Village for 10,000 construction workers

FOUNDATION STONE: Qatar's Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani marked the laying of the foundation stone for Qatalum by

"The Construction Village" to be built in conjunction with the Qatalum project is going to be big, very big. The site, at Mesaieed Industrial Park in Qatar, is a massive 490,000 square meters - about the size of 70 football fields - and will accommodate as many as 10 000 workers​

​​​​FOUNDATION STONE: Qatar's Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani marked the laying of the foundation stone for Qatalum by joining two aluminium blocks together to form a single block, as a symbol of the cooperation between Hydro and Qatar Petroleum

A village to house up to 10,000 construction workers for the Qatalum project is being constructed in Qatar.

 Senior engineer Erik Bjørlin of Hydro Production Partner has been working on the village project for some time now. He says that the main characteristics of the village have now been finalized.​

Culture differences

"We're aiming for a higher standard than is normal in this area. What is important is that those living here will enjoy the village," says Bjørlin. "We don't know as yet which countries the construction workers will be coming from, but we are expecting many from Asia. In all, there could be as many as 20 different nationalities represented here," he says.

"We want to avoid dissatisfaction. We have seen some poor examples in other areas and want to distance ourselves from those. We are expecting cultural differences and we don't want any unpleasant situations to arise."

Today there is only the sand and stones of what will later be "The Construction Village". But soon, the location will be filled-in and planned. The construction of infrastructure such as roads, water supply, sewage, electricity and the foundations etc is due to start in the middle of July 2007. Much has to be done before the main contractor, Canadian SNC-Lavalin International, Montréal, begins construction of the actual accommodation units. People should however, start moving in by November 1.

As big as...​

The new Qatalum village will accommodate as many as 9,978 workers and is for males only. According to custom, the women will be accommodated in another area. You could compare it to Norway's Sunndal municipal with a population of 7.300, the construction village "Håsbyen" built for the development of Hydro's aluminium plant at Sunndalsøra, could accommodate 650.

The distance from the village to Mesaieed – the nearest town, where the Norwegian project team will live – is about three kilometers. The population of Mesaieed is about 8,000.

Over 400 accommodation units

A total of 441 accommodation units and a number of community areas will be built in the village. A mosque will be constructed at the centre of the complex with a number of accommodation plots around it. Each plot will have two canteens with food supplied from one large central kitchen located at another part of the village. The village will also have its own mini-market.

A number of community areas such as a football field have been planned but facilities available will depend on which nationalities live in the village; which means there may be more darts and polo than tennis and football.

Community services

The actual running of the village will involve a lot of community services and logistics. Who and how many will actually run the village, and where they will come from, has not yet been decided. The camp is fenced-in with one main entrance. Electricity is supplied on location by diesel generators enabling the camp to be independent of external supplied electricity. Water will be piped-in to four large storage tanks. Used water will be treated within the village. An area has been set aside for a hospital with professional medical personnel. Nearby, a fire station, laundrette and work shop will be erected.

Cars are not allowed in the village, except for delivery vehicles. Transport around the village will be provided by an internal bus service. Busses will be provided to transport workers to the new aluminium plant construction area. There will be 106 parking places for busses scattered around the village.

Logistics in many areas will be a challenge at Qatalum.