Bids have been received and are under evaluation, official says
Saudi Arabia is expected to award contracts for the construction of a planned 115km rail link between the industrial city of Jubail and Damman before the end of 2012, a senior Saudi Railway Company official said on Tuesday.
The world’s top oil exporter is spending billions of dollars to boost its infrastructure, which includes several railway systems, the longest of which will be a 2,750km line running from the capital Riyadh to near the northern border with Jordan.
“Bids were received (for the Jubail – Damman rail link) and they are under evaluation. The project will be awarded before the end of the year,” Bashar Almalik, Saudi Railway Company’s director of civil and track works, told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Abu Dhabi.
He declined to go into specifics about the value of the contracts.
“Most of the network has been completed in terms of construction. Passengers and freight will hopefully start in 2014,” Almalik added.
The Haramain Rail project is another major railway line being constructed in the Kingdom. According to the contractor behind the project, the line, which will connect Mecca and Medina with Jeddah, Riyadh and Damman, will be operational within the next 52 months.
Al Shuala Al Kabida said that the 444km high-speed, intercity rail transport system will also have links to the King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh and the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.
Furthermore, the Kingdom aims to link its lines to its GCC neighbours, with a planned rail bridge to Bahrain under consideration.