Contract awards are on track: Qatar Rail director

Major contract awards for the Doha Metro project are imminent, in accordance with the original timeframe, says Qatar Rail senior programme director: metro Adrian Shaw.

A lot of contractors have been eagerly awaiting the first contracts for the Doha Metro. “I can understand that sitting on the outside it is infuriating for a lot of the contractors,” says Shaw.

“It is particularly disappointing in that we set the goal of trying to get the contracts out of the door by end 2012. We set that target two years ago; what we are going to be is 12 weeks late.

“And that is the driver for us: we have worked hard with all of the tender evaluations to enable us to do all of that,” says Shaw.

“I think what contractors have to understand is the size of the packages we are dealing with, and the value and complexity. We will have five major civil packages, just for the underground packages, and may have two or three elevated packages as well.

“The complexity of what we have to deal with in getting all the line of route … it is not so much the tendering process that is taking so long.

“We cannot commit, and we will not commit, until we have the land available. That is the critical issue – we have got to ensure we have the whole of the land available to allow the contractors to commence their work. There is no point in giving them a contract, then stopping them from working.

Shaw adds: “But what I can say is we are on schedule to launch the first contracts this month [March], with a plan to get the major civil works out by mid-June, so that will get us all the major packages out to the marketplace and awarded.

“Then it is down to the point of getting everything up and running and established in terms of logistics and organisation, etc. over the next year, and placing the orders for all the major equipment, the TBMs, to enable us to get into the ground by May-June next year.

“That is still the plan, that is still the target, and if we achieve that, then we have got every opportunity to achieve stage completion, which is the way our programme is actually put together at the moment.

“So we would actually say the first phases of the metro are actually coming into some kind of operation at the end of 2018 or early 2019, to enable us to get to the full system to be able to satisfy the FIFA requirements for the 2022 World Cup.”