Qatar Navigation expects to invite firms to submit bids for the construction of the first phase of the QR1bn ($275m) Qatar Navigation Logistics City in early August.

The project will involve the construction of a 500,000 square metre city that will be located in Al-Thamamma, which is eight kilometres from the New Doha port.

The Logistics City will comprise workshops, fuelling stations, accommodation for up to 5,000 employees, a mosque, a clinic, seven warehouses and an open yard.

The warehouses will be used to store food items, consumer products, vehicles and machinery, construction materials and oil and gas.

The UK’s Halcrow worked on the design of the project.

The total demand for storage in Qatar in 2009 was six million square metres. This is expected to increase to 10 million square metres of storage capacity by 2015 as trade and the volume of events and exhibitions also increases.

Speaking at MEED’s Qatar Transport 2010 Conference Ahmed Al-Kowsi, project manager at Qatar Navigation said he expects the first phase to be operational by the summer of 2012.

Qatar Navigation is also hoping to become the new operator at New Doha port when it opens in 2014.

Nine consortiums have submitted bids for the first major construction contract at New Doha port. The New Doha Port will be built at Mesaieed, south of Doha and will replace the existing Doha port on the city’s Corniche. The new port will support industrial development in the area.

Qatar Navigation achieved net profits of QR472m in 2009, with total assets reaching QR7.2bn and total equity of QR5.9bn.