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Construction work has officially begun on the first phase of the US$7 billion New Doha Port in Mesaieed, with the foundation stone being laid by Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Crown Prince of Qatar.
The project is set to be completed in 2016. The port will be completed in three phases. The second phase will start in 2020 while the third is scheduled in 2030, Qatari officials said.
Upon completion, the 26.5 sq-km Doha Port will have a cargo handling capacity of six million TEUs, which is around 14 times its current capacity.
The economic zones being set up and growth of the Mesaieed Industrial City, around 40km south of Doha, will stand to benefit from the port project.
Qatar Civil Aviation Authority chairman and head of the project's steering committee, Abdul Aziz Mohammad Al Nuaimi, said the first phase of the project will include the digging of a canal, building of 2.7-km wave breakers and removal of three million cu/m of rock and sand.
Al Nuaimi said local companies would participate in carrying out more than 50 per cent of the 21 projects at the port that would create 20,000 jobs.
At the stone-laying ceremony, Al Nuaimi quoted Qatari Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani as saying that comprehensive development of the country was the key to achieving progress and prosperity for citizens.
There are also plans to link the port and the New Doha International Airport by rail, the project manager Nabeel Al Buainain said.