Project tender will be released next year as part of commitment to joint GCC project
The Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP) will start the bidding for its ambitious railway network project in the first half of 2017, it has been announced.
According to a report in the Kuwait Times, the railway project tender will be released in H1 2017 as part of the country’s commitment to executing the project jointly with other GCC states.
The project will comprise of a railway network linking Kuwait City to the airport and marine ports, while also linking the country with its GCC neighbours over a 511km long two-way railway line. It is being developed as part of the Kuwait National Rail Road System.
Regarded as one of Kuwait’s most important infrastructure development initiatives, the route will serve both freight and passengers. Trains will be able to operate at speeds between 120kmph and 200kmph.
The project will be implemented under the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) scheme.
Earlier this year, a senior GCC official said that the project was still going ahead despite a series of setbacks and delays. Technical issues, bureaucratic delays and tender cancellations have cast doubt over the project and its original completion target of 2017.
Low oil prices are forcing GCC government budgets into deficit, prompting them to slow down construction plans in some areas, casting further doubt over the GCC-wide rail project.
But Abdullah Bin Juma Al Shibli, GCC assistant secretary general for economic affairs, on Tuesday told delegates at the Middle East Rail Conference in Dubai that the project will go ahead.
He said the technical specifications and the legal framework of the GCC-wide network would be ready by the end of this year, Gulf News reported.
“1,200 kilometres of railway will be established… Some members have already completed their phases,” he was reported as saying. “The GCC has pledged ongoing support to this project through partnerships with the private sector.”
The planned GCC railway would span from Kuwait with Oman, linking all six member states.