Qatar's North Field expansion as well as Hamad International Airport and Hamad Port expansion projects are set to trigger billions of dollars into the construction activity and investment to drive the sector beyond 2022, according to an Oxford Business Group Covid-19 response report.

Expecting the economy to rebound this year with a 2.5% growth; the report said "upcoming expansion projects such as the North Field, Hamad International Airport and Hamad Port will drive construction activity beyond 2022."

Qatar still has a solid lineup of infrastructure and hospitality projects to prepare itself for the large influx of visitors in 2022, in addition to other large projects including the North Field expansion project, Hamad International Airport and Hamad Port, said the report made by OBG in partnership with AlJaber Engineering.

Construction has flourished in recent decades to become a key growth engine, driven by public infrastructure spending related to Qatar National Vision 2030 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it said.

As Qatar’s construction industry heads into the 2020s, there is a strong focus on what is to come beyond the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which has dominated the sector for much of the past decade, it said, adding the sector reached its peak during the 2016-19 period when a number of big-ticket projects related to the sporting event were planned and implemented.

On the North Field Expansion, it said the first stage, which is now undergoing preparation for implementation, includes contracts for associated onshore liquefaction and storage facilities, the construction of new liquefied natural gas or LNG trains, utilities and off-site facilities, a helium recovery unit, nontechnical buildings, warehouses, workshops and associated amenities.

Qatar is gearing up for a significant 64% boost in production from its North Field, from 77mn tonnes per annum (TPA) of LNG in 2019 to approximately 126mn TPA by 2027.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has created delays for the project as firms asked for more time to submit bids, once the project is back under way, the operation is set to trigger billions of dollars in construction activity and investment, and a step-change in the country’s LNG output, it said.

The energy projects and the rapid expansion of roads and urban developments helped fuel the sector’s double-digit growth in 2000-14, while the laying of new rail and metro lines, expansions to Hamad International Airport and Hamad Port, and the construction of new sports stadia and facilities have helped maintain positive performance despite fluctuating oil prices and the regional blockade, it said.

The report said there are growth opportunities in the wider region and beyond for Qatari contractors, particularly within the oil and gas market.

Osama Hadid, chief executive, AlJaber Engineering, who is interviewed in the report, said while infrastructure development will be less extensive than in the years leading up to the pandemic, oil, gas and military projects are expected to help activity pick up once again.

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