Qatar Railways Co, or QRail, the operator of the Gulf State’s planned QR130bn ($36bn) rail network, will award the first construction contract on the project in July next year, the company’s deputy chief executive said yesterday.
Speaking to reporters at a Meed conference in Abu Dhabi, Geoff Mee said that contractors had until September 25 to submit initial expressions of interest for the integrated rail project, which will include the $35bn Doha Metro as well as national freight and long distance passenger lines.
Meanwhile, a Qatar Arabic daily said transport ministers of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries will hold a consultative meeting in Doha on October 21 to finalise the arrangements for beginning the field work for the Gulf Railway project.
Qatar is hosting the 2022 soccer World Cup and must have its rail system to be completed by then.
In late July QRail said it was inviting experienced companies to submit expressions of interest in bidding for design and construction work on the railway project, including major underground and elevated civil works, as well as enabling works including roads and utilities diversion.
In the first phase-work needed to be finished for the World Cup-consortia will bid on nine separate packages of the rail system, with each lot valued at around $1.5bn. Most of the packages in the first phase will be for the metro, Mee said.
Tenders will be issued at the start of next year, he added.
Qatar won the hosting rights for 2022 World Cup in December, beating off competition from Japan, Australia, Korea and the US. Some analysts have estimated the price tag for the World Cup to be around $100bn, although much of Qatar’s infrastructure, including the metro system and a larger national rail network, was planned before the country was selected as the host of soccer’s marquee event.
QRail, formerly owned by Qatari Diar, became a standalone company around two months ago, Mee said.
Parsons Brinckerhoff is the strategic project manager of Qatar’s rail project.