The Business Year

Neville Bissett

QATAR - Transport

Neville Bissett

CEO, QTerminals Group

Bio

Neville Bissett is the Group CEO of QTerminals Group. QTerminals Group is the Qatar-based manager and operator of Hamad Port, including Container Terminal 1 and Container Terminal 2 and multi-purpose cargo terminals, as well as QTerminals Antalya, Turkey and QTerminals Olvia, Ukraine. Prior to joining QTerminals, Neville was the general manager of Ports Development Company, the master developer and port authority of King Abdullah Port in Saudi Arabia. Previously, he was managing director of an AP Moeller Terminals/Bolloré joint venture in West Africa and, during his time with Hutchison Port Holdings, CEO of Alexandria International Container Terminals, in addition to being CEO of Tanzania International Container Terminals. He has also held other senior management roles in the Middle East, Africa, South America, the Caucasus, and Europe.

QTerminals Group is focused on enhancing its portfolio through acquisitions, strategic investments, and business combinations and enhancing its competitiveness in operating and managing ports.

QTerminals Group has acquired several ports out of Qatar. How would you characterize the group’s expansion plans?

QTerminals Group, Qatar’s terminal operating company jointly established by Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani Qatar) and Qatar Navigation (Milaha), is eyeing more growth opportunities through concessions, acquisitions, investments, and joint ventures in the next five years, as part of its internationalization strategy to operate multiple terminals around the world. The group, which provides major services to Hamad Port, includes QTerminals Antalya, officially inaugurated in January 2021, and the Port of Olvia in Ukraine, which was officially inaugurated in December 2021 after signing a 35-year concession deal for (until 2056). The signing of the Port of Olvia concession deal is considered an important turning point in the future expansion of QTerminals Group’s image in the coming years. QTerminals Antalya receives about 1,500 ships annually and has the capacity to handle 350,000 TEUs and 4 million tons of dry and bulk cargo. As per the group’s vision and the guidelines and directions of the board of directors, the group’s objectives are to enhance its portfolio through concessions, acquisitions, strategic investments, and business combinations. QTerminals Group also is seeking to expand and diversify its assets across a growing number of sectors, such as marine services. Entering into such acquisitions and operating and managing several important global ports in Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia will help enhance the company’s competitiveness in operating and managing external ports, reducing expenses, and establishing an advanced infrastructure for international trade and logistics, which will make QTerminals a pivotal centre in the field of marine infrastructure in the Middle East and around the world. These synergistic acquisitions in international seaports development will provide QTerminals with a leading position in the regional and international market to achieve more growth opportunities. The group plans to enter into solid acquisition strategies that will underpin successful acquisitions in the end in the field of seaports. While QTerminals Group contributes to the development and operation of international ports, the group also plans to enter into partnerships to develop key seaports in countries that will enable them to develop their maritime transport. This will enhance the ongoing efforts of Qatar to contribute to maritime transport overall, especially in the field of commodities and particularly in landlocked African countries and enhance cooperation between countries. QTerminals Group is open to cooperating with other countries wishing to expand their ports infrastructure and use them to serve these countries in the Africa, Europea, or Asian continents whenever a promising investment opportunity arises. For example, coordination consultations are currently being held with the Egyptian Ministry of Transport to cooperate in this field in the next few months. In the past few years, Qatar has shown great interest in diversified investment in the ports and maritime transport sectors and is discussing investing in the important region of Aqaba in Jordan. The group is implementing a comprehensive plan to maximize the benefits of the maritime transport sector and develop all ports under the directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and the government’s aim to make Qatar a global centre for trade and logistics. This plan includes the possibility of establishing new berths at different depths in areas on the Red and Mediterranean seas with the aim of increasing the total lengths of berths in seaports, constructing breakwaters, deepening shipping lanes, and enabling ports to handle millions of tons of cargo, in bulk, break bulk, and containers.

What advancements is QTerminals making to promote Doha’s position as an international maritime player as well?

In the context of expanding its continuous efforts to make Qatar a major international player in areas such as LNG, QTerminals has signed several agreements with several local, regional, and international players to enhance the position of Hamad Port in the region. The port is already achieving a qualitative shift in diversifying Qatar’s economy and strengthening competitiveness through its role in securing the import and re-export of goods and merchandise. Hamad Port, one of the largest ports in the Middle East, has contributed to the revitalization of the local maritime sector, as it handles the largest share of the total trade movement in the port. The advanced infrastructure and modern technologies of Hamad Port have contributed to attracting major international shipping lines. The modern technology used in Hamad Port has played a key role in the rapid completion of handling operations, which has contributed to providing comprehensive services and more solutions that allow customers to make the most of an ideal competitive environment for business. These multiple advantages and the close relationships built with global partners have enhanced Qatar’s commercial share and contributed to transforming Hamad Port into a regional hub for import/re-export and transhipment cargoes. At the same time, development works are continuing in Hamad Port, which witnessed the inauguration of the second phase (Container Terminals 2 – CT2) of development work in December 2020. QTerminals Group is proud to be making unparalleled progress within Qatar, using 70% of locally sourced and manufactured materials of unique and superior quality for the development and construction of CT2. This supports Qatar’s efforts to promote the localization of industries, expertise, and the technology in use globally, as well as the localization of the real operational processes of many vital sectors, especially the marine sector, to enrich the investment of local companies and achieve Qatar National Vision 2030. This is in line with the company’s plans to focus on environmental sustainability and achieve best practices throughout all stages of design and future operations, and rooting QTerminals’ culture in promoting the total quality of environmental management and reliability in our administrative operations using locally manufactured materials. The completion of the second phase constitutes a new addition to the port, as it will significantly increase its capacity. The second phase of the port’s expansion will also assist in transporting goods from ships to the storage area directly. This will facilitate the process of loading and storing the goods in compact storage areas, in addition to establishing a sophisticated customs platform that will help increase the volume of goods and handling at the port.

How would you assess the synergies created around Hamad Port, Hamad International Airport (HIA), Qatar Free Zones (QFZ), and the industrial areas?

With the completion of the construction cycle in Hamad Port and the readiness of HIA, in addition to the completion of the infrastructure in QFZ, Doha has welcomed renowned international companies and witnessed the opening of a number of international offices in QFZ. All these projects have provided an impetus in preparing Qatar and making it a global investment hub that attracts international companies and significant investments, as it provides a well-balanced and integrated business environment, which will make Qatar a major investment destination after the end of the 2022 World Cup. For its part, QTerminals Group is increasing its efforts and conducting feasibility studies necessary to provide an integrated marine environment to serve these projects and quickly meet their requirements, prioritizing the provision of all services for business in the new industrial zones and the international services that it provides to local and international companies at the same time. Hamad Port has made great strides in its deliberate approach to localize its model to enhance performance as a vital strategic facility supporting the economy and overall development. The new indicators and data from Hamad Port bode well for the successes of Qatar in upgrading these vital infrastructure facilities during the next stage, as well as employing technology and incorporating it into its operational structure, thereby improving the output of business.

The FIFA World Cup 2022 will be the opportunity to showcase the potential of sports in Qatar’s economic future. How is QTerminals getting ready for the event and supporting the long-term development of the sports sector as part of its commitment to Qatar’s community?

Since its establishment several years ago, QTerminals Group is proud of the successful steps that have been achieved in the framework of consolidating the culture of corporate social responsibility in Qatar, through constructive cooperation between the Ministry of Transport, other ministries, various other institutions, and the general business community in Qatar. QTerminals took the lead in adopting many development projects in support of the wider community. QTerminals Group aims to promote the culture and development of community partnership in Qatari society while demonstrating how the private sector can contribute to the strengthening of society via the implementation of many social projects aimed at achieving the goals of sustainable development and the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030. QTerminals Group is one of the first companies to comply with Vision 2030 in terms of preserving the environment. When the authorities chose the site for the construction of Hamad Port, the company undertook to preserve the environment and avoid harming marine life and the sea. Large areas of local ecosystems were moved to more sustainable sites, and this required moving thousands of mangroves, hard and soft coral formations, and even seagrass elsewhere. One of the group’s top priorities is creating an enabling environment that supports the well-being of the Qatari community in general and to provide opportunities for a better future. QTerminals Group is well-prepared to implement a set of community initiatives that enable building healthy new generations that can contribute to a wide range of community development goals. The company has drawn up an ambitious plan to contribute to the participation in raising awareness of the culture of the local community and expanding entertainment projects that enhance the definition of the components of Qatari society and contribute to the definition of the culture of Qatar, which extends throughout its long history. Regarding FIFA World Cup 2022, QTerminals Group stands ready in terms of port handling capacity and warehouse for storage capacity at the Hamad Port to be able to handle the expected increase in the volume of cargo for the event. Additionally, as part of our contribution for the development of sports in Qatar, QTerminals Group is the proud sponsor of the Qatar QTerminals Classic Squash Tournament – PSA world Tour and also a Co-Sponsor of the Qatar Total Open Tennis championship for women.

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