By Gavin Davids www.constructionweekonline.com
Qatar, the host for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, announced on Tuesday that it plans to offer the first tender for its railway and metro system within the next three months.
Abdullah al Subaie, managing director of the Qatar Railways Company, said that the company was currently working on the documents for the first tender of Qatar’s railway system.
The tender will include a separate package for digging tunnels and setting up one or two key stations for the project, Al Subaie said.
Although he did not elaborate on the details of the contracts, he did say that the total cost of the project would be $35.6bn (QAR130bn) and that more than 1.2 million tonnes of iron would be required for the project.
With more than 100 stations expected to be built for the project, the first phase is expected to be completed by 2021, a year before the World Cup commences. Al Subaie added that the remainder of the project was scheduled to be completed by 2026.
He added that the proposed bridge between Qatar and Bahrain would also include a railway line, though he declined to provide further details.
In addition, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani has authorised the formation of a committee that will work in cooperation with the Ministry of Business Trade and the Qatar Development Bank.
This committee will study the opportunities associated with the project and look at the feasibility of setting up industries to serve Qatar’s budding railway sector.
The move to build the railway system comes as part of a wider focus on rail development in the GCC. The Council members plan to invest more than $100bn on a rail network that will link the six member states together by 2017.
There are also long term plans to extend the high-speed network to as far south as Yemen.
Driven by its massive natural gas reserves, Qatar has launched an ambitious project to improve its infrastructure.
Between 2011 and 2016, the country plans to allocate 40% of its budget on infrastructure projects, including $11bn on a new international airport, $5.5bn on a deep-water seaport and $1bn on a transport corridor in Doha. The country will also spend a further $20bn on roads.