‘We have held meetings to start work on recourse and revenue clarification with each of the four prequalified consortiums,’ says a senior SRO official. ‘We are hoping to issue RFP documents by the end of the year.’ Four consortiums, led by Saudi Binladin Group with El-Seif Engineering Contracting, France’s Bouygues and the UK’s Lazard & Company, the local Mada Company for Industrial & Commercial Investment (Al-Rajhi Investment Group) and Kuwait-based PWC Logistics, were prequalified in May to bid for the 30-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) concession to operate the rail link (MEED 9:6:06).

The successful consortium will design, finance, build and operate a 950-kilometre line between Riyadh and Jeddah and a 115-kilometre connection between Dammam and Jubail and integrate the new links with the existing two lines running between Riyadh and Dammam.

SRO is planning to issue in late 30 September request for qualification (RFQ) documents for the concession to operate its planned Mecca-Medina Rail Link (MMRL).

Representatives from more than 100 local and international companies attended the project day held in May (Saudi Arabia, MEED Special Report, 23:6:06, pages 62-67).