EXCLUSIVE: Saudi Arabia to procure four rail PPP schemes

30 October 2017
Public Transport Authority expects to tender consultancy packages in the second half of 2018

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:

ProjectLength (km)ConfigurationCapex ($bn)StatusPeriod (Project development timeline and start of operations), years
Saudi Landbridge950Double, non-electrified7-10Preliminary design8-10
Riyadh-Dammam Electrification460Double, electrified8-10Feasibility study9-10
Yanbu – Jeddah (via King Abdullah Port) link340Double, non-electrified0.5-1.5Feasibility study4-5
Riyadh-Riyadh link and new Dry Port~40Double, non-electrified0.9 – 1.4Preliminary design4-5

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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