern dredging vessels of various types (cutter suction dredgers and trailing suction hopper dredger). MEDCO focuses on capital dredging, port development and land reclamation in the Gulf region. In the past years, MEDCO successfully completed the Pearl Qatar project in Qatar, the New Hamad Airport Reclamation and Rock Revetment Project in Qatar, the Al Raha Beach project for Aldar Properties in Abu Dhabi; dredging works for the Ruwais Sulphur Terminal extension for Takreer in Abu Dhabi; the Aldar Yas Island Tunnel trenching and channel deepening in Abu Dhabi; the new Khalifa port dredging, the dredging of the Ras Ghanada/Al Sadr to Taweelah channels in Abu Dhabi for the Department of The President’s Affairs, the Al Marjan Islands in RAK and has successfully completed the reclamation of the 45 million m3 platform for the new refinery of Takreer in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi. Last year, Dredging International and MEDCO successfully completed the construction of two artificial energy islands located 120 klm offshore from Abu Dhabi, including their service harbours aimed to provide Abu Dhabi with energy based on facilities for oil drilling, etc. from the previously untapped offshore Satah al-Razboot (SARB) field.
The rising sea level. Scarcity of strategic resources. Ever increasing emissions. Highly polluted soils.
DEME, the Belgian dredging, hydraulic engineering and environmental solutions group, provides solutions for these global challenges worldwide, on a daily basis. The Group's core business of dredging and land reclamation is supplemented by diversified activities that address different strategic drivers: hydraulic projects at sea, services to oil and gas firms, the installation of offshore wind farms, environmental activities such as soil remediation and sediment recycling, revalidation of brownfield sites and wreck clearance. Its multi-disciplinary know-how and experience have allowed the DEME Group to grow into a global solutions provider. The Group owns one of the most modern, high-tech and versatile fleets for dredging and hydraulic engineering activities. Active since 1852, the Group's solutions have never been more relevant than today, and this is reflected in its key figures: DEME employs 4,600 people worldwide and realised a turnover of EUR 2.58 billion in 2014.