UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, H.E. SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN ABDULRAHMAN BIN JASSIM AL THANI
CONSTRUCTION PORTFOLIO OF EVENTS
The main contractors of Qatargas’ massive North Field Expansion (NFE) project Technip Energies and Chiyoda are progressing construction activities and are expected to complete the project by 2027, according to data from DMS Projects.
The $30 billion development project involves four liquefaction mega-trains at 8 (million tons per annum) mtpa each, resulting in 32 mtpa of new LNG production. North Field East will be the largest LNG project by liquefaction capacity undertaken to date by the industry. QatarEnergy has ensured that a global array of engineering and construction contractors will build it.
For 12 years from 2005 to 2017, the North Field had been under a development moratorium. With the lifting of the moratorium, Qatar announced an aggressive new development plan to expand LNG export capacity from the current 77 mtpa to 110 mtpa by 2026. The final investment decision (FID) on the project was taken solely by Qatar Energy in February 2021. The intent has been to bring in foreign partners as co-funders, while maintaining project control.
Last year, after more than six months of bid evaluation, the Qataris selected ExxonMobil, Eni, Total Energies, and ConocoPhillips as project partners.
In April 2023, QatarEnergy signed a definitive partnership agreement with China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec). Under the agreement, QatarEnergy will transfer to Sinopec a 5% interest in the equivalent of one NFE train with a capacity of 8 mtpa.
Source Credit: Oil&Gas Middle East
Qatar’s strong macro fundamentals helped it report a robust 69.2% year-on-year increase in total value of contracts awarded to $3.6bn in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023, after hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022, according to Kamco Invest, a regional economic thinktank.
"The growth in contract awards was mainly due to the country’s maintenance of strong economic performance," Kamco Invest said in its latest report.
Quoting MEED, it said Qatar’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth is expected to dip from 3.4% in 2022 to 2.4% in 2023 but this will have little impact on Qatar’s fiscal health to continue to fund and award projects.
One of the notable investment decisions that Qatar made during Q1-2023 was the $6bn Ras Laffan petrochemicals project with Chevron Philips Chemical. The Ras Laffan petrochemicals complex, which is set to start production in 2026, comprises an ethane cracker with capacity of 2.1mn tonnes per year of ethylene, thus increasing Qatar’s ethylene production potential by nearly 70%.
The complex also has two polyethylene trains which have combined output of 1.7m tonnes per year of high-density polyethylene polymer products which also raises Qatar’s overall petrochemical production by 82% to 14mn tonnes per year.
In terms of investment, QatarEnergy and China Petrochemical (Sinopec) have recently signed a deal in which China Petrochemical will invest in Qatar’s $28.75bn North Field East expansion project.
The agreement requires the transfer of a 5% stake in one of the four trains of the LNG (liquefied natural gas) project to Sinopec.
Qatar’s North Field East expansion project is anticipated to raise the country’s annual LNG export volume from 77mn tonnes per year to 126mn tonnes per year.
In terms of contract awards by sector, the chemical sector took over from the Gas Sector as the largest sector by value of awarded projects in the Qatar recording $2.8bn worth of contract awards during Q1-2023.
The Qatari chemical sector accounted for 76.9% of the total value of projects awarded in the country during the quarter. Comparatively, the construction sector recorded $116mn worth of project awards during the quarter, recording a 63.1% year-on-year decline.
Despite the decline in value of contracts awarded, Qatar’s construction sector is expected to show a compound annual growth rate of 9.5% from 2023 to 2030 to $123.1bn mainly due to planned government spending on infrastructure and other building projects.
The Qatari government has allocated an estimated $14.8bn for new projects between 2021 and 2023.
Moreover, the total value of projects awarded in the power sector reached $328mn during the quarter while aggregate value of contracts awarded in the transport sector touched $278mn.
About the projects in the wider Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Kamco Invest said the GCC project awards expanded during Q1-2023 despite global economic challenges such as the global financial sector turmoil, elevated inflation, and the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict.
Total value of the GCC contracts awarded rose 54.7% year-on-year during Q1-2023 to $29.9bn.
"This was the second highest quarterly project awards since the start of 2022. All GCC project markets witnessed year-on-year project awards growth during Q1-2023 except for Bahrain which remains the smallest project market in the region," the report said.
The growth in the GCC project awards during this quarter has been partly fueled by the determination of the regional countries to diversify their economies away from hydrocarbons, it said.
The GCC countries have backed and invested in projects in the industrial sector such as aluminum, steel, and other industrial equipment manufacturing projects, according to Kamco Invest.
Source Credit: Zawya
Qatar will host the World Cup once again, after being selected as the host nation for basketball’s FIBA 2027 competition. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced that Qatar has been awarded the hosting rights for the 2027 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The announcement came during a meeting of the governing body in Manila, Philippines on Friday.
Qatar 2027 FIBA Basketball World Cup - The FIBA’s Central Board announced its decision after evaluating the files submitted by the candidate countries, as Qatar was the most prominent choice to host the 2027 edition of the tournament, which will be held for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region.
FIBA’s Central Board selected the Arab country due to exceptional facilities, its keenness to develop sports in general and basketball in particular.
Qatar’s success in hosting major sports tournaments was also seen as a crucial factor. The bid attached special importance to the legacy plans in order to emphasise the tournament’s contribution to the development of basketball in the region and the world.
In light of the readiness of the sports facilities that will host the 2027 Basketball World Cup, this version of the tournament will become the most sustainable version in its history.
Source Credit: Arabian Business
The climate crisis hits the construction industry – one of the largest contributors to CO2 emissions – and it must find ways to decarbonize. While operational carbon emissions have been or are in the process of being addressed, embodied carbon must also be...
The climate crisis hits the construction industry – one of the largest contributors to CO2 emissions – and it must find ways to decarbonize. While operational carbon emissions have been or are in the process of being addressed, embodied carbon must also be considered to complete the whole life cycle assessment. Technology – and software solutions in particular – can play a role in enabling designers to easily incorporate sustainable practices into their work, leading to widespread adoption and policy changes. New digital solutions that enable embodied carbon assessments to be carried out quickly and easily provide an increased incentive to address these emissions.
Buildings contribute to carbon emissions in two ways: operational carbon from daily energy use and embodied carbon from construction materials. Embodied carbon includes emissions associated with materials and construction processes throughout a building or infrastructure's lifecycle, from raw material extraction to every project stage. Operation is just one phase, and embodied carbon is recognized as a missing piece of the puzzle for the whole picture. The construction industry has focused on reducing operational carbon for some time but only recently started addressing embodied carbon. Embodied carbon makes up 11% of global emissions but has been largely overlooked. As operational carbon is reduced, embodied carbon's significance will increase unless there is greater awareness and effort to reduce it.
European Standard EN 15978 defines project lifecycle stages for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). These stages include the planning stages of a project, where materials and products are selected, quantified, procured, and manufactured; transportation to the site; the construction phase; the operation phase, including repair, refurbishment, replacement, operational energy, and water use; and end of life, including demolition, waste processing, and disposal.
Most of the work around reducing carbon has been focused on the later stages of the project lifecycle – from the transportation stage onwards. Embodied or upfront carbon, however, is about reducing the emissions from the earliest stages of a project, such as the carbon created during the extraction of a material (like aggregates) or the manufacture of a product (like precast concrete elements.)
Calculating embodied carbon is straightforward, yet it does rely heavily on accurate input. Material properties – including density and embodied carbon factor – as well as the quantity, are required for analysis. Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) provide this information for specific products, while data libraries offer generic material parameters based on statistical averages for different markets. Therefore, the quantities are the unknown variable that presents the biggest challenge for designers.
To perform basic carbon assessments, many practices have manually set up Microsoft Excel worksheets or used tools that require manual material quantity input. However, entering material quantities against each material's properties is a time-consuming manual process that must be repeated every time a project changes, requiring extensive effort. Undertaking the quantity calculations towards the end of the design phase is the most accurate as the quantities are more certain, but it reduces the time for implementing changes. Where traditional 2D drafted plans are used, a manual approach is required for accurate quantity take-offs, reducing efficiency. Having a Quantity Surveyor (QS) on the project can offer benefits, but their involvement is limited to a fixed design.
On the other hand, a working Building Information Modeling process (BIM) offers a longer window of opportunity to act, making changes easier and less expensive and allowing for a more streamlined approach by querying the model for material quantities. In this case, technology can help by reducing the burden of calculating quantities and improving the accuracy of the data.
Many offices could do more to address carbon assessment, but their busy workload prevents them from dedicating the necessary knowledge, time, and effort. The manual assessment process is separate from their main design focus, which is the main reason that these assessments do not happen. Technology can reduce the time needed, lower the knowledge barrier, and provide designers with early insight and opportunities to act through automated tools that complement their workflow.
Vectorworks, as a BIM software provider and part of the Planning & Design Division of the Nemetschek Group, saw the perfect opportunity to address this need and develop a tool for our customers, leveraging our advantage as a familiar software solution that can integrate into existing design workflows. They created the Vectorworks Embodied Carbon Calculator (VECC) tool for BIM software users to assess their projects' carbon impact. It has undergone several iterations since its release one year ago and is primarily used by architects, with growing interest from landscape architects and entertainment industry professionals.
Architectural offices using the VECC for carbon assessments have found the process significantly automated since its release, enabling them to offer a service they previously could not have spent significant time on or simply lacked the resources to undertake. Feedback from qualified users interested in sustainable design workflows has been positive, enabling the assessments to be undertaken efficiently and thus raising their profile within the architectural community and among their clients. While more awareness, training, knowledge building, and incentives are still needed, change is happening.
Technology must adapt to the approach designers work, striking a delicate balance to create a successful tool that blends seamlessly into existing workflows without representing a radical change. Understanding the future of the construction industry is necessary to provide tools that shape the industry's emission reduction drive, with carbon assessments playing an important role. While there is still much to do, technology such as the VECC tool, is the first step on this incredibly important journey.
Source Credit: Nemetschek Group
The palm-fringed Marina Walk, leading from the Arabian Gulf to the wide expanse that is Lusail Boulevard, is full of food stalls representing pretty much every nationality living in Qatar, and the boulevard is buzzing with life. This annual International Food Festival – the next edition is slated for January 24 - February 4, 2024 – is one of many events in Lusail. Like others, it has moved from the capital Doha to this, Qatar’s newest city – 10 miles north.
Touted as Qatar’s “City of the Future,” construction of Lusail began in 2006, long before Qatar was announced as the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup – yet you’d have been hard pushed to have found many people who had visited before the grand Lusail Stadium became the main stage for the soccer tournament.
Those who came found there’s more to the city than event spaces. Lusail is home to grand shopping malls, theme parks, a wealth of international restaurants, islands, and two iconic new additions to the Qatar skyline.
The Katara Towers, the near-circular building modeled on the scimitar swords that make up Qatar’s emblem, play host to two luxury hotels, the Fairmont Doha and the all-suite Raffles Doha, the country’s first six-star hotel. Both are the first properties for their respective hotel groups in Qatar – and while they’re Doha by name, they’re firmly Lusail by location.
Then there are the four subtly twisting Lusail Plaza Towers, which seem to morph in height and shape as you approach the city. They’re the work of Foster + Partners, who also designed the Lusail Stadium. Suspended between them is a shimmering metallic sculpture – a great whale-shark, “Al Nehem,” by Italian artist Marco Balich.
Nineteen residential, business and mixed districts make up Lusail, some more developed than others – since the city is still under construction. The stadium and Lusail Plaza Towers are connected by Lusail Boulevard, which regularly plays host to parades and events, from the food festival to the annual Classic Car Show.
The anticipated Lusail Museum, which is still under construction, was designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. Exhibiting orientalist and Middle Eastern art, it’s slated to open in 2029.
Tethered to the city shoreline by a six lane highway is entertainment-focused Al Maha Island, home to the Winter Wonderland theme park and a slew of international restaurants.
It’s swiftly becoming a rival in the livability stakes to crowded Doha.
A city from the sand
Lusail claims to be Qatar’s first sustainable city – no easy task for a newbuild in the desert.
Raising a city from the sand needs a lot of imagination.
“The future of infrastructure is unlimited in the Middle East,” says Bryce McDevitt, vice president of Parsons Corporation, which is overseeing construction. “There is a sense of imagination and possibility that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Building a clean-sheet city allows for tailored design of your objectives: sustainability, accessibility and economic equality.”
He adds: “One major advantage of the ‘from the sand’ approach is that when designing and building a city from scratch, we are not fettered by existing infrastructure. Roadways, airports, public transit, landscape, and urban design can all be built with smart sustainability in mind.”
Over the past few decades, little thought has been given to sustainability in Qatar – a desert state which has used its oil and gas resources to bring life to the barren land. Parks in the country’s cities stay green all year round, and even have air-conditioned walkways to allow residents to take strolls even during summer, where temperatures can exceed 50 degrees Celsius (122 F).
Lusail is changing that mindset, with sustainable tweaks built into the construction. There is a tram system designed to reduce the need for cars (essential elsewhere in Qatar), and systems to conserve and reuse water – for example, planting native vegetation which will reverse desertification and reduce rain runoff, as well as watering plants with non-potable water. An artificial reef is being built along the Lusail shoreline to encourage marine life to settle.
It’s the sustainability, space and amenities – as well as plenty of green spaces – which appealed to Katie Warner, a mobile travel agent originally from Australia. She and her husband swapped Doha for Lusail because it felt more ecologically minded. “It was pleasing to discover our building had sustainable systems in place like recycling water for the gardens, solar panels to heat the building’s water, gas services for all cooking appliances, regulated electric use, and separate recycling and general waste chutes on each floor,” she says.
But that’s not the only reason they moved: “I love this area full of greenery, the gorgeous boardwalk, and views of the Persian Gulf. It has all the day-to-day needs for groceries, transport, entertainment, and dining. There’s an extensive choice from food trucks at the Lusail Marina Food Arena, abundant cafes, and fine dining restaurants.”
A sprawling city of the future
While Lusail’s districts are each pretty much self-contained, and similar to the “15-minute city” concept loved by urban planners, overall Lusail – which sprawls across nearly 15 square miles, with an anticipated population of around 200,000 – still suffers a little from the disjointedness of many Gulf cities.
Al Tara – the district, by Al Maha Island, where Warner lives – is home to the Lusail Marina. There are footpaths overlooking the water, art installations, small cafes dotted along the marina, and the Katara Towers. From here, it is just about possible to walk to Place Vendôme, a grand Paris-inspired shopping mall, and beyond it the Waldorf Astoria hotel, which sits on Lusail’s only private beach. Trying to reach Lusail Boulevard is still somewhat of an undertaking, but one that is being addressed by the tram line, which began operation in 2022 and connects with the Doha metro.
But while Lusail has superb – even newly iconic – architecture, grand outdoor spaces, and festivals and events, it will never have the organically grown, higgledy-piggledy layout of old Doha, which draws the tourists.
Instead, it aims to be a modern, sustainable “City of the Future.” Will it fall foul of the repeated curse that seems to befall many previous attempts of newly constructed cities, such as Canberra, Brasilia, Islamabad and Milton Keynes, where natural atmosphere and joie de vivre seem to be somewhat lacking? Only time will tell.
There is a rumor – as yet unsubstantiated – that Lusail might eventually become Qatar’s capital city. It’s not actually a crazy idea – Sheikh Jassim Bin Mohammed Bin Thani, regarded as the founder of Qatar, built Lusail Castle, his 19th-century (and long gone) home, on the coast here.
Source Credit: CNN Travel
The utilisation of tubular steel structures is a popular trend in the construction industry. They are durable, long-lasting, and, most importantly, customizable. Tubular construction is a structure-building technology in which parts are fabricated off-site and brought to the construction site for final assembly. Because of its significant benefits over traditional building processes, this technology has grown in favor in recent years.
Tubular construction is a building technology that uses steel tubes to produce a building’s super structure. These tubes are joined together using a nut and bolt system to make a solid and robust structure capable of supporting the weight of the building. It is an efficient method of constructing significant, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly structures.
The process of tubular construction
The tubular construction process begins with the design and engineering of the building. That includes creating detailed plans and specifications for each section of the building. These sections are then manufactured in a factory set-up, maintaining superior quality.
Once the sections are complete, they are transported to the construction site and assembled using cranes and other equipment. This process is much faster and more efficient than traditional construction methods, which require much on-site work and can be delayed by weather, labor shortages, and other factors.
Benefits of tubular construction:
*Quick speed: Tubular constructions are faster as tube fabrication can be done easily. The fabrication and welding processes are done at the fabrication workshop, which is later assembled at the construction site. This leads to saving a lot of time and engaging in multiple construction processes simultaneously. Compared to conventional construction techniques, which take approximately 24 days per slab, modern tubular construction takes eight days to complete. This process is the industry’s future, given the tight deadlines of projects these days.
*Cost-effectiveness: Another benefit of tubular construction is its cost-effectiveness. Considering tubular structures are lighter, and the total steel consumption per kg is 7-10% less than the conventional practices, the cost is reduced significantly. This helps in reducing the overall project cost and increasing the IRR. As part of the process, the structural tubes are supplied in cut-to-length sizes leading to faster fabrication at a lower cost. In addition, there is an extra carpet area with tubes as the principle material for construction as the column size in tubes is around 500×500 mm, compared with RCC and Built up sections where the column sizes are 800×800 mm and 650×650 mm, respectively. Using tubes, one can have an additional carpet area of 1-2% which could be converted into a usable area.
Conventionally in steel buildings, steel columns are covered in concrete boards involving more carpet area. In contrast, in the case of structure tubes, such encasing is not needed, leading to a smothering area around the column corners with a higher carpet area and reduced finishing cost.
*Environment friendly: Tubular construction is also more environmentally friendly. Because the modules are manufactured off-site, there is less disturbance and fewer emissions from on-site machinery. Also, tubular structures can be recycled and reused with maximum monetary returns (as per industry standards) even after years of use. There is 30% less Co2 emission as there is no on ground fabrication or welding. Also to add to that there is lesser ground water consumption compared to conventional processes.
*High tensile strength: Tubular structure has a high tensile strength and does not readily break. In other words, it can successfully withstand both external and internal stress. Uneven construction design, faulty alignment, an inadequate cover, or repeated temperature highs and lows might cause this stress.
Tubular structures are aesthetically more pleasant in appearance. It has a smoother surface, is easier to paint and needs no shuttering because of its perfect square shape.
How has tubular process revolutionized construction industry:
*Tubular construction is well-suited for all structures like PEB sheds, hospital buildings, schools, railway stations, data centers etc. Using prefabricated tubes makes the construction process faster and more efficient while ensuring the strength and stability of the structure.
*It can also be used in the construction of bridges and tunnels. Prefabricated tubes can be used to create the structural supports and foundations of these structures, making the construction process faster and more cost-effective.
*It can also be used to construct residential buildings like apartments and condominiums. Using prefabricated tubes allows for greater customization of building designs, making it possible to create unique and innovative structures.
*Steel tubular construction projects are completed faster. Tubular steel also makes structural manufacture and assembly easier. The high carpet area and lower steel consumption reduce project costs as well. Tubular building projects may provide a modern and visually appealing look while allowing for larger structures with clearer heights.
*The tubular structure is constructed with essential accessories and fasteners, allowing the construction industry to build any shape pipe connections while combining the structure with a standard profile building system.
Today, the construction industry is growing quickly and is expected to grow by 12% in 2023. The pace reflects the need for faster construction; lower project costs and faster & better IRR; better quality and aesthetically pleasing projects; and environment-friendly approach.
In conclusion, the tubular construction process is revolutionizing the construction industry by providing a faster, more efficient, and more sustainable method of building structures. As the demand for more innovative and eco-friendly construction methods continues to grow, tubular construction is likely to play a significant role in the future of construction. Structural steel tubes can be used in multiple & diverse project profiles like- housing, hospitals, railway stations, warehouses, data centers, and schools.
With its many benefits and increasing popularity, it is expected to become an essential part of the construction industry in the coming years.
Source Credits: Construction Week
Artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled construction start-ups have raised more venture capital investment in the last three years than AI-enabled fintech start-ups, according to a new report.
Demand for AI-enabled start-ups deploying technologies for the Built World is soaring globally, with start-ups raising a collective $12.3bn in the last three years, according to a new report by construction technology venture capital firm A/O PropTech.
The report found that AI-enabled construction start-ups raised as much as the fintech sector in 2022, demonstrating the appetite from investors for companies developing technologies including machine learning and computer vision to make building construction, management and transactions smarter and more efficient.
Construction AI start-ups in Europe and North America alone received a total of $18.6bn in venture capital funding, of which close to half was in the last two years ($8.6B). In both 2020 and 2022, AI construction venture deals overtook the fintech AI sector, reaching over 600 deals globally in 2021 alone.
Start-ups focused on construction technologies are leveraging technologies from robotics to computer vision, IoT, digital twins and generative AI, to make processes, operations and decisions more efficient, streamlined and informed.
Gregory Dewerpe, founder and CIO of A/O PropTech says that technologies like generative AI look set to cause seismic changes in a number of sectors. “When it comes to the built world, we are already seeing the adoption of generative AI applications across the entire lifecycle from design, architecture and construction to operations and management.”
However, Dewerpe warns that it is important to look at innovation in a holistic manner, and while AI has massive potential, it will require the entire construction tech stack to develop (data, transparency, automation) in order to yield game changing impact. “Broadening digitisation will be key to enable innovators to leverage generative models and other AI technologies to unlock true automation in the construction technology – which can be essential for decarbonising our buildings and cities,” adds Dewerpe.
Standard Chartered Bank and global technology major Siemens Energy have joined hands to issue the first green guarantee in Qatar.
The guarantee will be applicable for a solar power project that is expected to play a major role in the country’s national climate change action plan and also help reduce its carbon footprint while boosting energy independence.
This landmark initiative marks a significant milestone in increasing sustainable and responsible banking practices in Qatar and helps set a new standard for the industry. The green instrument is also designed to support the project’s successful completion and long-term sustainability.
Daniela Schoeppner, VP Finance Hub Middle East at Siemens Energy, said: “The road to net zero requires partnership, innovation, as well as decarbonisation. This is highlighted in the development of this innovative Green Guarantee as a trade instrument with Standard Chartered, that will support the development of an important solar power project in Qatar.”
Setting a new standard for sustainable finance in Qatar
Mohammed Salama, regional head of Corporate Commercial & Institutional Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, said: “Our sustainability-linked solution demonstrates our commitment to promoting sustainable finance and supporting renewable energy projects that contribute to a more sustainable future for all.
“Standard Chartered Bank has been a key catalyst of the sustainability agenda across our key markets through leading landmark transactions that support the sustainability objectives of market leaders such as Siemens Energy.”
Salama concluded: “This partnership between Standard Chartered Bank, Qatar, and Siemens Energy sets a new standard for sustainable finance in Qatar and serves as a template for companies and institutions looking to promote responsible and sustainable finance practices.”
Source Credits: Construction Week Middle East
According to a recent market research report by Persistence Market Research, the global Precast Concrete Market was valued at $105.48 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $158.97 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 6.97% during the forecast period. The increasing demand for precast concrete in the construction industry, the growth of the infrastructure sector, and the rising popularity of green buildings are some of the major factors driving the growth of the precast concrete market.
The precast concrete market has seen significant growth over the past few years due to the increasing demand for precast construction in various applications. Precast concrete is a construction material produced by casting concrete in a reusable mold or form, which is then cured in a controlled environment and transported to the construction site for installation. Precast concrete is widely used in building construction, infrastructure projects, and transportation construction. This report aims to analyze the global precast concrete market, including market size, growth drivers, challenges, and trends.
The precast concrete market is expected to witness significant growth due to several factors, such as:
Despite the many benefits of precast concrete, there are several challenges that the industry faces, such as:
The precast concrete market is witnessing several trends that are shaping its growth, such as: