The vast majority of building materials in the country is supplied by the Qatar Primary Materials Company (QPMC), through its Port of Umm Sa’id (Mesaieed) Terminal. In response to country’s infrastructure initiatives for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and Qatar National Vision 2030, QPMC sought to increase the throughput of gabbro at Berths 2 and 3 from 16.6 to 30 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa). Gabbro is a construction material for concrete and asphalt.
To bring this bold idea to life, Aurecon was appointed as Owner’s Project Manager and Engineer for the project. This involved the provision of design, delivery, and asset management services to develop solutions for the port. The project was delivered through an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) Contract by a consortium comprising FLSmidth and Six Construct.
Realising that a detailed understanding of the supply chain was essential to achieving the required throughput, Aurecon developed a detailed simulation model, which demonstrated how the port and stockyard could operate. Through animations and graphic illustrations, the project team highlighted the bottlenecks that would limit the port’s ability to maximise its capacity and brought the client’s focus onto resolving these issues.
Subsequently, Aurecon managed the project to install the world-class infrastructure, which included a four-lanes, in-loading conveyor system to transport bulk aggregate materials from the existing shore cranes at Berths 2 and 3 to stackers at the onshore stockyard. Truck discharge hoppers were also installed in the corridor area to receive material from Berth 1 at the barge facility.
Through its collaboration with Aurecon to solve the throughput issue, QPMC’s business model also evolved from being a port operator into an end-to-end logistics player, helping the company play its part in support of the Qatar Vision. Changes from all supply chain partners were implemented – both downstream (consignees) and upstream (quarries and shipping companies) parties.
In addition, Aurecon also provided advisory services to develop a plan that would deliver better asset utilisation to QPMC, allowing the company to maximise its return on its investment.
Following its official inauguration on 8 December 2016, the project has been lauded with multiple awards from various industry groups worldwide, including:
“A key contributor to our success was our commitment to the client’s success,” says Project Director Glen Hallahan. “By showing them other possible options to their plan that were in their best interest, we built a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. We are proud to play a key role in the development of QPMC and ultimately, Qatar.”
Controlling dust emissions was identified early by Aurecon as a significant challenge. Qatar’s environment is naturally dusty and dust storms are common. In addition, the project was being set up to use water to control dust. Aurecon considered that the combination of high levels of ambient dust and extreme temperatures mean that the use of precious desalinated is not the optimal way to manage dust emissions in Qatar.
However, with Berths 2 and 3 throughput almost doubling, dust mitigation was seen as critical to project success, both from environmental as well as operation and maintenance perspectives.
The system of conveyors transporting the gabbro from ship to stockyard removes 2 000 to 2 500 truck movements daily, without any increase to the number of berths or unloading cranes. Not only does this reduces dust and vehicular emissions, it also improves road safety and traffic congestion in the area.
The design team identified that every 0.1% of dust content in the aggregate cargo equates to 30 000 t of additional dust in the air or 1 200 trucks. With minimum cargo dust contents at 3%, control of dust emissions became critical to the project. In short, all dust inloaded from a ship must be collected through the system and delivered to the stockpiles for truck outloading to leave the terminal.
Key dust control measures implemented include the following:
At the inauguration ceremony on 8 December 2016, dignitaries were impressed with the lack of dust emissions when stacking the materials, especially the finer grades (0-5 mm). Aurecon’s mitigation measures reduced dust emissions by 78%, ensuring environmental approvals were achieved on time and setting the national benchmark for Qatar, thereby measurably improved air quality for port workers and residents of nearby Mesaieed Industrial City.