GDVC/Alstom Consortium wins $2.7bn Contract for Lusail Light Rail Transit Project, Qatar
A consortium consisting of QDVC (a 51 percent Qatari Diar, 49 percent Vinci Construction Grands Projets subsidiary) and Alstom has been awarded a $2.7bn contract for the last phase of the Lusail Light Rail Transit (LRT) project in Qatar by Qatar Railways.
The new contract was signed in Paris on 23 June 2014 at a ceremony attended by François Hollande, President of the French Republic, and His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, during his official visit to France.
Alstom’s share of the works is worth just over $1bn, including delivery of 35 trains along with power supply equipment, signalling, control systems and trackworks, while that of QDVC comprises construction of 25 stations and a depot, architectural and electro-mechanical works packages and integrated project management.
Alstom said the 35 Citadis trams for Lusail will be 32 metres long and will offer high-end comfort to passengers, thanks to enhanced communications with passenger information and security systems both at stations and on-board.
QDVC won the first works phases for the light rail transit system (LRT) in Lusail, Qatar, in 2007 and 2011.
The light rail system is scheduled to begin operating in 2018 (yellow line) and 2020 (green, red and purple lines).
The city of Lusail, a new urban development with a population of 200,000 north of Doha, the capital of Qatar, will welcome up to 450,000 people per day. Sustainable development was a primary criterion in planning the new city. From the start, the design included the creation of a public transport system to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
QDVC completed the civil engineering works on the first phases of the infrastructure (7 km of tunnels, 7 underground and 4 above-ground stations, as well as an access viaduct to the depot) and is currently building the Pearl station, which will connect the Lusail light rail with the Doha metro system, also under construction.
In seven years, VINCI Construction Grands Projets has become, through QDVC, a major construction player in Qatar. After handing over the country's largest wastewater pumping station, the company is currently working on several projects: a new motorway on the outskirts of Doha (the New Orbital Highway), the Doha metro (southern works package of the red line) and the underground car park and landscaped gardens at the Sheraton hotel in the West Bay business district.
Construction workers urged to down tools for mental health
The construction industry is being encouraged to stop all work for one hour to focus on the importance of physical and mental health. The plea is part of the ‘Stop. Make a Change.’ (SMAC) campaign which is asking construction organisations across the country t spend an hour thinking about physical health conditions, such as respiratory health, work-related stress, as well as mental health conditions including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, OCD, and bipolar disorder.
This year, the campaign, which takes place from 11 to 22 October, will focus on individual workers, placing particular emphasis on how they have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition to encouraging workers to consider their health, safety, and wellbeing, they will also be asked how those areas can be improved
Andy Mitchell, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council, said: “Our industry workforce is crucial to all of our future successes. We recognise the heroic efforts these workers have undertaken during the pandemic, and want to make sure that, as the industry hopefully emerges from COVID-19, we continue to look after everyone’s health, safety and wellbeing.”
Around 200,000 people took part in the campaign in 2019, which has been running since 2017. SMAC’s website also offers conversation starter kits to help encourage people to talk about their emotions and wellbeing, making it as natural as possible.
Suicide rates in the construction industry are increasing
A study by Glasgow Caledonian University found suicide rates among construction workers had risen to 29 per 100,000 in 2019 from 25 in 2015. Suicide rates among labourers increased by more than 50% from 48 per 100,000 in 2015 to 73 per 100,000 in 2019. However, the rate in non-construction-related industries has fallen, with just under five people per 100,000 taking their own lives in 2019 in comparison to 7 people in 2015.
If you work in the construction industry and need help, The Lighthouse charity provides free 24-hour, seven-days-a-week emotional and wellbeing support for those in the industry through its helpline available on 0345 605 1956 in the UK, or 1800 939 122 in the Republic of Ireland.
Lighthouse also has a free app where workers can access information that can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.