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UAE's Etihad Rail stage two tendering process suspended

Haseeb Haider/Abu Dhabi
Filed on January 26, 2016
UAEs Etihad Rail stage two tendering process suspended

(Etihad Rail)

Stage Two connects Abu Dhabi to the Saudi border at Ghweifat, the Omani border at Al Ain, and by connecting vital areas such as Mussaffah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.

Abu Dhabi has suspended the tendering process for the Stage two of the Etihad Rail project after assessing strategic priorities.

"All bidders have today been informed in writing," the developer and operator of the UAE's national rail network confirmed Tuesday.

Stage Two involves the construction of the rail network in the Abu Dhabi Emirate by connecting to the Saudi border at Ghweifat and the Omani border at Al Ain, and by connecting vital areas such as Mussaffah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.

Also read: Etihad Rail project is moving as per schedule 

Etihad Rail commenced commercial operations on Stage One of the rail network, which links Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais, after official safety authorizations were granted by the Federal Transport Authority in December 2015.

To date, Etihad Rail has transported four million tonnes of Sulphur from Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

Once Stage One reaches full commercial capacity, Etihad Rail will transport more than seven million tonnes of Sulphur every year.

The company has suspended the current Stage Two tender process whilst it reviews the most appropriate options for the timing and delivery of this phase of the project. This decision will have no impact on Stage One operations.

Etihad Rail manages the development, construction and operation of the UAE's national freight and passenger railway network.

Being built in three stages, the railway network will link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, and will form a vital part of the planned GCC railway network across the six countries of the GCC.

Also read: UAE railway law to be ready by next year

The total investment is estimated at around Dh40 billion for the core national mixed traffic network. The project is being built in multiple phases with the first commercial service started in 2013.

The network is estimated to extend up to 1,200 km. Nasser Alsowaidi, chairman of Etihad Rail, said the rail project is the biggest and most complex infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UAE.

"As we enter 2016, we have been working closely with our partners and stakeholders to assess our strategic priorities for the year. As a result, a decision has been taken to suspend the tendering process for Stage Two whilst we review the most appropriate timing for this investment," its chairman said.

Construction on Stage One has been completed, and the Federal Transport Authority (FTA) has granted Etihad Rail the official safety authorizations to commence commercial operations on Stage One of the network in December 2015. Stage Two will connect the railway to Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali port and will see the railway extend to the Saudi and Omani borders.

Etihad Rail has recently signed an Operational & Maintenance Agreement with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for the transport of sulphur between Habshan and Shah to Ruwais.

haseeb@khaleejtimes.com





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