THE US$2.6bil Energy City Qatar, billed as Middle East’s first full-service business centre with cutting-edge facilities and services, moved a step closer to reality with the project’s formal launch in Doha recently.
Catering to commercial, technical and human resource needs of the oil and gas industry in the region, Energy City Qatar (ECQ) will also be home to a dedicated energy trading platform, the International Mercantile Exchange.
The launching – presided by Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah Khalifa Al Thani – was hosted by Britain’s Sir David Frost and attended by a host of key government officials and business and energy leaders from around the world.
Gulf Energy, a global consortium of energy consultants and investors, is the promoter of ECQ, which will be located in the Lusail development in Doha.
A model of the Energy City Qatar. The project caters to commercial, technical and human resource needs of the oil and gas industry.
Gulf Energy chairman Esam Janahi said while the Middle East accounted for over 60% of the world’s proven oil reserves and over 40% of the world’s natural gas reserves, the region did not have a dedicated energy business centre.
“Energy City Qatar was conceived with the central aim of filling this void and positively contributing to the economic development of Qatar and the region,” he said.
In their opening remarks, Second Deputy Minister and Energy Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, and Economy and Commerce Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Ahmed Al Thani said the establishment of ECQ would give a further boost to the already rapidly expanding Qatari economy.
Gulf Energy had last month signed a memorandum of understanding with Microsoft Corp for the development and implementation of a new generation of advanced enterprise-level solutions to form the necessary technology infrastructure for ECQ.
In a pre-recorded address, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates said Microsoft fully supported efforts to establish Qatar as a world leader in the global energy industry.
Backed by private investors, ECQ is a pioneering development that will be the Gulf’s first hydrocarbon industry hub, and a single point of access to markets and expertise.
ECQ’s lead financial advisor is Gulf Finance House and its strategic partners are Abu Dhabi Investment House and Kuwait Investment Co. Its strategic advisor is Washington, DC-based PFC Energy.
In a media briefing earlier, PFC Energy officials said they were targeting national and international oil companies, such as Brazil's deep sea drilling specialist Petrobras, to set up regional offices in ECQ.
Talks had been initiated with some companies and efforts would soon be undertaken to speak with several others, including Petroliam Nasional Bhd.
From left: Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Sheikh Abdullah Lhalifa and Esam Janahi.