Bahrain ready to start metro prequalification

06 October 2021
Transport minister has confirmed that the project developer will be compensated by the government based on the availability of the network

Bahrain’s Ministry of Transport & Telecommunications (MTT) is ready to start the prequalification process for the contract to develop the first phase of its upcoming metro project.

“We are now at the stage where we have the business case, the financial models, the minimum specification, the network has been identified and the station locations have been confirmed along with the capacity and the estimated cost of the project,” said Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Bahrain’s transport and telecommunications minister, in an interview with MEED on 6 October.

“We have presented this now to the ministerial committee. We are at the final stage of getting the approval to start the prequalification process.”

The project is expected to attract a variety of bids as major rail projects in the region come to a close. Over the past two years, work has ended on metro projects in Dubai, Riyadh and Doha.

“We expect good competition because a lot of companies are calling us. It is good timing for us because most of the other projects in the region are in the final stages and companies are looking for new projects,” said Mohammed.

The metro will be developed using a public-private partnership (PPP) model. The minister said the developer of the project will be compensated by the government based on the availability of the network during the operations period.

As the first-ever metro scheme to be developed on a PPP basis, this decision will remove the ridership risk that could be a concern for any potential bidders.

The multibillion-dollar Bahrain metro project involves delivering a 109-kilometre rail-based urban transit network using driverless technology in a phased manner, comprising four transit lines.

The first phase comprises two lines with an estimated length of 28.6km and includes 20 stations with two interchanges.

The two lines aim to connect key transit points, including Bahrain International airport and major residential and commercial areas and school districts in Bahrain.

MTT has appointed a team of financial, technical and legal advisers led by KPMG to act as the lead transaction advisers.

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