Etihad Rail, the developer, and operator of the UAE national railway has awarded a Dh4.6 billion ($1.25 billion) contract for the civil works and construction of Package D of Stage Two of the rail network to a joint venture of the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) and National Projects and Construction (NPC).
The Package D, which will link the ports of Fujairah and Khorfakkan to the network at the Dubai border with Sharjah, stretches over a distance of 145 km.
Through connecting key ports to manufacturing, production and population centers, Package D will connect to quarries for building material in the Northern Emirates, contributing to the improvement of the transport and infrastructure industries in the UAE, said a statement from Etihad Rail.
The agreement was signed by Etihad Rail CEO Shadi Malak along with Zhao Dianlong, the representative of CRCC; and Hamad Al Amri, Managing Director of NPC in the presence of Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of Etihad Rail; and Wenzhong Wang, Vice President of the CRCC.
Speaking on the importance of the contract, Sheikh Theyab said: “The awarding of this contract is a highly significant achievement as Etihad Rail follows its path to progressing one of the most important and economically strategic projects in the UAE.”
“While expanding a vital sector that constitutes the lifeline of our national economy, we continue to provide a safe, modern, and sustainable national railway network that meets the aspirations and expectations of our nation and its leaders, supporting the UAE’s position as a major link in the regional and global supply chain, and as a key player in the logistics system,” he stated.
The 145-km Package D includes the construction of 15 tunnels through the Hajar Mountains with a total length of 16 km, in addition to the construction of 35 bridges and 32 underpasses.
Linking the ports of Fujairah and Khorfakkan to the railway network will allow the transportation of up to two million TEU’s (twenty-foot equivalent container units) per year, thus promoting international trade.
In addition, Etihad Rail trains will carry up to 30 million tons of construction material annually to distribution centers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, cutting the overall cost of transport and reducing on-road truck trips by more than 2,000 journeys per day.
This will contribute to the improvement of the UAE’s freight and transport sectors by enabling faster and more efficient distribution of goods by linking the UAE’s principal centers of manufacturing, production, and population to strategic ports, facilitating the advancement of economic and social development and achieving a quantitative boost to the freight traffic and logistics sector, said the statement.
Etihad Rail had previously awarded contracts for the Design and Build of Package A to a joint venture between the China State Construction Engineering Corporation and South Korea’s SK Engineering and Construction, and Packages B and C to a joint venture between the China Railway Construction Corporation and the Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting Company.
This comes as part of the company’s mandate to establish a 1,200-km national railway network, which will also form an integral part of the proposed GCC Railway.
TradeArabia News Service