Etihad Rail Company has received bids for the civil works contract for the first phase of the $11bn federal railway network.

About 20 prequalified contractors were asked to submit their bids by 1 June, having been extended previously (MEED 8:5:11).

The estimated AED2bn ($544m) civil engineering contract includes civil structures, systems, facilities and track work. Etihad Rail prequalified about 20 companies for the contract, but several are thought to have dropped out of the running.

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.

In April, a US-based team of Aecom with Parsons International won the project management consultancy (PMC) for the first phase of the railway.