The Qatar Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has suspended work on its QR10bn ($2.7bn) Inner Doha Resewerage Implementation Strategy (Idris) project.

According to sources close to the project, contractors working on the major sewerage scheme have been told to stop work as the project has been suspended. Contractors have been given no indication of when, or if, work will resume on the project, according to sources familiar with the scheme.

The Idris project was one of the largest planned tunnel sewer projects in the region, with a proposed catchment area of 680 square kilometres. It was designed to replace the current, overloaded sewerage system and its 35 pumping stations.

In May last year, Ashghal awarded three contracts worth QR3.2bn ($882m) for the main trunk sewer tunnels.

A joint venture of French Bouygues Construction and local UrbaCon Trading and Contracting was awarded two contracts for package one, the northern segments, and package three, the southern segment. Idris SHP, a joint venture of German Hochtief and local/Austrian Al-Sraiya Strabag, won package two, the 14.7 kilometre central segment, worth QR1.1bn.

The programme manager for the Idris scheme is US firm CH2M.

The MTS network was planned to be approximately 45 kilometres long, with internal diameters ranging from 3-4.5 metres, and depths ranging from 20-55 metres. In addition to the awarded contracts, there were a number of unawarded contracts that had not been tendered including the main sewage treatment plant (STP), which was planned to be developed under a 20-year design, build and operate deal.

Ashghal’s communications department could not be reached for comment.