Saudis to launch bidding to build railway

18 de setembro de 2017

São Paulo – Saudi Arabia is planning to float a tender from the end of this year to the beginning of the next for the building of Land Bridge railway, which will connect the Red Sea Port, in Jeddah, to the Arab Gulf and the country’s capital, Riyadh. The information was published by the website Gulf Business based on an interview with the CEO of Saudi Railway Company (SAR), Bashar Al Malik, to Bloomberg. Local and foreigner companies are allowed to make their bids.

According to the executive, the company has seen an encouraging response for a call for expressions of interest in the private sector, thus, it decided to launch a bidding process soon. The railway will be near 1,600 km long and its aim is to speed up the transportation of good throughout the country.

Saudi Arabia even signed an agreement for the building of the project in 2008, but a disagreement with the selected consortium made the government to opt, in 2011, be in control of the construction. Due to the slow pace of the works, however, the option is to open a new bid to speed up the railway’s construction process.

The original project was of a 958-km railway between Jeddah and Riyadh, the modernization of a 450-km stretch between Riyadh and Dammam – the latter a city located in the Arab Gulf’s coast –, and another stretch between Dammam and Jubail, also located in the Gulf’s coast. The cost of the project is estimated at USD 7 billion.

According to the news feature in the Gulf Business, SAR is also studying other projects, such as the increase of the transportation capacity of the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (MAADEN), in Waad Al-Shamal, and new railway connection for the operations of Saudi Aramco in the regions of Tabuk, Turaif and Al Jawf. The company also has projects to facilitate the transportation of the agriculture production of Al Jawf, where the majority of Saudi farms are located.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani