Qatar to build sugar storage facilities in light of regional trade ban

Published: 07/17/2017, 3:59:18 PM

Qatar will spend QAR1.6 billion (US$431 million) to build a food-processing and storage facility near Hamad Port in about two years that will more than meet local demand for sugar, rice and cooking oil, according to Bloomberg.

Doha-based Al Jaber Engineering won the contract and has 26 months to design and build the project for the nation's food security, Jassim bin Saif al-Sulaiti, minister of transport and communications, told reporters Sunday in Doha. Qatar invited companies to bid on the project last year, before the Saudi-led trade boycott against Qatar that began in June.

Some 38% of Qatar's food used to come through Saudi Arabia, according to Mazen Al-Sudairi, head of research at Al Rajhi Capital.

"This is the first time that these commodities will be processed in Qatar," al-Sulaiti said.

The project will have weekly capacity to produce 300,000 kilograms (300 metric tonnes) of raw sugar, 600,000 kilograms of rice and 200,000 kilograms of cooking oils, enough to meet domestic demand for 2 years, said Maisar Jamil El-Qutami, project executive director at New Port Project, the government body developing the facility near Hamad Port, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Doha. Some production will be used in animal feed, and about 30% of the output may be exported, he said.