Published On:October 11 2018
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UAE's Etihad Rail to sign up firms for design and build stage.

Etihad Rail, which is developing the United Arab Emirates' national rail network, has invited companies to prequalify for the second stage of the project.

The state-backed company has invited eligible companies to participate in design and build contracts for stage two of the railway network, according to a public notice issued recently.

Thomson Reuters Projects had reported in March that Etihad Rail is gearing up to launch construction tenders for the second stage that would connect the country's seaports and the first stage. The 264-kilometre Stage 1, which started commercial operations in 2015, transports granulated sulphur from Abu Dhabi's Shah and Habshan fields to the port of Ruwais.

The public notice specified that companies applying for the tender should hold or be capable of acquiring required licenses and accreditations to work in the UAE in advance of applying for any of the project design and build contracts. It said they possess international/local experience in executing major design and build freight rail projects covering civil works, track works, bridges, drill and blast tunnels.

A separate prequalification tender would be issued for rail systems, facilities and rolling stock, the notice added.

It said prequalification documents could be purchased from Etihad Rail's offices in Abu Dhabi from October 10 to 18, 2018 by paying a non-refundable fee of 21,000 UAE dirhams.

According to Etihad Rail's website, the 628-km Stage 2 will connect the railway to Mussafah, to the Gulf ports of Khalifa and Jebel Ali, and to the Saudi and Omani borders.

In July, United States-headquartered engineering firm Jacobs was appointed by Etihad Rail to deliver technical and programme consulting services for the 900-kilometre national railway network.

In May, France-based engineering services provider Egis was awarded the project management consultancy contract for the second and third stages of the project.

In March 2017, Thomson Reuters Projects reported that Etihad Rail had updated its design to extend the rail project. It said the revised design included additional freight lines as well as passenger lines that were not included in earlier versions of the network map.

In January 2016, Reuters reported that Etihad Rail had suspended the tendering process for Stage 2 as it reviewed the options for timing and delivery of that stage.

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