Qatar is expected to pump billions into projects this year, according to reports.
Qatar is anticipated to award some $31 billion worth of projects this year, according to asset management firm, Kamco, following a successful first quarter largely due to major $13 billion gas expansion contracts.
In the first quarter of 2021, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) witnessed an incline in project awards reaching $26.3bn, more than double than that of last year’s fourth quarter.
“The growth came mainly on the back of a quarter-on-quarter increase in project awards in Qatar and Kuwait, while the rest of the GCC countries reported declines,” Kamco’s report stipulated.
Out of $26.3 billion projects awarded in the region, the gas sector saw as much as $17.83 billion, followed by construction $3.18 billion, power $1.61 billion, transport $1.57 billion, water $1.28 billion, oil $0.61 billion and industrials $0.22 billion.
When compared to Q1 of last year, “only Qatar reported a growth in project awards that resulted in a smaller decline at the aggregate GCC level at 3.5%. The higher number for Qatar mainly reflects the $13bn award for the Qatargas – LNG processing trains project,” the report added.
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According to MEED Projects, $114 billion worth of GCC contracts is anticipated to be awarded during 2021, which is more than triple the size of contract awards last year and double those of 2019.
“The significant increase is expected to come from pending projects from last year as well as an acceleration of diversification efforts in the GCC,” Kamco said.
The firm noted that the increasing pace of vaccinations in the region and the gradual easing of Covid-19 related restrictions are expected to further boost business confidence and encourage investment in new projects.
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia is anticipated to be the biggest market for new contract awards of $35 billion by the end of 2021, followed by Qatar and the UAE at about $31 billion and $28 billion, respectively.
Additionally, Oman is expected to follow at slightly over $10bn while Kuwait comes at about $9bn in new projects.
Meanwhile, about $1.7tn worth of projects is under the design stage followed by $408bn in the study phase.
The report said that the value of projects planned and under execution in the region is still at $1.7tn since 2017.
“The full year is expected to be promising in terms of project market activity in the GCC,” it added.