The Jeddah Metro Company is set to tender the pre-project management contract for the city’s planned metro network within the next two weeks.

According to Ibrahim Katakana, chief executive of the metro company, six consultants have already been prequalified for the role.

“We expect that the [winner of the] pre-PMO [Project Management Office] will become part of our organisation and work with us on the remaining packages and evaluation of consultants,” said Katakana at MEED’s Rail & Metro Summit in Abu Dhabi.

A contract covering the engineering and design work will also be tendered by the end of November and the Jeddah Metro Company expects to award the contract before the end of 2013. Six consultants have also been prequalified for this contract.

Companies were invited to prequalify for this contract in June.

The prequalification process for the main construction contracts is expected to begin at the beginning of 2014, with tenders to be released towards the end of 2013.

All contracts are due to be awarded during 2015. Construction is expected to last between three and five years.

The metro will have three major lines, an orange line, blue line and green line. The total length of the network is 152 kilometres with 92 stations. The Orange line is 84km and spilt into two parts. The Blue line is 36km and the Green line is 32km.

The metro forms part of Jeddah’s public transport masterplan, which also features an additional commuter rail line of 93km looping around the city as well as a 48km tramway.

Approximately SR45bn ($7-8bn) has been budgeted for the Jeddah public transport plans following a Royal Decree issued in March, although it is likely that this budget will need to be increased.

A bus system to complement the metro plans is due to be tendered in 2014 as well.

The release of the Jeddah tenders follows the awarding of $22.5bn-worth of Riyadh metro construction contracts in late July.