Qatar issues new tender for Phase I of Doha Metro

Key infrastructure project has been under increased scrutiny after concerns raised over contracts and delays

A new tender will be released for Doha Metro, sources have said.

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Qatar has issued a new tender for the Doha Metro, a key infrastructure project for the Gulf country as it steps up preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Three sources, who did not wish to be identified since the information is not public, told Reuters that the tender – issued earlier this month – is for the rolling stock, systems, depot facilities, track-work and other aspects of Doha Metro.

The project has been under increased scrutiny after concerns were raised about the handing out of contracts and the delays in starting work.

According to one source, the new tender, which could be worth more than $2.2 billion, would be the final one for Phase I of the new metro.

“It’s a big one and all major global companies are bidding for the deal,” said one industry source. “The Qatari authorities are expected to award the contract in the next five months.”

Over the last year Qatar has awarded four design and build contracts worth $8.2 billion for Phase I of the Doha Metro. The contracts were awarded to local and international contractors, with Italy’s Impregilo SPA and France’s Vinci Construction amongst the awardees.

Many projects have been slow to start due to bureaucratic and planning problems, the Reuters report said. In the fiscal year that ended in March 2013, actual government spending rose by only 2.2%, undershooting the budget plan for the first time since 1990.

Amongst the projects that have attracted the most scrutiny is the $15 billion airport that is yet to open for commercial operations despite plans for a launch last year.

However, a planning ministry report in December said that state spending would climb to 11.6% during the calendar year of 2014.

Furthermore, it said that contracts for construction projects worth as much as $50 billion would be signed this year, a clear indication that Qatar is stepping up infrastructure spending sharply this year.

After it won the rights to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar has announced plans to spend some $140 billion on projects, including a new airport, port facilities, railways, stadiums and other infrastructure.

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