A venture of the UK/French GEC-Alsthom with the local Ata is the low bidder, at $325.6 million, for a contract to install rails and equipment for the first stage of the Istanbul metro. The client is Istanbul municipality (MEED 17:12:93).

The local and foreign companies which returned bids on 15 February are:

GEC-Alsthom and Ata – $325.6 million

Italy’s Ansaldo with Nurol – $374.2 million

Germany’s Alcatel SEL with Alsim Alarko – $449.2 million

Sweden’s ABB Traction – $489.2 million.

Although the low bid came in considerably below its rivals, much will depend on the composition and terms of 100 per cent financing packages, contractors say. The municipality wants to make an award quickly, perhaps because of the electoral advantage this might bring in the run-up to the local elections at the end of March, they add.

The contract calls for track-laying, the installation of signalling equipment, airconditioning and safety equipment, finishing work including escalators at stations, and the supply of rolling stock. The first stage, running between Taksim and Levent 4, will be seven kilometres long and will include seven stations. It will be the most heavily used section of the metro’s planned total length of 20.75 kilometres.

Work has already started on the basic civil engineering for the first stage, awarded in two contracts to locals Tekfen, and a venture of Garanti Koza, Dogus and Enka. The UK’s Acer Consult with its local subsidiary, Acer Muhendislik, is supervising construction for the municipality.