A 150-kilometre highway is being planned to strategically link Qatar’s industrial sites at Mesaieed, Dukhan and Ras Laffan.

Unlike other road projects in the state, which are usually handled by the Public Works Authority (Ashghal), the scheme will be managed by the state-owned oil giant Qatar Petroleum (QP), which has activities at all three sites.

According to a source close to the project, consultants have been invited to submit proposals for the four-lane highway. It will run westwards across the peninsula from Mesaieed to Dukhan before heading north up the west coast and then east to Ras Laffan. The route will mean that traffic avoids the capital, Doha. QP is expected to manage the project in-house.

The scheme will also link up with the road system proposed for the Qatar-Bahrain causeway that will make landfall to the north of Dukhan (MEED 16:5:08).

Mesaieed Industrial City is home to a number of petrochemicals and industrial firms, including Qatar Fertiliser Company (Qafco), Qatar Aluminium (Qatalum), Qatar Chemicals Company (Q-Chem) and Qatar Steel.

QP has been expanding its own activities at Mesaieed, where it plans to extend its port used for importing gabbro rock. It recently awarded the contract to a joint venture of Belgium’s Jan De Nul and Turkey’s STFA.

At Dukhan, QP has three oil reservoirs, Khatiyah, Fahahil and Jaleha, as well as the non-associated gas field of Diyab. The total production from the three oilfields is about 335,000 barrels a day.

At the northern end of the proposed highway, at Ras Laffan Industrial City, QP is developing a centre for its gas export business, including the Dolphin gas processing plant which exports gas to the UAE. It has liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing capacity at the site of 31 million tonnes-a-year (t/y). That figure is expected to rise to 77 million t/y by 2011, when the six LNG trains that are being built are completed.

The industrial port at Ras Laffan is also being expanded, with a construction contract recently awarded to Athens-based
Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) with Belgium’s Six Construct and the UK’s Halcrow, which will quadruple the port’s LNG handling capacity (MEED 28:3:08).

Other users of the site include Ras Laffan Power Company and Oryx Gas To Liquids, a joint venture between QP and Sasol.

The industrial highway is the latest in a series of major road schemes to be planned in Qatar. Last year, Turkey’s Tekfen was awarded a QR2.1bn ($572m) contract to build the second phase of the North road.

The project involves the construction of 94km of four-lane dual-carriageway to the north of Doha, running from Dukhail to the Al-Khor road intersection.

Ashghal is planning a third and final phase of the scheme that will also connect with the proposed Qatar-Bahrain causeway.

Other road projects planned by Ashghal include nine packages on the Doha expressway and two packages on the Lusail road.