Saudi Arabia's Public Transport Authority (PTA) has opened its doors for the private sector to partner in the construction and operation of railways in the Kingdom.
The PTA invited global pioneering companies in the fields of building and operation of railway transport services to come forward to forge long-term strategic partnership with Saudi companies in this vital sector.
The Saudi Minister of Transport Sulaiman Al-Hamdan, who is also chairman of the board of the PTA, said that the partnership of global companies will be ensured for the construction and operation of Riyadh-Dammam Railway, the Northern Railway as well as the Land Bridge Project that would connect the Arabian Gulf with the Red Sea, and other future projects. This will be in cooperation with the Saudi Railway Co. (SAR) and Saudi Railway General Corporation. Al-Hamdan said that this initiative is part of the National Transformation Program of 2020 to realize the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
Al-Hamdan also unveiled plans to privatize some key sectors such as the public transport and roads in addition to airports and seaports. He said that the global companies will be allowed to take part in the strategic partnership in the transportation of passengers and goods between Riyadh and Dammam, as well as the Northern Railway.
In a related development, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture will start privatizing the sewage sector through offering three key projects in five cities and governorates across the Kingdom.
Muhammad Al-Muwakali, CEO of National Water Company, said that a consortia, comprised of three international consultants, will be involved in the initial phase of the project. The new sewage treatment plants are Jeddah Airport Plant 2, a plant west of Dammam, and a system of plants covering Turaif, Arar and Sakaka. A contract was signed with an international consultant specialized in preparing tender documents and subsequently the plant projects will be awarded on the basis of BOT (build, operate and transfer) to the private sector.
The consultancy consortia, is led by financial consultant Mizuho Bank, and comprising of legal consultant White & Case, and technical consultant Atkins.
Al-Muwakali said that the first treatment plant will be built in Jeddah airport with a capacity of 500,000 cubic meters per day.
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