Qatar Railways Company (QRail) will interview bidders for the main contracts for Doha metro during the first two weeks of March.

The main contracts consist of four tunnelling packages and two major stations packages for the Red line of the Doha metro. Each of the tunneling packages is worth between $2bn and $3bn. Some of the companies being interviewed include Italy’s Impregilo, Japan’s Obayashi Corporation, the Advanced Rail Group Consortium (ARG) and China Railway Engineering Company. QRail is expected to issue the design and build tenders for the tunnelling packages in early April.

The tender closing date for the enabling works has also been extended to 22 March from 1 March. The enabling works include site facilities, civil structures and removing utilities. The enabling works will be carried out in preparation for the tunnelling and major stations packages.

The first of four project management consultancy (PMC) contracts for the metro could be awarded at the end of July. Bids were submitted on 20 February.

Qatar is currently trying to speed up the development of its $35bn railway programme in line with hopes to host the Olympic Games in 2020. Currently, Doha needs to construct its rail projects in time for the Fifa World Cup in 2022.