Baghdad Municipality has appointed France’s Systra to design the $3bn Baghdad metro project.

The scope of the work involves carrying out the basic design of the two lines of Baghdad metro as well as preparing the tender documents for the construction of the project. Once the tender has been issued, Systra will also assist the municipality appoint a contractor.

Work expected to take 18 months. This means that Systra is likely to invite bids for the construction contract in early 2013

In 2010 Baghdad Municipality said it had shortlisted eight international firms to bid on the design contract although not all the firms confirmed their interest. The project will be carried out on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis.

Line 1 of the metro will be about 22 kilometres long and Line 2 will be about 18km long. Both lines will have passenger stations built each kilometre.

Systra will start to carry out the design immediately with work expected to take 18 months. This means that Systra is likely to invite bids for the construction contract in early 2013.

The company has already been involved in supervising the feasibility study for the metro. The project was temporarily stalled in September 2010 due to the political situation in Iraq. Baghdad Municipality intends to fund the metro directly (MEED 8:6:10).

The plans for the metro date back to the late 1970s and had it been built then, it would have been the first urban railway in the Arab world. Instead, the plans were shelved due to Iraq’s 1980-88 war with Iran.