The scope of works for the contract involves terrain levelling in the An-Nufud region in the north. The successful contractor will have to excavate and shore up more than 200 million cubic metres of earth, and fill in crevices and wadis to ensure a flat surface for the railway tack laying.

The package will be the first to be tendered on the rail project, which is aimed at transporting phosphate from the Al-Jalamid deposit and bauxite from the Al-Zabirah deposit, both located hundreds of kilometres northwest of Riyadh, to an industrial complex at Ras al-Zour in the Eastern Province (MEED 30:9:05).

The information package and tender documents have been drawn up by the project management group led by the US’ Louis Berger and comprising France’s Systra, its Canadian sister company Canarail Consultants and Saudi Consolidated Engineering Services (Khatib & Alami – MEED 11:11:05).

Bid evaluation is ongoing at Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) on two of the four process packages at its planned fertiliser complex at Ras al-Zour, for which the railway will deliver phosphate (see page 19).