Prequalifiers selected for Riyadh metro worksSep 2012
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
Preliminary designs for the US$8 billion Riyadh metro in Saudi Arabia call for 35.2km of twin-tube bored running tunnels and a further 13.7km of cut-and-cover work for a total subsurface length of nearly 49km.
Preliminary designs of the 180km metro system have been carried out by consultants dar-al-hanasah of Lebanon and Egis Rail of France, and until now the precise breakdown of the underground elements of the network has been unspecified by the client, the High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh (HCDA).
Research by TunnelTalk has uncovered the scope of the underground works involved on the six-line project (Table 1).
Lines 1 and 2, and possibly Line 3, will be built as Phase 1 of the project, with the remaining lines under a later Phase 2 of design-build procurement.
Four consortia comprising 33 companies from 15 countries have been prequalified for five design-build lots with Lines 1 and 2 offered as a single construction package.
The four prequalified consortia are:
• Consortium 1: Vinci Construction (France, consortium leader)/ Siemens (Germany)/ Almabani General Contractors (Saudi Arabia)/ Consolidated Contractors Company (Saudi Arabia)/ AECOM (USA)
Table 1. Riyadh metro alignment lengths
Total length (km)
Bored tunnel (km)
Cut and cover (km)
• Consortium 2: Bombardier (Canada, consortium leader)/ Al Rajhi Holding Group (Saudi Arabia)/ YAPI Merkezi Insaat (Turkey)/ Obrascon Huarte Lain (Spain)/ Al Arrab Contracting Co (Saudi Arabia)/ Shibh AL jazira Contracting Co (Saudi Arabia)/ GS Engineering and Construction (Korea)/ Freyssinet Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia)/ Serco Group (UK)/ Mott Macdonald (UK)/ Parsons Brinckerhoff Arabia (Saudi Arabia)
• Consortium 3: FCC Construccion SA (Spain, consortium leader)/ Alstom Transport SA (France)/ Samsung C&T Corporation (Korea)/ Alpine (Austria)/ Strukton Civiel Projecten BV (The Netherlands)/ SETEC (France)/ Tecnica Y Proyectos (Spain)
• Consortium 4: Strabag Group (Austria, consortium leader)/ Ansaldo STS (Italy)/ Ansaldobreda (Italy)/ Staedtler (Switzerland)/ BESIX SA (Belgium)/ Ali Al Swailem Group-MASCO (Saudi Arabia)/ Larsen & Toubro (India)/ Hyder Consulting (UK)/ Worley Parsons (USA)/ IDOM (Spain).
Fig 1. Riyadh metro comprises 6 lines
The four groups are to make their technical and financial bids by December 1, according to a statement by HCDA. Design-build construction of Phase 2 elements will be awarded from the same list of prequalifiers.
"The consortia include some of the biggest names in the rail construction industry, companies who have carried out rail and metro projects in cities including Paris, London, Washington, San Francisco, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Vancouver, Toronto and Barcelona," said Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz, HCDA Chairman and head of the higher supervisory committee overseeing the implementation of public transport systems in Riyadh.
As Riyadh approaches construction of its metro, the Middle East region, is experiencing a tunnelling boom. This is buoyed especially by the selection of Qatar as the host country of the 2022 soccer World Cup and by a number of key transport and wastewater projects moving towards advanced planning and construction.
Included among these are:
The Doha metro (Qatar). Project management and enabling works contracts for the first three lines of an eventual 300km metro system were awarded last month. Eighteen prequalified consortia are competing for the award of five underground and station packages each worth up to US$1.5 billion. Announcements of the first contracts are expected by December (2012). Up to 55km of twin-running tunnels are included in the preliminary designs.
The Inner Doha Resewerage System (IDRIS). In November 2011, CH2MHill won a US$62 million project management services contract for the US$2.75 billion 35km-long deep wastewater tunnel system for Qatar's capital city, plus associated works. Prequalifiers for Phase 1, comprising construction of a 10.5km-long tunnel of 3.4m diameter, have been shortlisted.
Fig 2. Concept alignment for Doha Bay Crossing
The Doha Bay Crossing (Fig 2), which was originally designed by Danish consultancy COWI as a 10km immersed tube crossing, and now preferred as a link of three bridges and two immersed tubes. Prequalifiers for the management contract for implementation of the estimated US$1.5 billion project are being evaluated by the public works authority Ashghal, and a contract is due to be awarded soon.
The Jeddah metro, for which a project study of a 108km three-line system was completed last year (2011), with signals from Saudi Arabia that a long-awaited tender process could begin soon. Extensions are also planned to the 18.1km Mecca metro, the first phase of which was completed by China Railways Construction Corporation as an elevated system in 2010.
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