• Mecca Metro contract awards by end of the year
  • Awards were meant to be before 30 May
  • Construction work is valued at $5bn

The civils contracts for phase 1 the Mecca Metro will now likely be awarded by the end of this year. The $5bn of construction deals were expected to be awarded by the end of May.

“We have not received any official communication from the client in terms of the reasons for the delay, but we are confident that the project will be awarded within the next six months,” says a source close to the project.

A representative from Mecca Mass Rail Transit Company (MMRTC) declined to cite reasons for the delay, indicating that they hope to start evaluating the technical and commercial bids within three months, about August-September 2015.

Phase 1 of the project comprises lines B and C. Line B will feature seven stations over 11.9 kilometres while Line C will feature 15 stations and involve tunnelling work over a rail line extending 33.2km.

The bidders for Line B are:

The bidders for Line C are:

The metro network is part of the wider SR60bn ($16.5bn) transport programme for Mecca known as Mecca Public Transport Programme (MPTP), which also includes a bus network.

The lowest bidder for Line B is the consortium comprising Isolux Corsan, Haif Contracting and Kolin, whose proposal is valued at SR9.95bn ($2.6bn) while the lowest bidder for Line C is the Assignia/Mapa joint venture at SR3.56bn.

Saudi Arabia is experiencing a rail boom resulting from multiple schemes designed to alleviate growing traffic congestion in its key cities, as well as to encourage growth in its religious tourism sector, particularly in Mecca, which hosts the annual week-long hajj pilgrimage.

Rail projects worth in excess of $36bn are currently under execution in Saudi Arabia including the $23bn Riyadh Metro and the $8.9bn Haramain High-Speed Rail Network. Planned projects, such as the Mecca Metro, carry an estimated budget value of $36-38bn with award dates falling between 2015 and 2017.

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