Riyadh Metro

07 November 2013

The Saudi capital’s 176-kilometre metro system will open in 2019

Value: $22.5bn


Arriyadh Development Authority

Tel: (+966) 11 488 3331 


Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners)

Tel: (+966) 11 201 3001

The Riyadh Metro project is setting the pace for the development of public transport schemes across Saudi Arabia. Following the capital’s lead, most of the kingdom’s major cities are looking to build their own metro, light rail or bus networks to ease traffic congestion in urban areas.

Plans to build the Riyadh Metro were approved in April 2012 by the Council of Ministers as part of the Riyadh Public Transport project. Due to be operational in 2019, the network is set to be 176 kilometres long with 85 stations. Six lines are planned – Blue, Green, Red, Orange, Yellow and Purple (also numbered 1-6, respectively) – and trains are expected to reach an average speed of 40km an hour.

Beirut-based Dar al-Handasah and France’s Egis Rail worked on preliminary designs for the metro project.

In order to procure the design and build contracts, the client divided the six-line project into five major design and build packages, with lines 1 and 2 combined into one package and the other lines each as a single package. All the bundles include the supply of rolling stock.

On 28 July 2013, Arriyadh Development Authority awarded the main construction contracts – worth more than $22bn – to three consortiums.

Spanish firm FCC Construccion heads up the consortium known as FAST, while the US’ Bechtel leads the BACS consortium. Italian firm Ansaldo STS is the leader of the Arriyadh New Mobility group. The FAST consortium won lines 4, 5 and 6, which are reported to be valued at $7.82bn; the BACS consortium picked up lines 1 and 2, worth $9.45bn, while Arriyadh New Mobility secured line 3 for $5.21bn.

Following the award of the construction deals, the contractors released details of the rolling stock and systems they will supply. Key rolling stock providers are France’s Alstom, Canada’s Bombardier, Italy’s Ansaldo STS and Germany’s Siemens.

In mid-August, two joint ventures were selected for the project management packages. A joint venture of the US’ Parsons International and France’s Egis has been chosen to manage the two packages covering lines 1, 2 and 3, while the US team of Louis Berger and Hill International has been picked for the package covering lines 4, 5 and 6.

Consortiums working on Riyadh Metro


FCC Construccion (Spain), Alstom Transport, SETEC (France), Samsung C&T (South Korea), Freyssinet (Saudi Arabia), Strukton Civiel Projecten (Netherlands), Tecnica y Proyectos (Spain), Atkins (UK)


Bechtel Group, Aecom (US), Siemens (Germany), Almabani General Contractors (Saudi Arabia), Consolidated Contractors Company (Athens-based)

Arriyadh New Mobility

Ansaldo STS, Ansaldobreda, Impregilo (Italy), Larsen & Toubro (India) Nesma & Partners Contracting (Saudi Arabia), Hyder Consulting (UK), WorleyParsons (Australia), IDOM (Spain)

Source: MEED

Key dates

Apr 2012: Metro scheme approved by the Council of Ministers as part of the Riyadh Public Transport project

Jul 2012: Prequalification documents for metro construction contracts submitted

Aug 2012: Tender for construction contracts issued

Feb 2013: Bids submitted from three main consortiums for the design and build contracts

Apr 2013: Bids submitted for project management consultancy contracts

May 2013: Arriyadh Development Authority announces that architects from Norway and the UK will design three of the stations

Jul 2013: $22bn-worth of construction contracts awarded to contractors

Source: MEED

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