Hamad Port has succeeded in breaking the siege imposed on Qatar since June 5 with the opening of five new shipping lines under the direction of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and in co-operation with partners such as Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), Maersk Company and Qatar Navigation Company – Milaha, said Captain Abdul Aziz al-Yafei, director, Hamad Port.
In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Captain al-Yafei said that Hamad Port's new lines connect directly to several ports in the region and beyond such as Sohar and Salalah in Oman, Mundra and Nhava Sheva in India, Izmir in Turkey and other ports served by these international companies from all over the world.
He pointed out that Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani Qatar) received in the first half of this year up to 470,000 tonnes of general cargo and about 407,000 heads of livestock, in addition to 449,000 tonnes of gabbro and building materials.
He added that Mwani Qatar is currently working to expand the direct maritime lines and connect Hamad Port to other ports around the world, which will contribute to the provision of stocks of materials and commodities, especially after the New Port Project (NPP) steering committee signed a contract for designing and constructing food security facilities and warehouses at Hamad Port.
Phase one of the project will be completed after 26 months and will consist of specialised facilities for the processing, manufacturing, and refining of rice, raw sugar, and edible oils. These products will be available for local, regional and global use and will provide food for 3mn people over two and a half years.
Mwani Qatar, as the operator of Hamad Port, is working on a strategic plan to provide a stable supply chain platform for the local market and the Qatari economy over the long term, Captain al-Yafei said.
In order to ensure that the growing needs of the local market are met on the one hand, and to establish Hamad Port as a vital commercial centre in the region on the other hand, the company seeks to build strong partnerships with all shipping companies around the world.
Hamad Port currently accounts for 20% of the trade in the Middle East. The port receives all kinds of commercial vessels such as container ships, car ships, grain and steel carriers and rolling ships, including livestock vessels in addition to general cargo ships of all kinds.
Hamad Port was opened in December 2016. It is the vital nerve of Qatar's trade with the world, the largest of its kind in the Middle East, and has the capacity to accommodate the largest vessels of all types and vessels of various sizes and weights.
Located in the southern city of Mesaieed, it covers an area of 26sq km, with a capacity of 6mn containers per year.
The port consists of several terminals with different capacity, including a general cargo and grain terminal, car receiving station, cattle station, coastal security ship station and marine support station.
It also includes a customs inspection area, control tower with a length of 110m, vessel inspection platform and multiple naval facilities, warehouses and administrative buildings necessary to operate the port, as well as other facilities such as restrooms, medical facilities and mosques.
In 2016, the port received "largest smart and environment-friendly project in the region" award at the Seatrade Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa Awards 2016.