Qatar signs nearly QR6bn contracts for transformation to eco-friendly vehicles

Doha: To implement the electric vehicle strategy prepared by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) for adoption of clean energy mass transit and transformation to eco-friendly vehicles, a number of contracts with an approximate value of QR6bn were signed yesterday.

Prime Minister and Minister of Interior H E Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani witnessed the signing of contracts to implement the transformation to environmentally-friendly vehicles.

The different contracts signed among different parties including Mowasalat (Karwa), Chinese companies (Yutong, Higer), Ashghal, Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA), Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) are for electric buses’ purchase, establishment of electric bus production plant, development of electric bus stations and depots.

Under the contracts and within the framework of implementing the electric vehicle strategy prepared by the Ministry of Transport and Communications in cooperation with the concerned authorities, electric buses will be provided and the infrastructure for them will be developed, such as stations, warehouses and parking lots.

Talking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of contracts signing ceremony, Minister of Transport and Communications H E Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti said: “We are signing approximately QR6bn deals for buses, infrastructure and (for transforming) whole transportation sector. Buses are just part of the whole project. We are going to realise what we put in the strategy.  From 2021, we are going to adopt clean energy mass transit. For electric cars too we are working with partners like Kahramaa to establish electric charging stations on roads.”

In a statement, H E the Minister said that such steps would enhance Qatar’s ranking as a pioneer in the area of clean energy mass transit, becoming one of the very first countries in the world having an integrated electric bus system, in addition to boosting the potential value of the legacy of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 bus system for creating a positive legacy.

“It clearly demonstrates Qatar is committed to deploying global clean energy solutions on transportation and determined to host an exceptional, eco-friendly, carbon-neutral championship,” he noted.

Mowasalat (Karwa) signed two contracts to purchase buses to put in service during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. One contract was signed with Yutong for 741 electric buses and 261 diesel buses and the second with Higer to purchase 1,815 diesel buses which are powered by the new eco-friendly diesel.

The SC also signed a contract with Karwa for providing operational services for such buses and their facilities, in addition to providing the smart technology and techniques to manage the bus fleet. Additionally, the contract stipulates the provision of all safety and security requirements, essential transportation plans and necessary consultation services. These contracts are estimated at nearly QR3.7bn.

QFZA signed a multilateral framework agreement with Yutong and Mowasalat to manufacture electric-buses (e-buses) in Umm AlHoul Free Zone, with the first e-buses produced for the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022.

Ashghal signed 11 new contracts worth QR2bn with different Qatari companies for building bus stations and bus depots, as part of the public bus infrastructure program.

The new bus stations and bus depots program implemented by the Buildings Projects Department of Ashghal includes building 8 main bus stations in West Bay, Musheireb, Industrial Area, Al Soudan, Al Gharrafa, Education City, Al Wakra and Lusail, with average capacity of 25 buses in each of the stations.

The contracts also include building 4 huge bus depots in Lusail, Al Rayyan, Industrial Area and Al Wakra, and the area of each depot ranges from 129,000 sqm to 190,000 sqm. Within these contracts, Ashghal will also build 2700 bus stops on all major roads, to serve thousands of passengers in many areas to use public buses. These bus stops with air-conditioned cabins will facilitate for passengers to wait inside and prevent effects of bare sunlight and humidity.

Dr. Eng. Saad bin Ahmed Al Muhannadi, President of Ashghal, confirmed that Ashghal has signed 11 new contracts worth of QR2bn for building bus stations and warehouses. Ashghal President also clarified that these contracts are entrusted to Qatari companies within the framework of government’s directives to support national companies and the assigned companies have proven efficiency in implementing works entrusted to them recently.

Secretary-General of the SC, Hassan Al Thawadi, said the gradual and full transformation to an electric bus system is a significant development with regards to transportation strategies for the FIFA World Cup 2022 as the SC endeavors to provide sustainable, economical, eco-friendly transit solutions during the championship.

Fahad Saad Al Qahtani, Mowasalat (Karwa) CEO, said: “Qatar’s transport sector is witnessing a breakthrough in preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2022. Mowasalat (Karwa) provides modern, comfortable and eco-friendly solutions using the latest technology for a first-class mobility infrastructure. We are currently purchasing 3000 new buses for the FIFA World Cup 2022, which will then be added to the company’s fleet to build a legacy for the public and school transport.” 

Al Qahtani told The Peninsula that by Qatar 2022, 25% buses in Qatar will be electric while by 2030 all public transport buses in the country will be electric.

As seen on Peninsula Qatar  Image Credits Peninsula Qatar