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Sidra

Construction on the Sidra Medical and Research Center will commence “imminently” with two new contractors who have been tasked with completing the much-delayed hospital complex, Qatar Foundation has announced.

QF, which is funding Sidra with a $7.9 billion endowment, has signed on local construction company Midmac W.L.L., which will operate under a joint venture with Consolidated Contractors Group S.A.L. (Offshore) (CCC).

Texas A&M at Qatar

Alexander Cheek/Flickr

Texas A&M University at Qatar

Midmac has worked with QF before, helping to construct Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar, Texas A&M College of Engineering at Qatar and the Liberal Arts & Science Building.

It also has its hands in several upcoming projects around Qatar, including hospitals, stadiums and roadworks.

Midmac was also the main contractor on a bridge collapse accident in the under-construction Lusail City in 2012, which injured 18 men.

The company did not comment on that accident, but the Guardian reported weeks later that Lusail construction workers had complained about working and living conditions.

Meanwhile, Greece-based CCC is the largest construction company in the Middle East, and its former projects include the Dubai Mall and LNG plants in Qatar.

Lawsuit

The new contractors have been brought in days after QF sacked Spanish firm OHL and Contrack International.

In an official letter to the London Stock Exchange this week, publicly listed OHL said QF was claiming the project was late and that the contractors missed their deadlines.

The original JV had entered a $2.4 million agreement with QF in 2008, with plans to open the complex in 2011. That date has been pushed back many times.

In May, Sidra officials backtracked on the most recently proposed timeline of a 2015 opening, saying they were still waiting for construction to be completed.

However, OHL disputes that it was behind schedule and has said it plans to sue QF over what happened.

In a statement sent last night, QF did not discuss the impending lawsuit. Going forward, it said:

“The MIDMAC/CCC Joint Venture expects to commence its operations imminently, and hopes to employ a number of sub-contractors previously engaged by the OHL/Contrack Joint Venture, thereby preserving the knowledge of the Sidra facilities and expertise which has been accumulated thus far.

Sidra, located in Education City, Doha, is of considerable strategic importance for the people of Qatar, as the nation continues its journey towards the realisation of a knowledge economy. The facility has three essential missions: world-class patient care, medical education, and biomedical research, and aims to be a regional leader in both the provision of, and innovation behind, the highest quality of healthcare.”

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Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that CCC is headquartered in Greece, not Jordan.