The UAE's Ministry of Finance and the Abu Dhabi Department of Finance have signed an agreement for the financing of stage two of the Etihad Rail national rail network.
The second stage will extend 605km from Ghuweifat on the border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah on the east coast, to be followed by future route additions, state news agency WAM reported recently.
It said that the volume of goods transported will increase from seven million tons per year on stage one to more than 50 million tons.
Earlier this year, Etihad Rail announced the completion of the preliminary designs of stage two of the project in preparation for the launch of tenders for civil construction works by the end of this month.
In 2015, stage one of the project, which extends 264km, was delivered, linking the Shah and Habshan gas fields in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi to the port of Ruwais on the Arabian Gulf, with a capacity of transferring 22,000 tons of sulfur granules daily.
Etihad Rail said it is now in advanced stages of commercial and technical negotiations with an extended range of potential partners.
Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Transport and chairman of the Etihad Rail, said: "The budget approval for stage two of the United Arab Emirates’ national railway network reflects the keenness of our leadership to implement national strategic projects.
"At Etihad Rail, we are working with a strategy to meet our mission and objectives. This project is part of our commitment to the UAE to help it achieve a leading position in transportation quality, In line with UAE Vision 2021."
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