Qatar has inaugurated a large naval base for its coastguards
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If Qatar had to have only one Achilles heel, it would certainly be its supply of fresh water. Not having enough to meet the needs of its inhabitants, it relies on seawater desalination plants, located mainly on the site of Ras Laffan, which is also the largest gas complex in the Middle East.
In 2013, Qatar had only 48 hours of safe drinking water. Since then, it has been increasing its storage capacity, as part of the “Water Security” project. In June 2018, the emirate inaugurated 15 new tanks with a capacity of 400,000 m3. And another 24 must be built by 2026 to cover water consumption for at least a week.
However, it would be enough for an oil tanker to be the victim of a serious incident off Ras Laffan for Qatar to experience a serious crisis because of the resulting oil spill. As a reminder, 75% of the territory is bordered by the sea.
On 14 July, the emirate officially inaugurated the Al-Daayen naval base at Simaisma on its eastern coast. With a surface area of 639,800 square meters, a port of six meters deep, training sites, a civil defense center, workshops and modern equipment, this is its most important base for guards.
This new base was inaugurated in the presence of Vice-Admiral Jim Malloy, the commander of the US Naval Forces in the Middle East [Fifth Fleet]. This new grip “gives us the opportunity to work even more closely with the Qatari Coast Guard,” he said, according to AFP, and to ensure that its priority remains “maritime security in this region,” subject to tensions between the United States and Iran. In addition, US forces are well established in the emirate, including the al-Udeid airbase.
The base of Al Daayen, also ideally located to facilitate the securing of the industrial site of Ras Laffan, will house a new fleet of boats, consisting of patrol Hercules 150 and Hercules 75, supplied by the Turkish shipyard Ares Shipyard.