Etihad Railway has received 12 bids for the civil engineering contract for the first phase of the UAE’s $11bn railway project.

Etihad Rail received the bids on 1 June, having prequalified about 20 groups to bid earlier in the year. The estimated AED2bn ($544m) civil engineering contract includes civil structures, systems, facilities and track work.

The bidders include:

  • Al-Habtoor Leighton (local/Australia)/John Holland (Australia)
  • Astaldi (Italy)/Nurol (Turkey)
  • Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) (Athens-based)/OHL (Spain)
  • Ircon International (India)/Railtrack India
  • Samsung C&T (South Korea)/Impregilo (Italy)/Tristar (local)
  • Al-Jaber Group (local)/China Railway Construction Company (China)
  • Saipem (Italy)/Tecnimont (Italy)
  • Saif bin Darwish (local)/Al-Futtaim Carillion (local/UK)
  • Fujita Corporation (Japan)/Sagar Infra Rail International (Siril) (India)
  • GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea)/Al-Naboodah Contracting (local)

Many of the groups that were prequalified, but did not bid were discouraged by the tight timeframe of the project. Etihad Rail has said previously that the civil engineering contract will be awarded in mid-2011 when construction will also start.

US-based group of Aecom with Parsons International won the project management consultancy contract for the first phase of the railway project in April (MEED 12:4:11).

Aecom-Parsons will also be involved in the supervision of the entire first phase of development, including testing and commissioning, as well as a defect liability period once the project is complete. Part of the role is to supervise the preliminary engineering work and contracts for stages one and two.

The UK’s Atkins will carry out preliminary engineering for the entire UAE railway. The first phase of the railway involves building a 265-kilometre track between the port of Ruwais and gas fields at Shah and Habshan. The first part of the work will involve building the line from Ruwais to Habshan, which will be able to transport 10,000 tonnes a day (t/d) of granulated sulphur. This will increase to 20,000 t/d when the line is completed to Shah.