With the World Cup 2022 approaching, Qatar is gearing up for welcoming over one million visitors and is expected to spend up to $200 billion on new infrastructure in preparation for the prestigious soccer event.
Out of this budget, $36 billion is dedicated towards the Doha Metro Project which is expected to offer 600,000 passenger trips per day by 2021. By then, 37 metro stations are expected to be ready, with an average journey time of three minutes between stations.
However, with Qatar Railways Company’s recent decision to terminate its railway stations construction contract with an international consortium, the question of whether the deadline will be met has put people on the edge.
The consortium, comprising South Korea’s Samsung C&T, Spanish company Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) and Qatar Building Company, had won the $1.4 billion contract to build two stations, as part of the Doha Metro project.
It will be replaced by Consolidated Contractors (CCC) which was appointed by Qatar Rail to continue with the project and will take over the contract.
Samsung C&T held a 50% stake in the consortium, with OHL and Qatar Building taking 30% and 20% respectively.
OHL reportedly said it had recently received notification from Qatar Rail that its contract had been terminated, in which it cited “non-compliance of certain contractual obligations”.
Qatar Rail said it “was doing all it could to minimize any delays and risks to this part of the Doha Metro project.”
It added: “Work will continue on the major stations project sites as planned and discussions are underway with the subcontractors to ensure continuity. Qatar Rail stated that it will take every step to protect its rights and believes that its decision was made on solid contractual grounds.”
Qatar Rail also announced that the project is right on track and will not experience any delays with around 90% of the tunneling activity being completed and the overall Doha Metro project nearing 40% completion.