Saudi Arabia’s Public Transport Authority (PTA) has invited firms that expressed an interest in the programme to privatise the kingdom’s mainline railway sector to attend a consultation event on 29 October.
The PTA has sought interest from consultants, contractors, financial and legal advisory firms and facilities management companies for:
- operation of freight and passenger services
- management and maintenance of passenger stations
- management and maintenance of dry ports
- maintenance of rolling stock
The existing assets that the solicitation of interest covers are the Riyadh to Dammam lines and the North-South Railway. It could also include the operation of future projects such as the GCC rail network, the Landbridge, and other smaller sections of railway planned within the kingdom.
The solicitation of interest does not include the train operations and rolling stock services for the Haramain High Speed Rail, whose 12-year operation and maintenance (O&M) in included in the $8.4bn contract awarded to the Saudi/Spanish consortium Al-Shoula Group in 2011.
The management and operation of existing dry port facilities – such as the one in Riyadh – is also excluded from the initial privatisation plan.
US consultancy AT Kearney is advising PTA on the privatisation programme.
A parallel project, for the development of urban transport schemes using a public-private partnership (PPP) model, is underway. The National Centre for Privatisation (NCP) received bids for the technical, financial and legal advisory packages on 12 October.
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