Interview: Nasser bin Ali Al Mawlawi

How do you assess the overall progress to date of Qatar’s Expressway Programme?

NASSER BIN ALI AL MAWLAWI: Steady progress has been made on the Expressway Programme, which will link cities across Qatar. It includes more than 30 major projects with 240 interchanges, approximately 1000 km of new roads and an array of underpasses, flyovers and multi-level interchanges worth an estimated QR49.8bn ($13.7bn). In 2015, Ashghal made significant progress in the implementation of several expressway projects already under construction, namely the first phase of the Al Rayyan Road Upgrade Project, the New Orbital Highway and Truck Route, the East-West Corridor and the Wakrah Bypass. Some major projects such as the F Ring Road, Lehwaila Link Road and East Industrial Road have already been opened to traffic. The authority has completed the construction of the Salwa Road project, forming part of a strategic corridor between Doha and the Saudi border.

Where does the Inner Doha Re-Sewerage Implementation Strategy (IDRIS) stand at present?

AL MAWLAWI: IDRIS is Ashghal’s comprehensive drainage programme, and is being developed to accommodate the projected population growth of an additional 1m people in Doha’s oldest areas, the south catchment. IDRIS includes major works for the construction of approximately 65 km of lateral interceptor sewers to connect the existing drainage network to a new main trunk sewer, which is approximately 45 km in length and up to 60 metres deep.

The programme will also include the construction of a terminal pump station, in addition to the construction of the new Doha South advanced sewage treatment works, which will have an initial capacity of 500,000 cu metres per day.

In May 2015 Ashghal awarded three contracts for the construction of the IDRIS main trunk sewer, and in September 2015 two more contracts were awarded for the construction of the lateral interceptor sewers, with one further lateral contract expected to be awarded at the beginning of 2016. Two further contracts are expected to be awarded in mid-2016 for the terminal pumping station and the New Doha South Sewage Treatment Works.

Studies are now under way to develop a future scheme to allow the bulk transfer of recycled water to the west and north of Doha should the demand for recycled water also increase in these areas. Enabling works are currently under way on-site, and we are expecting construction activities to gain momentum in 2016. The expected commissioning date for all works under the IDRIS programme is mid-2021.

What is the master plan for the delivery of the state’s public buildings programme in 2016?

AL MAWLAWI: Ashghal’s building master plan continues to focus on implementing extensive public buildings projects covering a broad range of sectors including health care, education and a general sector covering municipal and recreational facilities. At the start of the new academic year, Ashghal handed over 22 schools and 11 kindergartens in Doha and surrounding areas. The authority has signed contracts with a number of Qatari companies to build 17 new schools and six kindergartens with a total value estimated at QR1.2bn ($329.3m). In the health care sector, Ashghal completed the construction of Al Ghuwairiya, Al Karaana, and Leabaib Health Centres, which are the first of their kind to open in Qatar. The authority plans to complete an additional eight health centres spread throughout the country in 2016. Some of our general sector projects currently under construction include a comprehensive Aquatic & Fisheries Research Centre, Coast Guard security headquarters and wastewater separation plant, which are also expected to be completed in 2016.