Chinese firm wins Etihad Rail wagons deal

04 August 2020
Rail operator confirms contract award as construction progesses on the 605-kilometre stage 2 section of the network

UAE rail operator Etihad Rail has awarded a contract for the manufacture, supply and commissioning of 842 wagons to Chinese state-owned CRRC Corporation Limited.

The contract effectively triples the capacity of Etihad Rail’s wagon fleet, raising its annual transport capacity by a factor of eight, to 59 million tonnes.

GCC-specific requirements for breaking, signalling, and communications control and safety systems will be adopted for the wagons' manufacturing process.

The award is aligned with progress on stage 2 of the network, for which all construction, civil works and freight facilities contracts have been awarded.

Ground has also been broken on stage 2’s rail corridors.

Stage 2 of Etihad Rail will span 605 kilometres, linking Ghuweifat on the border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah and Khorfakkan on the UAE’s east coast.

It will also link the Jebel Ali Port in Dubai, the Port of Fujairah and the Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi with stage 1 in Ruwais.

Civil works packages

India’s Larsen & Toubro is working with Chinese state-owned Power China International on the design and construction of freight facilities for stage 2 under an AED1.87bn contract.

A joint venture comprising China State Construction Engineering Corporation and South Korea’s SK Engineering is working on the first of four civil and track works packages for the 139km line between Ghuweifat and Ruwais.

The Sino-Korean contract, worth AED1.5bn, was confirmed in March 2019.

Packages B and C of stage 2 were awarded to a joint venture of Beijing-based China Railway Construction Corporation and local Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting in June 2019.

Both packages are understood to have a combined value of AED4.4bn, and cover 310km of the rail network.

In December, a joint venture of CRCC and the local National Projects & Construction was formally confirmed for the AED4.6bn package D.

Package D will link the ports of Fujairah and Khorfakkan to the network at the Dubai border with Sharjah, and stretches over a distance of 145km.

A joint venture led by France’s Vinci was awarded an AED846m ($230m) contract for stage 2’s operations and maintenance centre in Al-Faya, Abu Dhabi.

In February, Progress Rail Locomotive, a subsidiary of the US’ Caterpillar, was picked to provide locomotives for the federal network’s second phase.

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