The tender for the civil works contract on the 444-kilometre-long railway between the holy cities has been delayed by an administrative hold-up coinciding with the summer recess in August, and Ramadan.

Tenders were due to be issued to the six prequalified consortiums in July, but were held up while the Municipalities Ministry finalised certification of the groups (MEED 6:8:08).

This process is now complete and, following consultation between the bidders and the SRO on 15 September, bidding is set to begin.

“We have spoken to the SRO, along with the other bidders, and expect the tenders to come out tomorrow [17 September],” says an official at Saudi Oger, the lead company in one of the six consortiums.

The SRO was not available for comment. However, an SRO official recently confirmed to MEED that bidding would begin this month.