Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Rail has awarded a team comprising China State Construction Engineering Corporation and South Korea’s SK Engineering the AED1.5bn ($409m) contract under stage 2 of the 1,200-kilometre federal railway network project.

Referred to as Contract C0303, the civil and track works package entails the construction of a 139km rail line in the Al-Dhafra region between Ghuweifat and Ruwais.

The package will focus on the design and construction of rail infrastructure, including earth works, bridges, tunnels, animal crossings and track-laying.

The route will link with the existing 264km mineral rail line between Ruwais and Shah.

Stage 2 comprises a 605km network extending from Ghuweifat on the Saudi border in the west to the UAE’s Port of Fujairah on the east coast.

The scheme was broken down into four civil and track works packages, in addition to packages for the rolling stock, freight and operation and maintenance facilities.

The tender process is under way for the three remaining civil and track works packages.

The tender closing date for contract C0306, which involves the construction of a 78km mainline in Dubai and a 20km branch line to Jebel Ali port, is 18 April.

The tender closing date for contract C0304, which involves the construction of 200km of mainline line in Abu Dhabi and a 40km branch line to Khalifa port, is 2 May.

Bids for contract C0308, which involves the construction of a 98km mainline from Sharjah to Fujairah and a 29km branch line to Tawyeen, are due on 16 May.

MEED understands more than a dozen consortiums have been prequalified to bid for the three contracts.

Of these, at least six consortiums are planning to bid for all three packages. They include:

US-based Jacobs Engineering was selected last year for the engineering design contract for stage 2 and and future routes of the railway network. In May, Etihad Rail awarded French engineering consultancy Egis Group the project management consultancy (PMC) contract for the scheme.

MEED understands Etihad Rail has signed a series of land lease agreements throughout the UAE to secure the rail network’s transport corridors in all the emirates.

The firm also said that the project’s stage 2 will provide “innovative solutions to support the national wealth and economic diversification in the long term, by linking all major UAE ports”.

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