The New Port Project in Doha, Qatar, is an ambitious development spanning a 26.5 square kilometre area that will result in a world-class greenfield port facility incorporating the new port, a new base for the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces, and the Qatar Economic Zone 3 Canal.
Balancing development with protection of the environment is a key concern for the New Port and construction is taking place with environmental preservation paramount; multiple simulation studies, physical modelling, geotechnical and metoceanic analysis and in-depth environmental studies have been undertaken in order to facilitate a responsible implementation of the project.
Middle East Dredging Company (Q.S.C) commenced dredging of the Access Channel and the Naval Base reclamation works in February 2013, following the required environmental relocation and preservation works involving the transfer of seagrass, mangroves and corals from the Naval Base area to protected areas.
To fulfil the environmental monitoring requirements, all dredging operations being undertaken by contractors MEDCo are being constantly monitored by a network of buoys provided by UK based OSIL. The buoys are continually monitoring a variety of water quality parameters including turbidity and dissolved oxygen.
Cutter suction dredgers (including two of the world’s largest, CSD D’Artagnan & CSD J.F.J. De Nul) are excavating soil and rocks from the seabed to a depth of 15 metres and an output up to 60,000m3 per day to create the 10km long access channel for the Port and the Navy Base.
The dredged material is pumped to stilling basins to the north of the project via 80kms of pipeline, where it is processed prior to re-entering the sea as environmentally compliant outflow, or being used as reclamation fill for the creation of the new 4.5km2 offshore Naval Base. A total volume of 23,000,000m³ will be dredged.
Ocean Scientific International Ltd (OSIL) have provided the project with a network of 1.2m Shearwater buoys for permanent monitoring of outflows, and a large number of smaller, networked 0.7m mobile Dredge buoys, that can be easily re-located to follow daily dredging activity. Data from the buoys is relayed via VHF radio, as this was the only available option at the start of the project.