The engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the monorail, which will link the various areas of the site, is due to go out to tender in four weeks.

The French-based Systra is the consultant for the project and has carried out the conceptual design for the scheme.

The project is expected to take 24 months to complete, with a further six months for testing. A separate package covering site preparation, including utilities such as water and electricity, and ground works across the 1.6 square kilometre site, is expected to go out to tender within two months. This is expected to take 12 months.

Another package will cover the construction of tunnels and overpasses linking different parts of the site, which is split into three areas by two road arteries.

On 27 October, the client, the Public Pension Agency, awarded four local firms contracts worth an estimated SR5.3bn ($1.4bn) for 16 buildings on 10 plots within the site (MEED 24:10:08).

Design competitions for five of the towers in the financial plaza area are due to be launched within weeks, with a value of SR8bn. One of the buildings, which will house the Capital Markets Authority, the regulator of the country’s stock market, the Tadawul, will be the capital’s tallest building at 380 metres.

There are an estimated 42 plots still to be developed on the site, which is due for completion by the end of 2012.