Atkins awarded major three year contract in Qatar
Atkins: key national planning role in Qatar is a 'fabulous' deal
Atkins is to establish a Central Planning Office (CPO) to co-ordinate major multi-billion dollar transport and infrastructure projects in Qatar after being awarded a three-year contract by the country’s Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning.
Current and planned road, rail, metro and other major transport and infrastructure projects will play a crucial role in helping to achieve Qatar’s 2030 vision for world class infrastructure development.
The CPO will be a single co-ordinating body which will be responsible for ensuring all works are planned in an integrated and efficient way to minimise disruption and maximise cost effectiveness in supporting delivery of the multi-billion programmes.
Qatar’s 2030 vision – which aims to transform the country from a carbon economy to a knowledge economy - includes programmes for education, health, science and sport, all of which must be connected by multimodal transport infrastructure.
“We are delighted,” Atkins’ director of sustainability and former chief executive Keith Clarke told Construction Week.
“This is a fabulous contract. We are really pleased with the other contracts such as the road design ones but this in many ways is far more significant.
“Whenever a city wants to do something really special and lasting you have to push the quantum of development and quality.
“Having a central planning CPO is exactly the right way to do that.
“It’s a phenomenal opportunity; an intrinsic part of driving towards 2030.”
Clarke, who was formally recognised for his services to engineering and to the construction industry when he was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) honour last year by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, says the key is to make the contracts “more than just a bunch of contracts.”
“The fact that they have established a CPO is excellent,” said Clarke, adding that similar entities have been successfully employed in infrastructure projects in the centre of New York and London previously.
“The quality of government and support in Qatar is really good, it’s world class.
“You can almost call it ‘New Qatar’ in that it has ‘new aspirations’.
“Ashghal hasbeen very creative in ensuring everyone shares the same values for the 2030 vision.
“We are working with high quality public officials and that’s not always the case around the world.
“To see cohesive co-operation between government officials, to see them working together, is relatively rare and fantastic.
“That’s not true of most governments in the West but it is world class in Qatar.
“The level of maturity (with these projects) is very impressive and the CPO is integral to this project, it’s much more sophisticated.
“The (aim of the) CPO is for developing a world class city.”
With a number of key projects in Qatar, Atkins’ project team draws upon a wide range of skills from rail to tunnelling, traffic planning to environment, urban design to cost estimating.
Uwe Krueger, Atkins’ current chief executive added: “This latest contract win in Qatar strengthens our position in the region even further as we are working with government stakeholders to help them to deliver the most comprehensive and integrated infrastructure investment programme in the region’s history.”
Late last year, the company, which has had a base in Qatar for nearly 10 years and moved to larger premises in November to support its long term growth in the country, was awarded a five-year contract worth around $100m to help transform the roads and drainage systems in Doha.
Atkins is currently working on several key highways projects across the state, including the concept design of the Khalifa, Rayyan and Al Bustan roads.