Union Railway has received prequalification documents from contractors for two construction contracts on the first phase of the UAE’s $11bn federal railway between Shah and Habshan in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region.

The two contracts are an estimated AED300m ($81m) enabling works and earth moving package and an estimated AED2bn civil and track works package.

Companies submitted prequalification documents on 22 November for the civil and track works. The groups that submitted documents include:

  • Acciona (Spain)
  • Advanced Rail Group (local/Australia)
  • Al-Futtaim Carillion (local/UK)/Saif bin Darwish (local)
  • Al-Geemi & Partners Contracting (local)/Al-Arrab Contracting Company (Saudi Arabia)
  • Al-Jaber Group (local)/China Railway Construction Corporation (China)
  • Arabtec Engineering Services (local)/Salini (Italy)
  • Astaldi (Italy)/Nurol (Turkey)/Al-Meraikhi (local)
  • Cebarco (Bahrain)/WCT (Malaysia)
  • Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) (Athens-based)/OHL (Spain)
  • GS Engineering & Construction (South Korea)/Laing O’Rourke (UK)/Al-Naboodah Contracting (local)
  • Fujita Corporation (Japan)/Sagar Infra Rail International (Siril) (India)
  • Hochtief (Germany)
  • Hyundai (South Korea)/Ghantoot (local)
  • Ircon International (India)/Tafseer Contracting (local)
  • Larsen & Toubro (India)/Balfour Beatty (UK)/Kier Construction (UK)
  • Obayashi Corporation (Japan)/Mitsubishi Corporation (Japan)
  • Orascom (Egypt)/Implenia (Switzerland)
  • Samsung (South Korea)/Impregilo (Italy)/Tristar (local)
  • Saudi Binladin Group (Saudi Arabia)
  • Strabag (Austria)/Joannou & Paraskevaides (Cyprus)/China Railway Construction Corporation (China)
  • Tecnimont (Italy)/Saipem (Italy)/Ascon (local)/Dodsal (India)
  • Yepi Merkezi (Turkey)/Arabian Construction Company (ACC) (local/Lebanon)/Aktor (Greece)

Union Railway declined to comment on the groups that submitted prequalifications. “We do not comment on matters that are of a commercially sensitive nature,” says Richard Bowker, chief executive of Union Railway.

The winning bidder will complete site preparation and site clearance work, earthworks, including cut and fill operations at the Liwa sand dunes; the construction of utilities, access roads and highway diversions and buildings including warehouses and facilities for railway operations and maintenance; and trackwork, which involves the supply and installation of ballast, sleepers, rails, switches and crossings.

In another package, Union Railway has cancelled plans to award a separate contract for the study for the impact and mitigation of sand dunes sand on the railway (MEED 1:6:10).

The construction company that wins the construction contract in 2011 will now carry out the sand study. The contract was originally due to be awarded in July.

“It [sand study] will be part of the construction contract. We will not be proceeding with a separate sand study as we can achieve the same objective in a more effective way,” says a spokeswoman for Union 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 t/d of granulated sulphur. This will increase to 20,000 t/d when the line is completed to Shah.