Etihad Rail eyes construction firm for rail plan deal

Master developer of UAE's rail network inks agreement with Arkan Building Materials Company
Etihad Rail eyes construction firm for rail plan deal
(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)
By Andy Sambidge
Wed 28 Sep 2011 06:50 PM

Etihad Rail, the master developer of the UAE's national railway network, said on Wednesday it had inked an agreement with a potential customer to use the rail links to transport raw materials.

It said a memorandum of understanding had been signed with Arkan Building Materials Company, an integrated building materials manufacturer.

Under the deal, the company will assess the use of the Etihad Rail network to transport raw materials and distribute its finished products.

Etihad Rail said it will soon begin construction of the 266km network in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.

The initial phase of the railway network is being developed in partnership with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to transport up to 22,000 tonnes per day of granulated sulphur from their sources in Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais for export.

This route marks the first phase of the 1,200km mixed-traffic network that will span the UAE

The Etihad Rail network will also link the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east. 

"With this agreement, Arkan has become one of our first prospects in the construction sector. Given the nature of its business, we are confident Arkan will find our rail network highly beneficial," said Shadi Malak, executive director - commercial, Etihad Rail.

"We are confident that Etihad Rail's customers will find our network to be a rapid, cost-efficient means to transport incoming raw materials and finished goods for distribution."

Saad Qureshi, vice-president - strategy and business development, Arkan, added: "As a building materials manufacturer, raw material procurement and product distribution systems are critical to our overall competitiveness.

"Using the rail network to transport our raw materials and distribute our finished goods reduces our transport costs and provides us with immediate availability of freight space."

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