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South Korea’s SK Wins $420 Mn Railway Deal in UAE

South Korea’s SK Wins $420 Mn Railway Deal in UAE

Thursday, 14 March, 2019 - 12:15
Security personnel inspect a railway. Reuters file photo
Dubai - Asharq Al-Awsat
South Korea’s SK Engineering and Construction, of SK Group, announced it has been awarded a $408 million contract to establish UAE’s National Rail Network by Etihad Rail.

SK made the achievement by forging a consortium with China National Construction Corp. (CSCEC), a Chinese state-run construction company.

The deal 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.

SK E&C will take a 42.5 percent share in the project and it will conduct design, procurement and construction (EPC) work in a package. The construction project will run 46 months and be completed in 2023.

This is the first time a South Korean company has won a major contract in a railway project in the Middle East.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Etihad Rail Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan expressed his extreme 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,” Sheikh Theyab stated.

The Chairman asserted that the 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.

Package A of Stage Two, valued at AED1.5 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 139 Km 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, Etihad Rail explained.

Etihad Rail was established in June 2009 with a mandate to manage the development, construction and operation of the UAE’s national freight and passenger railway network.

The railway network will be built in three phases to link the principal centers of population and industry of the UAE, as well as to form a vital part of the planned GCC railway network linking the six countries of the GCC.

The first stage of the construction has been completed and the railway has been operational between Habshan and Ruwais since September 2013.

When complete, the 1,200 Km 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. 

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