The deal involves the construction of a 350-metre-long quay wall for unloading and loading aggregates, and 5 million cubic metres of dredging, which will take the channel depth to 15.5 metres for a distance of 4.5 kilometres.

The total duration of the contract, including the civil works, is two years. Australia’s Gulf Leighton with Royal Boskalis Westminster of the Netherlands and the local Al-Jaber Engineering also submitted a price for the whole project.

Middle East Dredging Company (Medco) tendered a price just for the dredging works.

A joint venture of Italy’s Grandi Lavori Fincosit (GLF) and Ballast Ham Dredging of the Netherlands, now part of Van Oord, also Dutch, built the original facility in 2003.

However, the port has struggled to import enough aggregates for the boom in building and infrastructure projects around Doha and Ras Laffan.

Unlike the UAE, Qatar is completely reliant on imports for its aggregates, which traditionally come for the northern emirates of Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah. Qatar Petroleum is the client for the port.

It is the second port contract to be awarded in Qatar in recent months. In late March, the joint venture of Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company and Belgium’s Six Construct, together with the UK’s Halcrow, were awarded the QR6.5bn ($1.7bn) construction contract at Ras Laffan port (MEED 28:3:08).