Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE national railway, recently held a board meeting led by Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of Etihad Rail, during which they approved Package A of the Stage Two tender award.
The contract was awarded to a joint venture between the China State Construction Engineering Corporation and South Korea's SK Engineering and Construction. The contracts were signed by Shadi Malak, Etihad Rail chief executive officer; Yu Tao, president and chief executive officer of China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East; and Hyuntae Nam, vice president of SK E&C. The package includes all design and build, civil and track works of the 139-kilometer Package A of Stage Two of the UAE national rail network to connect Ruwais with Ghuweifat on the UAE border with Saudi Arabia. Stage Two, when complete, will run for 605 kilometers from Ghuweifat to the Port of Fujairah.
Sheikh Theyab expressed his delight at the rapid progress being made on the project, referring to the contract announcement as a major milestone passed in the organization's mission to create the UAE's modern, sustainable and cost-efficient national railway. "With the commencement of this first phase of Stage Two, we are reaching a major turning point in the transportation sector in the UAE and GCC. Pioneering and innovative, this initial link is just the beginning, as Etihad Rail expands its network to improve all aspects of freight transport across our border and around the region, placing the UAE at the center of regional goods movement as a global logistics hub."
Etihad Rail is working towards awarding contracts for the rest of Stage Two over the coming months. Sheikh Theyab also thanked the Abu Dhabi Government, local and federal government authorities across the emirates for their support of this national project. Package A of Stage Two, valued at Dh1.5 billion, will focus on the design and construction of rail infrastructure, including earth-works, bridges, tunnels, animal crossing, track-laying, and linking with Stage One of the network.
The 139km route will feature standard-gauge double track that will be built using 1.3 million tons of ballast, over 400,000 concrete sleepers, and 33,000 tons of iron rail. When complete, the 1,200Km 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.