Qatar Rail has announced that its Doha Metro project is the recipient of the ITA Awards 2017 for ‘Major Project of the Year’.

The Doha Metro project was nominated under ‘Major Project of the Year -- Over €500 Million’ category and won the award after being shortlisted alongside the Confederation LRT Line in Canada, Delhi Metro Line 3 in India and Tehran Metro Line 6 in Iran.

The ITA awards are considered the highest award in the world in the field of tunnelling and underground projects, Qatar Rail has said in a press statement.

The ITA (International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association), which has 74 member-nations, handed over the coveted award for projects worth over €500mn to Qatar after its panel of 17 international judges cast their votes.

International experts from China, South Korea, France, Canada, Singapore Finland, Brazil Norway, Germany, Australia, Denmark and Switzerland deliberated over the four finalists and ultimately deciding on Qatar in a secret ballot. The Doha Metro’s scale, tight delivery time-frame and technical complexity, among other factors, where taken into consideration, the statement noted.

Abdulla Abdulaziz T al-Subaie, managing director and CEO of Qatar Rail, said: “We are now in the most critical phase of our construction programme; ongoing works include the installation of track work and railway systems, mechanical and electrical plant and equipment and architectural fit-out of stations. We are also preparing for operational readiness and commencement of revenue service.

“I am very pleased that our project has been recognised by the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association. This is symbolic of the significant progress that we have accomplished despite major challenges.”

Instituted in 2015, the ITA Tunnelling Awards recognise the most ground-breaking international innovation and outstanding projects in tunnelling and underground space utilisation. The awards ceremony was held in Paris recently on the completion of the French Underground Spaces conference, which was attended by more than 5,000 participants.

Doha Metro joins the ranks of the UN’s most-awarded mega-projects of the world, including the tunnels of the 32,690km Tibet railway in China and the Eurasia tunnel project in Turkey (linking Asia and Europe under the Bosphorus in Turkey).

70% completion

The overall completion of Doha Metro currently stands at 70%, Qatar Rail has said in a statement.

Qatar Rail had completed, on September 25, all tunnelling on the Doha Metro project with the final breakthrough taking place at Terminal One of Hamad International Airport. The first tunnel boring machines (TBM) started tunnelling in July 2014 and the final, 111th kilometre was crossed by TBM ‘Msheireb’ on the southern part of the Red Line.

In order to achieve 100% of tunnelling for the Doha Metro project, 470,497 concrete segments were required to produce 70,071 tunnel rings to make the 111km of tunnels.

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