Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE national railway, has approved package A of the stage two tender award, worth AED1.5 billion ($410 million).
At the ceremony attended by Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of the Department of Transport and chairman of Etihad Rail, the contract was awarded to a joint venture between the China State Construction Engineering Corporation and South Korea’s SK Engineering and Construction.
The package includes all design and build, civil and track works of the 139km package A of stage two of the UAE national rail network to connect Ruwais with Ghuweifat on the UAE border with Saudi Arabia.
Package A 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.
Stage two, when complete, will run for a total of 605km from Ghuweifat to the Port of Fujairah.
The contracts were signed by Shadi Malak, Etihad Rail CEO, Yu Tao, president and CEO of China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East, and Hyuntae Nam, vice president of SK E&C.
Sheikh Theyab said: "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... 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."
Etihad Rail said it is working towards awarding contracts for the rest of stage two over the coming months.
When complete, the 1,200km Etihad Rail project will link the UAE’s principal centres of industry, manufacturing, production, population, and import/export points, forming an integral part of the GCC-wide railway network.