he first phase of the new multi-billion dollar world-scale deep water port at Mesaieed in Qatar will be completed by 2014, said a top official associated with the project.

The new port is being designed to meet Qatar’s requirements “well beyond 2030 and  will provide further impetus to Doha’s development, the economic zones being set up and to the growth of the Mesaieed Industrial City as a whole, the Gulf Times reported.

“Dredging and excavation will begin next year. A great deal of construction activities on the QR16 billion ($4.4 billion) first phase would be seen in 2011, Craig Holland, vice-president of Aecom, the programme and construction manager for the New Doha Port Project, was quoted as saying in the report.

According to Holland, the New Doha Port Project would have a container capacity of 2mn TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) a year in the first phase. On completion of the third phase by 2030, the port will have a container capacity of 6mn TEU, he said.

Spread over 20 sq km, the port will be equipped to handle the world’s largest ships, each laden with up to 12,000 containers.

The government has constituted a New Doha Port Project (NDPP) Steering Committee to oversee the Mesaieed facility which will come up on the northern side of the industrial city.

Asked whether the economic slowdown had an impact on the project, Holland said: “Nothing has been indicated to me so far. I think we need to see the potential of the project when it is ready for take off. By the time we complete the New Doha Port Project, it would be a big asset to Qatar.”

The demand for extra capacity is driven by Qatar’s growing population as well as the upsurge in economic activity, particularly in industrial and construction sectors. Imports of foodstuff as well as household and luxury goods continue to rise as the population and income levels increase.

At the same time, the numerous new industrial and energy projects in the country require equipment and construction materials from abroad and will soon need export capacity as manufacturing comes online, the report said.

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