The Mecca Municipality has prequalified 10 consortiums to bid for the contract to build the first phase of the multibillion-dollar metro project in the western city.

The 10 consortiums, which comprise local and international companies, have been invited to bid on the first phase of civil works for the metro scheme. The first phase of the project has been split into two contracts. Consortiums have until 6 July to submit prices.

The first phase is expected to involve the construction of two lines with a total length of 45-kilometres and 22 train stations. The metro 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.

In July 2013, the US’ Parsons Brinckerhoff was awarded a $93.6m project management office (PMO) contract for the MPTP.