Iraq to invite construction bids for Baghdad metro by end of 2013

23 February 2012

Baghdad considering the appointment of a private operator for its metro network

Baghdad is expected to tender the construction work on the city’s proposed metro by the end of 2013.

“The next step would be international tendering for construction of the lines. That will normally happen in less than one year and a half,” says a source close to the project.

France’s Systra is already carrying out the basic design of the two lines of Baghdad metro, as well as preparing the tender documents for the construction of the project. Once the tender has been issued, Systra will also help the municipality appoint a contractor.

Iraq rail projects
Baghdad metroBaghdad$3bnTwo metro lines running 40kmPreliminary engineering
Karbala monorailKarbalana18km monorail for the cityTender
Najaf monorailNajaf$600m37km monorail projectConstruction
Baghdad Elevated TrainBaghdad$600m25km elevated train for Baghdad city centrePlanned
na=Not available. Source: MEED

Systra began preliminary engineering work in January this year. The project is currently progressing well having suffered years of delay due to a lack of financing and political instability. The project will be carried out using an engineering, procurement, construction contract.

Iraq also expects a private-sector contribution to its transport projects. For the metro, this will most likely be in form of appointing a private operator and/or maintenance provider.

“We believe this would be the best practical and reliable solution. During tendering, this point will be clarified,” the source says.

Line 1 of the metro will be about 22 kilometres long and Line 2 will be about 18km long. Both lines will have passenger stations built each kilometre.

Systra has already been involved in supervising the feasibility study for the metro. Baghdad Municipality intends to fund the metro directly. The metro is intended to form the backbone of Baghdad’s future transport development and is the long-term solution to Baghdad’s severe congestion problem. The metro is just one component in a nationwide plan to upgrade Iraq’s transport infrastructure. This will be done through the expansion and rehabilitation of roads and airports, the construction of the new Grand Faw port in Basra and the construction of monorail projects in Karbala and Najaf.

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