Switzerland’s ABB has won an $85m contract to supply gas-insulated switchgear for Saudi Arabia’s $7bn Haramain high-speed railway project. The client is Alfanar Construction.

ABB will design, supply, install and commission 380kV indoor gas-insulated switchgear for substations along the railway by 2013. The GIS system will provide reliable and environmentally-friendly data to Saudi Electricity, which will own and operate the substations.

The substations will supply electricity to the high-speed trains on the railway that runs from Mecca to Medina via Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City.

In February, the SRO awarded two contracts for the construction of four passenger stations to Saudi Binladin Group and Saudi Oger (MEED 1:2:11). This is package two of phase one.

Package one of phase one, which involves civil works, roadway excavation, the body of the track and building bridges and culverts, is already under way

The construction contract for phase two of the project is due to be awarded in July. The Haramain high-speed railway will be financed by the government’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) rather than from banks in an attempt to speed up development.