Seven international consultants were competing for the contract, which is expected to be signed by the end of March. The FEED package will take two-three months to prepare, allowing for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to be tendered in the third quarter. The 24-27 month contract is due to be awarded by the end of the year.

The expansion involves adding 1 million tonnes a year (t/y) of cement capacity. The Umm Bab complex currently has capacity of 900,000 t/y of clinker and 1.4 million t/y of cement. The expansion is being undertaken to meet a projected surge in local cement demand as a result of an estimated $5,000 million programme to upgrade the state’s infrastructure and Qatar Petroleum’scapital expenditure plan (Qatar, MEED Special Report, 7:3:03, page 40).