Qatar $21bn infra projects expected this year
This year stands to be a bumper year for infra spend as the GCC continues to invest in infrastructure and capital projects
Infrastructure projects worth an estimated $21bn are expected to be awarded in Qatar this year.
Qatar Rail’s ‘QIRP: Passenger & Freight Rail’, budgeted at $15bn, and QIRP, whose ‘Passenger & Freight Rail: Phase 2’ is budgeted at $3bn, are the two largest projects in pre-execution phase and expected to be awarded in 2015, audit and consulting firm Deloitte's latest research note on GCC construction sector, 'Deloitte GCC Powers of Construction 2015'.
Two mega projects are expected to be awarded in 2015; a project for one of the three new planned economic zones focusing on logistics and air freight companies is budgeted at $3bn, and another project is Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy) - Idd e Shargi North Dome Expansion Phase 5, budgeted for $3bn, reports The Peninsula.
This year looks to be another key indicator of economic development as the GCC continues to invest in infrastructure and capital projects. The forecast for projects planned and underway in the GCC in 2015 is the highest on record to date, standing at $172bn, Deloitte Middle East's annual report said.
Given that 50% of the GCC population is under the age of 25, key drivers for diversification include job creation, according to the report. Four million jobs will be needed in the next five years in Saudi Arabia alone, it is forecast, while the GCC population growth is estimated to grow from 350m to 602m by 2050. This growth will serve as a driver for the GCC countries' to provide education, healthcare, infrastructure and support to communities.
The population expansion will require energy and water: a 34% increase in electricity generation capacity and a further 2.2bn litres desalination capacity are required by 2020.
"The forecast of $ 172bn worth of projects are against a backdrop of lower oil prices, continuing political unrest and reduced International Monetary Fund (IMF) growth forecasts across the GCC," said Cynthia Corby, audit partner and leader of the construction industry for the Middle East,, according to The Peninsula.
"However the GCC countries have the benefit of reserves, which they have built up as a buffer and which they can continue to use to achieve their outlined strategies. Therefore, they are expected to continue to spend on infrastructure and capital projects in order to achieve their strategies for diversification of their economies," she added.
Regarding the UAE, the report said the DWC: Al Maktoum International Airport expansion, currently budgeted at $32bn, is anticipated to be the biggest airport in the world. Another massive industrial project in Abu Dhabi for Tacaamol - Al-Gharbia Chemicals Industrial City, planned at $20bn.
There are other sectors with several billions being planned on capital projects, with the top sector for 2015 being mixed-use and residential projects amounting to $24bn.