By Nasser Al Harthy
DOHA: Works on the Light Rail Transit System (LRT) at Lusail are going full speed ahead with close to three of the four kilometres of tunnels to be built in the current phase already completed, but Qatar Diar Vinci Construction (QDVC), the builder of Qatar’s first railway transport system is taking major initiatives to tackle the environmental challenges involved.
The LRT includes four light rail operation lines, 7 underground stations in addition to 22 at grade stations, 6.6km underground plus 18km at grade, one viaduct and a station over Al Khor Highway, a depot, operation and maintenance workshop.
During a site tour organised by QDVC for the media, the tour group guided by Philippe Tavernier, Project Manager of LRT visited the pilot state-of-the art waste water treatment system and took stops along the journey for additional briefings on key milestones of the project and environmental priorities set by QDVC such as sedimentation and waste disposal.
For instance, some 230,000 litre per day of water is pumped during excavation works which is an indication of the challenges that they pose.
On the water recycling system, Tavernier says, “This is not a new system but it is very rare to implement such a system on a site installation. What is new is that we are starting on a temporary basis in the construction facilities on the project.”
He said that the system helps save water and what is more no more polluted water is discharged in the sewage system. “For the time being the tanks are very small, but they will grow and in a year or so you will see them a lot bigger and it has demonstrated that it is working and the resulting clean water can be reused in lavatories,” he said, adding that the system will be eventually applied on other QDVC sites.
The Quality Health Safety and Environment (QHSE) team of LRT created a closed water circuit with filters to re-use the water and clean the engines and equipment with it. Moreover, no polluted water is released to the environment with this system.
Besides, QDVC inked agreements with local companies for paper, cardboard and plastic recycling; and partners Qtel for the electrical and electronic waste collection. A dedicated trained team is segregating the waste in the suitable collection points, because a worksite like the one at Lusail generates several types of waste, especially in plastic packaging.
“The hardest thing to get rid of is plastics, so we segregate them to keep the absolute minimum amount of any particular waste stream for good environmental reasons, but we also segregate them for good financial reasons as well,” said Neil Smith from the QHSE.
Another official from the QDVC said that for recycling the waste great care is taken to deal with local companies. “The Qatari SME recycle them and fabricate plastic granulates and sell to other industries. We try to make it local as much as possible,” she said.
As for such wastes as wood, it is chopped into small particles and is compressed into bricks which reduces the volume of wood that would either be disposed of by incineration or at land fill. “This system reduces the volume of wood that we would get rid of by 90 percent and will deteriorate much quicker,” said Smith.
QDVC officials said LRT is an eco-friendly project on its own as a public transport system aiming at decreasing the congestion and pollution of the new city of Lusail.
The site offices are well isolated to decrease energy consumption, generators at stand-by at night to save fuel.
“We are very committed to environment protection in the country and we are among the first companies that tries to raise awareness on environment protection such as through seminars in schools on its benefits,” Eng Hamad Al Bishri, QDVC Deputy CEO told reporters after the tour.
Meanwhile, QDVC is currently working in Lusail for the car parks and the LRT, on the Sheraton Park Site Project, in the PS70 Doha North Sewage JV, in the Qatar Bahrain Causeway JV and in Eritrea on the Dahlak Island Resort. The Peninsula