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Mwani Qatar, Milaha Join Hands to Manage Hamad Port

HE Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, Chairman of Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani Qatar) and Sheikh Ali bin Jassim bin Mohammad Al-Thani, Chairman of Qatar Navigation (Milaha), witnessed the signing of an agreement between Mwani Qatar and Milaha to establish a new company, QTerminals, to manage Hamad Port.

As per the agreement, the new company will be co-owned by Mwani Qatar; 51%, and Milaha; 49%, and will manage operations at Hamad Port as an independent company with its own board of directors, executives and staff. The deal was signed by Mwani Qatar CEO Captain Abdulla Al Khanji and Milaha President & CEO Abdulrahman Essa Al-Mannai.

Commenting on the occasion, Minister Al Sulaiti said; “This strategic partnership reaps the benefits of several years of strong collaboration and ties between Mwani Qatar and Milaha, which have brought about this common plan for managing Hamad Port, one of the country’s vital megaprojects and which will serve as Qatar’s gateway to world trade.”

He noted that the agreement itself was an accomplishment that further encourages the private sector to be part of strategic partnerships in developmental projects, which in economic terms would reflect positively on the nation and citizens, economically speaking.

The Minister also said the Mwani Qatar-Milaha partnership represented a role model for the Qatari private sector to contribute to transportation projects, going beyond prevalent partnerships in building and construction, and ushering in a new era of real operational processes that will help enrich the private sector’s investment philosophy. And this, he added, would contribute to localizing applied expertise and technology.

The project reflects the vision of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the importance of supporting the private sector in becoming a constituent element in the national economy, he explained.

“We are confident the new company, established collaboratively by two of Qatar’s leading corporations, will contribute to leveraging the country’s competitiveness among world economies,” he added.

The Minister also stated that Hamad Port would be contributing to increasing Qatar’s imports, exports and international maritime trade and would stimulate growth and economic diversification across the region. With that in place, he noted, Qatar would be positioned to become a regional commercial hub and would be well on the road to achieving the objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030.

For his part, Sheikh Al-Thani said; “Our partnership with Mwani Qatar is a continuation of our longstanding relationship, which will continue to work toward achieving Qatar’s vision of becoming a global trade and logistics hub.”

“Hamad Port is one the world’s largest port development projects. It will herald a new era of uniqueness and pioneering in the area of commercial port development in Qatar and the wider region,” he added.

He went on to say that Hamad Port would be contributing to supporting the country’s economic diversification program, and would play a key role in pushing forward sustainable and comprehensive development in Qatar and the region.

As Hamad Port becomes fully operational, Doha Port prepares to wind down. All container ships will go to the new QAR27 billion ($7.5bln) port in Umm Al-Houl, near Mesaieed. The old port (Doha Port) near the Museum of Islamic Art will be closed to all commercial ships. It will soon start undergoing a QAR2 billion ($549mln) overhaul to redevelop it as a destination for cruise ships, Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti, minister of transport and communications for Qatar revealed, according to a report by Gulf Times.

Nevertheless, before it closes to all vessels, the Doha Port will continue accepting cruise ships until the end of March, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) and the Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani) said today. While Hamad Port soft-launched in December 2014 with its first commercial shipment, it received its first ship last July – the heavy load carrier Zhen Hua 10, which carried a cargo of 12 cranes to be used to unload goods from docked vessels.

Since then, Hamad Port has been receiving cars and livestock as it steadily increases operations ahead of its full launch of phase 1 at the end of this week. Before the construction of Hamad Port, large container ship had to dock first in the UAE and transfer cargo to smaller ships to travel directly to Qatar. The immense size of the new port has relieved this as it is now able to receive large shipments directly to Qatar. The port is expected to be fully up and running in 2020, which would put it 10 years ahead of schedule. Before the construction of Hamad Port, large container ship had to dock first in the UAE and transfer cargo to smaller ships to travel directly to Qatar. The immense size of the new port has relieved this as it is now able to receive large shipments directly to Qatar. On completion, Hamad Port will cover a site of around 20km² and will be able to handle a combined annual capacity in excess of six million containers per year through its three container terminals.

The new port is seen as a boon to the construction sector which sees the port’s size and facilities as a quicker and easier method to import raw materials to Qatar, vital to the completion of the country’s many ongoing infrastructure projects.