Promoted as an effort to increase food security, the government of Qatar plans to invest $431 to construct a food processing plant and storage site that will produce sugar, rice, and cooking oil for the Middle Eastern country, Bloomberg and regional business news organizations reported.
“This is the first time that these commodities will be processed in Qatar,” the country’s transport and communications minister Jassim bin Saif al-Sulaiti told reporters at a gathering Sunday in Doha, Bloomberg reported.
Upon completion, the plant near Hamad Port will have a capacity of 300,000 kg/wk of raw sugar, 600,000 kg/wk of rice, and 200,000 kg/wk of cooking oils, Maisar Jamil El-Qutami told the business news organization. The site’s storage facilities are planned to hold two years’ worth of food supplies.
Swiss food processing technology firm Bühler AG is involved with the project, Bloomberg said. Al Jaber Engineering was awarded with a contract by Qatar to design and erect the plant and storage facility within 26 months.
The move to build the facility comes as Qatar faces closure of trade routes via Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain due to rising diplomatic tensions.