Construction & Real Estate
Port awards wharves contract to Jacobs Engineering
The Port of Houston Authority Commission has approved a professional services contract with Jacobs Engineering Group for the rehabilitation of wharves 1 and 2 at Barbours Cut Container Terminal, among a host of matters decided during the Port Commission’s regular meeting. The contract involves upgrading the existing wharves to support larger wharf cranes to meet future needs for larger ships serving the region. Jacobs Engineering will assist in the planning and permitting, complete the design and prepare plans and specifications for construction. Additional geotechnical, surveying and environmental tasks may be included in the scope of work. Interim Executive Director Leonard D. Waterworth said January was a strong month with total tonnage up 27 percent at Port Authority facilities, driven by an increase in steel of 235,000 tons, or 97 percent, and growth in container tonnage of 111,000 tons, or eight percent.
Source: Deer Park News
LEO A DALY opens new office in Riyadh
LEO A DALY has celebrated the opening of its second office in the Middle East. Located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the latest office will be headed by regional manager Jay N. Kline and specialize in infrastructure, housing, healthcare and education projects. Prior to this exciting venture, Kline concentrated on a number of federal schemes, working for clients such as the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Executive Vice President of international firm LEO A DALY, Charles Dalluge, explains the reasons behind the new opening: “Saudi Arabia is a fast-growing economy and is investing in its infrastructure, hospitals and universities. We have worked with Saudi clients on a diverse portfolio of large-scale projects since the 1970s and we believe opening this regional office will help us play a significant role in fulfilling the country’s needs.”
Source: World Architecture News
GCC cement sector grows 14%
Revenues of GCC cement companies increased to $4.6 billion in 2011 from $4.0 billion in the previous year, a 14.2 per cent rise, a report said. Net profits increased from $1.44 billion in 2010 to $1.477 billion in 2011, said a report in Arab News, quoting Global Investment House (Global) research. Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE and Kuwait reported an increase in sales during 2011, while Qatar saw a decline, the report said. The UAE, which witnessed decline in sales revenue since 2008, enjoyed a 5.9 percent increase in sales to reach $940 million. Oman saw a 12.8 percent increase in sales revenue, Kuwait a 5.4 percent increase and Saudi Arabia posted a healthy 22.6 percent increase. Cement prices in the GCC averaged around $64.9 per ton in 2011, as compared to $68.3 per ton in 2010, a 4.9 percent decrease, it said. The construction industry in the Saudi Arabia is estimated to grow from the $36.5 billion contract awards value in 2011 to close to $43.8 billion by 2013, the report said. According to Saudi government officials, the Kingdom will spend an estimated $400 billion on large infrastructure projects over the next five years.
Construction sector – Robust growth in the coming years in Oman
With an increase in both government and private sector spending as a series of new infrastructure, tourism and social services projects are rolled out, Oman’s construction sector is set to experience robust growth in the coming years. The sheer scale of the building program, however, could test the capacity of the industry, Global Arab Network reports according to OBG. The Omani government is set to invest up to $10bn in 2012 in construction work, which represents a 23% increase on the total outlay for 2011, according to Abdullah Bin Rashid Al Kiyumi, director-general of projects at the Ministry of Housing. Al Kiyumi told delegates attending a summit on construction at the end of January that this increased spending is a reflection of the importance of the industry to the national economy. “Spending will continue apace on a wide array of infrastructure projects, such as roads, ports, airports, water supply schemes, sewerage treatment plants, real estate projects and dozens of schools and hospitals. Construction of the OR1bn ($2.6bn) Batinah Expressway project will get underway as well, while private sector investment in tourism and leisure-related ventures is envisaged in a major way,” he said. While some of the projected $10bn construction expenditure was previously announced in last year’s budget and represents longer-term developments, the 2012 budget, released in early January, provided funding for more than $4bn worth of new developments, including 29 schools, five hospitals and extensive waterworks projects. According to a late 2011 report by industry consultancy Ventures Middle East, more than $27bn is expected to flow into the Omani construction sector over the next three years, with the investments spread among housing, commercial, hospitality and infrastructure projects. Real estate analysts Cluttons have estimated that retail space in Oman will increase by more than 30% by the middle of 2013. In addition, more than 2000 new hotel rooms are under construction in Muscat, which will add almost 50% to the existing accommodation stock in the capital. Indeed, tourism will continue to play a major role in boosting the construction industry for the rest of this decade at a minimum, with the Ministry of Tourism projecting visitor numbers will increase from 1.6m in 2011 to 12m by 2020. This will necessitate a steady stream of hotels, resorts, entertainment facilities and retail space. Infrastructure developments are another pillar supporting the industry. Both the state and private sector will invest heavily in new power production and transmission capacity over the next five years to meet rising demand for electricity and desalinated water. The government’s push to expand industrial capacity will be key to the sector’s medium-term growth, with the Duqm Development the centerpiece. The multi-billion-dollar center on the Arabian Sea coast will be home to a massive port and dry dock complex, a large-scale industrial zone, tourism facilities and residential areas. It is not just the state that will be fuelling construction growth. The private sector is increasing its building spend. In late February, for example, the Abu Dhabi-based construction company Ghantoot Group announced it would be investing $500m in new projects in Oman, ranging from power stations to tourism facilities. There can be no doubt that the jump in spending will be a bonanza for the construction industry, though there is a question as to whether the increased flow of investments could be too much of a good thing. The sheer scale of the demands to be put on the industry in 2012 and the years beyond will test the capacity of Oman’s construction companies to keep such a broad range of projects on schedule. This strong demand could also see an increase in costs, with both skilled labor and materials being at a premium. As construction gains momentum in other Gulf states as well – most notably in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are allocating billions to new building developments – this year and beyond could see wage and materials increase, and supply could struggle to meet heightened demand across the region. Despite the pressure to keep developing projects on track, and facing the risk of rising costs, Oman’s construction industry should be well placed to enjoy a period of sustained, though possibly hectic, growth in the coming years.
Source: Oxford business Group
Qatar plans to award three tenders for $7.4 billion port
Qatar plans to award three tenders this year for the construction of the country’s new QR27bn ($7.4bn) port, the state-run Qatar News Agency said, citing Nabil Al-Bouenain, executive director of the New Port Project. A total of QR8.5bn has been spent so far on 15 separate projects, the news agency said, citing Al-Bouenain. About 17 contracts will be issued in the coming years before the port is completed in 2016, QNA said. Referring to the cost of the port project, he said: "I don't think the cost will increase, we hope it will decline, but we are committed to achieving it according to the highest international standards." He added that the two major concluded contracts so far were a QR3.2bn deal with China Harbor, and a second worth QR4.5bn with Middle East Dredging Company (MEDCO). Infrastructure projects will be exclusively awarded to Qatari firms. In case of a foreign partner, the Qatari side's share must not be less than 51 percent, Al-Bouenain said. For equipment projects and marine projects, they will be subject to competition with foreign companies due to the lack of local manufacturing of some of the equipment, he added.
Source: Arabian Business