Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE national railway, has given the go-ahead for the civil and track works of Packages B and C worth Dh4.4 billion ($1.2 billion) for Stage Two of the stretch connecting Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The contracts were approved during a board meeting, chaired by Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of Etihad Rail, reported Emirates News Agency Wam.
Package B runs for 216 km, and Package C runs for 94 km, and the two packages are part of the 605 km line from Ghuweifat to the Port of Fujairah on the eastern coast.
Sheikh Theyab attended the contract signing ceremony to award the civil and track works on the two packages to China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) and Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting Company. The contract was signed by Shadi Malak, Etihad Rail chief executive officer, Wang Jinsong, authorized representative of CRCC, and Ali Mohamed Sadiq Albloushi, chairman of Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting.
Sheikh Theyab said: “Etihad Rail will sustain the growth of our transport industry and freight carriage sector throughout the UAE, as railway systems are one of the most important means of transport on which countries depend to achieve their economic and social objectives.”
He added that Etihad Rail’s strategy is to build a railway network consistent with its clients’ needs, and has signed a number of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with national companies who are looking to use the railway network as a business solution, especially since goods of all kinds can be transported on railways at lower cost and more efficiently compared with traditional transport means.
Etihad Rail is pioneering new horizons for development and transport, and is moving forward to sustain the UAE transport sector through the tremendous progress achieved in building the UAE national railway network as a safe, modern, and cost-effective means of transport.
He said that the launch of Packages B and C as part of the second stage of this project to connect all of the Emirates is a milestone in the future prospects of the United Arab Emirates. The importance of the two packages lies in the fact that they link Khalifa Port, Khalifa Industrial City (Kizad), and Jebel Ali Port.
The project includes links to strategic ports and industrial areas nationwide, along a distance of 310 km. It is the backbone of the UAE national railway network, upgrading the transport and shipping industry by connecting ports, manufacturing and production points, as well as urban locations.
Sheikh Theyab praised the efforts of the board members in following the strategy of Etihad Rail and its future aspirations, thanking them for their hard work.
The works on this part of Stage Two focus on the design and construction of rail infrastructure, including earthworks, bridges, tunnels, animal-crossings and track-laying, connecting Package B with Package A, and Package C with Package B.
Etihad Rail has previously awarded Package A to a consortium of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation and South Korea’s SK Engineering and Construction. When complete, the 1,200-km Etihad Rail project will link the UAE’s principal centers of industry, manufacturing, production, population, and import/export points, forming an integral part of the GCC-wide railway network.
Etihad Rail was established in June 2009 with the mandate to manage the development, construction, and operation of the UAE’s national freight and passenger railway network. The railway network will link the principal centers of population and industry of the UAE, and will form a vital part of the planned GCC railway network across the GCC.
Etihad Rail has successfully completed Stage One of the network which is now fully operational having been delivered on schedule and within budget. The route spans 264 km, transporting sulphur from sources at Shah and Habshan to the export point at Ruwais. Stage Two links the UAE and Saudi Arabia from Fujairah to Ghuweifat via Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port.
Built to international standards, Etihad Rail’s state-of-the-art network will span approximately 1,200 km, acting as a catalyst for economic growth and sustained social development. Upon completion, the railway will redefine logistics and transport in the region, providing a modern, safe, efficient and sustainable mode of transport that will connect all regions of the UAE to its neighboring GCC countries.
TradeArabia News Service