Qatar issues tender for first stage of GCC rail project development
Qatar is developing five separate lines, including 148kms to the border with Saudi Arabia. (File photo)
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Qatar Railways Company has issued a tender to appoint a project manger for the first phase of Qatar’s rail network, which will also be connected to the wider Gulf Cooperation Council rail network.
The company said in a statement that the scope of the contract includes “project and programme management, design management and construction services management.”
The authority, however, did not mention when the contract will be awarded or disclose the value of the deal.
Qatar is spending billions to develop a massive rail network for freight and passengers ahead of FIFA World Cup 2022.
But its rail projects have been fraught with administrative delays and are lagging behind. Other GCC countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have already completed portions of their network that will be linked to the $15.5bn GCC rail.
Earlier this year, QRC relaunched the pre qualification tenders for civil works for the first phase of its connection to GCC rail. The company had begun accepting tenders for the first phase since 2014 but it cancelled the process a month before the contract was due to be awarded. Following the call for resubmission, QRC added that the contracts for civil works and railway systems will be awarded by mid-2016.
Such delays have also raised doubts about the viability of 2018 as a potential completion date for Qatar’s rail project link.
Qatar is developing five lines as part of its long-distance rail including a freight line from Mesaieed to its gas field Ras Laffan, passenger and freight lines from Doha to cities such as Dukhan, Al Shamal and to Bahrain along with a high speed passenger rail from Doha to Bahrain.
In its first phase, Qatar is planning to develop around 148kms of freight and passenger line to Saudi Arabia’s border that will be used by diesel locomotives. Passenger trains on this line will also be connected to Education City where the passengers can connect to Doha Metro while the freight service will continue to the industrial area in Mesaieed.
Links to Bahrain and other industrial areas such as Ras Laffan and Al Khor will be added at later stages, according to QRC.
Among the GCC countries, Qatar has the second largest budget for rail projects at $30bn after Saudi Arabia, which has set aside $50bn for its railways, a report by MEED Projects showed. Such a massive budget has also made the country a focus of interest among contractors looking to bag mega deals.
By Mary Sophia
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