Spanish-led joint venture named preferred bidder for Mecca Metro
The Spanish contractor Isolux Corsan has been named as the preferred bidder for a €2.3 billion (Dh9.27bn) contract to build two lines of the new Mecca Metro in Saudi Arabia.
The company said that its joint venture, which includes the Turkish contracting company Kolin and Saudi Arabia’s Haif Company, is expected to sign a contract for the project in the coming months.
The consortium will build Lines B and C of the project. Line B will comprise 11.9 kilometres of tunnels and three stations. Line C will be 13km long and contain six stations – two of which will be major interchanges.
It will also be responsible for demolishing existing structures and facilities, diverting roads and utilities, and other enabling works.
The Mecca Metro will include four new lines and will connect to the existing Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah line, which was built in 2010 to carry pilgrims between the sites of Mina, Muzdallah and Arafat, close to the Grand Mosque.
Only the two lines awarded to the Isolux Corsan venture are being built during the first phase, work on which is scheduled to start next year. It is due to be up and running by 2019.
The Malaysian consultancy Prasarana Group is responsible for creating detailed designs and developing specifications for the operations and maintenance firm that will run the network. It won the $2.4 million deal announced in November last year.
According to Dubai-based Alpen Capital, Saudi Arabia remained the biggest market for infrastructure projects in the GCC in 2014, with 34 per cent of the total. It awarded $29.3bn of a total of $85bn of GCC infrastructure projects last year.
The kingdom is currently building a $23bn, six-line metro system in the capital, Riyadh, and a new $9.3bn public transport network in Jeddah that will include a metro, trams, a 750km bus network and water taxis. Plans for a metro system in Madinah and a light rail network in Dammam are also under way
“GCC governments need to ensure that their economies maintain growth [and that] emphasis on infrastructure development continues,” said Ahmed Al Bassam, the chief executive of Al Rajhi Holdings’ building solutions arm.
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Updated: July 7, 2015 04:00 AM