Firms that have been prequalified to bid for the operation and maintenance (O&M) contract of the $23bn under-construction Riyadh Metro are anticipating the release of the tender possibly before the end of April.

“We are expecting the Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) to release the tender this Thursday or Friday,” a source familiar with the project tells MEED.

The firms that have been prequalified for the contract are understood to include:

  • SMRT (Singapore)
  • Serco (UK)
  • Korail (South Korea)
  • RATP (France)
  • Keolis (France)
  • Ansaldo / Hitachi (Italy/Japan)
  • QDVC (Qatar)

It is likely the ADA will select two or three O&M firms to operate and maintain the six lines, the source said.

In March, Alwalid Alekrish, director of construction development projects and project director of the Riyadh Metro at the ADA, said the O&M deal is likely to be awarded in 2017.

Riyadh metro lines


Main contractor

Contract value ($m)

Line 3

Arriyadh New Mobility


Lines 1 and 2

BACS Consortium


Lines 4, 5 and 6

FAST Consortium


Source: MEED Projects

Three packages of the Riyadh Metro were awarded to separate consortiums in 2013, with 2018 set as the target completion date for all packages at the time. A 12-month delay has been anticipated, with 2019 set as the new target completion date.

Alekrish confirmed in March that the $23bn project is on track to hit its 2019 completion date, citing that “the metro is being paid for directly from ring-fenced government funds and as such there is no specific debt or borrowings.” This implies the metro project has been and will be largely unaffected by the recent clamp down on government spending in light of lower oil prices.

The executive said there are no plans for the project to be scaled back or delayed, and that any modifications will likely be limited to minor details such as the interior design, although these too have yet to be decided.

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