Qatar Railways Company (QRail) is reviewing three bids for the project management consultancy (PMC) contract for the Qatar Integrated Rail Project (QIRP).

The three US bidders are Bechtel, Fluor and Parsons Brinckerhoff. Sources close to the project say Fluor is the frontrunner for the deal.

The successful bidder will be responsible for overseeing Qatar’s $35bn integrated rail plan. This includes the Doha metro, light rail networks, a high-speed passenger line and a freight railway along the east coast.

Qatar rail contracts
Project Value PMC
Lusail LRT na Aecom-Parsons
Qatar Integrated Rail Programme $35bn Award pending
West Bay people-mover $2.7bn Award pending
PMC=Project management consultancy; LRT=Light-rail transit; na=Not available. Source: MEED

Companies involved in Qatar’s rail programme are due to meet with the prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, in the first week of August to discuss progress. The QR10bn ($2.7bn) West Bay people-mover will be top of the agenda and the prime minister is expected to review the studies carried out by UK engineering consultant Atkins.

In June, Atkins carried out a six-week review of this project to advise QRail on whether to develop the people-mover at grade level, elevated or underground (MEED 12:6:11).

QRail is also reviewing bids for the PMC contract for the West Bay people-mover.

However, due to Ramadan and Eid, it is unlikely that any major decisions will be made before October.

QRail is also expected to send out an email shortly to companies to see what their arrangements are with regards to setting up consortiums or joint ventures. Companies can only bid for Qatar’s rail programme if they are in a consortium. The consortiums must also include local contractors.

A US joint venture of Aecom-Parsons is the project management consultant for the Lusail LRT project.

The development of the Lusail LRT will include building about 20 kilometres of double track and about 10km of single track. It will also involve building 25 passenger stations and a further eight stations underground.

QRail has announced Saad Ahmed al-Mohannadi as the company’s new chief executive officer.