By Ed Attwood
UAE rail giant hands deals to other players less than two months after initial award
Less than two months after awarding major project management and engineering contracts to build the UAE’s railway network, Union Railway has decided to award the work elsewhere.
At the end of November, the firm handed out contracts to Parsons Brinkerhoff and a joint venture between the US-based Parsons Group and France’s Systra.
However, in an apparent u-turn, Arabian Business has learnt that Union Railway has now hired another contractor to carry out the same work.
A spokesperson for Atkins told Arabian Business that the company was now “doing preliminary engineering for stages 1 and 2, as well stage 0.”
Preliminary engineering work for stages 1 and 2 was awarded to Parsons Brinkerhoff as part of the November deal.
It remains unclear whether Parsons-Systra has retained its project management role in the project, or why Union Railway opted to switch contractors.
When contacted by Arabian Business, a Union Railways spokesperson said that the firm had no comment, but that further announcements would be made “in a couple of weeks”.
A spokesperson from Parsons Brinkerhoff could not be reached for comment.
Union Railway is overseeing the $11bn 1,500km UAE railway system across the seven emirates, which it hopes will be completed by 2017.
The first section of line – a freight link between the Shah gas field and ADNOC’s facilities at Ruwais – is expected to be finished in 2014.
Eventually the system will connect the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat city in the West and Oman via Al Ain in the East.