Saudi Arabia restarts Mecca metro project

10 June 2024
The client has engaged consultants for the $8bn first phase of the Mecca Metro feasibility study


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Saudi Arabia has restarted the feasibility study for the $8bn first phase of the Mecca Metro, sources familiar with the scheme tell MEED.

The scheme’s ownership has been transferred from Mecca Mass Rail Transit Company (MMRTC) and the National Centre for Privatisation (NCP) to the Royal Commission for Makkah City and the Holy Sites.

French engineering firm Systra is updating the feasibility studies, including transport planning and economic, financial and legal analysis.

The firm is supported by UK-headquartered Ernst & Young and law firm Watson Farley & Williams.

Systra started the project’s initial studies in 2010 and conducted the preliminary design for lines B and C of the Mecca Metro from 2013 to 2015.

According to a statement from Systra, the updated plan will include metro service to other sites in Mecca, including several urban developments across the city.

The Mecca Metro was initially planned as a public-private partnership (PPP).

The MMRTC appointed UK-based consultancy EY and law firm Ashurst and the US’ Parsons Brinckerhoff as transaction advisers for the project in March 2011.

A feasibility study for the metro was prepared by a joint venture of France’s Systra and the US-based Aecom, who were appointed as consultants in April 2012.

In 2019, MEED reported that MMRTC and NCP were in talks with various finance and legal consultants regarding the feasibility study for the Mecca Metro.

NCP tendered the advisory contract for four public transport schemes, including the Mecca Public Transport Programme (MPTP), in 2017. The Mecca Metro is the largest component of MPTP.

In early 2017, Rumaih Al-Rumaih, the then-president of Saudi Arabia’s Public Transport Authority and Saudi Railways Organisation, said that the Mecca Metro, along with several other planned metro and rail schemes, would be procured using a PPP.

MEED's latest special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

> GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
> BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
> UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
> DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

> POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
> WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
> CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
> TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects

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