Saudi Arabia’s Public Transport Authority (PTA) is planning to tender the contracts for the development of four major mainline rail and logistics projects in 2018.

The four schemes, which include the Saudi Landbridge railway line linking Saudi Arabia’s east and west coasts, are being planned as public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

Details about the planned tenders emerged at a consultation meeting in Riyadh on 29 October with consultants, operators, investors and developers.

Sources tell MEED the client expects to tender  the four schemes in the second or third quarter of 2018.

The four projects and their details are:

Project Length (km) Configuration Capex ($bn) Status Period (Project development timeline and start of operations), years
Saudi Landbridge 950 Double, non-electrified 7-10 Preliminary design 8-10
Riyadh-Dammam Electrification 460 Double, electrified 8-10 Feasibility study 9-10
Yanbu – Jeddah (via King Abdullah Port) link 340 Double, non-electrified 0.5-1.5 Feasibility study 4-5
Riyadh-Riyadh link and new Dry Port ~40 Double, non-electrified 0.9 – 1.4 Preliminary design 4-5

Source: PTA

In addition to the Landbridge scheme, the PPP projects also include the electrification of the 460km Riyadh-Dammam rail network, the GCC region’s oldest operating mainline railway.

US consultancy AT Kearney is advising PTA on the privatisation of Saudi Arabia’s mainline railway networks.

A parallel project, for the development of urban rail 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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