Project to safeguard Qatari commodity supplies gets finance

Partners shake over the finance deal

Qatar Islamic Bank has backed Doha-based contractor Al Jaber Engineering to construct a 530,000 square-metre “food-security” facility at Hamad Port to meet local demand for sugar, rice and cooking oil.

The deal, worth QAR1.6bn (US$440m) will be used to finance facilities used for the storage, processing and manufacturing of the commodities.

Al Jaber Engineering will be responsible for the design and construction of the new food security facility. It has been given 26 months to complete the project, said Jassim bin Saif al-Sulaiti, minister of transport and communications. 

This is the first time that these commodities will be processed in Qatar," he added.

Alongside silos and tanks, the complex will also feature infrastructure including conveyor systems warehousing and processing plants. There will also be a recycling facility that will help to turn waste products from basic commodity processing into animal feed.

The project will have weekly capacity to produce 300 tonnes of raw sugar, 600 tonnes of rice and 200 tonnes of cooking oils, said Maisar Jamil El-Qutami, project executive director at New Port Project. 

Storage facilities will hold enough of the commodities to meet demand for over two years. About 30% of the output may be exported, he said.

"As an active contributor to the country’s economic growth, we are proud to finance JEC’s food security facilities project, which is of strategic importance to the country and all the people who live and work in it,” said QIB’s chief executive, Bassel Gamal.

Qatar had invited companies to bid on the project last year, before the Saudi-led trade boycott against Qatar that began in June.

Also involved in the project are Switzerland’s Buhler, German BIA and Italy’s C.M. Bernardini, which specialises in equipment for the oil and fats industry.

Hamad Port is a US$7.4bn project which has been built 30km south of the country's capital, Doha.

The complex began full commercial operations in December last year.

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