Qatar to invite railway project tenders within 2 months

Metro will transport fans to World Cup venues; long-distance railway to link Qatar and Saudi Arabia
Qatar to invite railway project tenders within 2 months
RAILWAY PROJECT: Qatari Diar and Deutsche Bahn said in 2009 that the railway project would cost $25.3bn (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)
By Bloomberg
Tue 07 Jun 2011 05:21 PM

Qatar, host of the 2022 soccer World Cup, will invite bids for early work on a QR130bn ($36bn) railway and metro system in the next two months, Geoff Mee, Qatar Railways Co’s deputy chief executive officer, said.

“We will start to invite people to come forward to discuss it with the intention we go to full contracts in the early part of next year,” Mee said on the sidelines of the MEED Transport conference in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday.

Ten packages worth between $1bn and $1.5bn will be awarded for tunnels and metro stations in the second quarter of next year, he said. Most of the network will be operational by 2021, Abdulla Al Subaie, managing director of Qatar Railways Co, said today.

Qatar is using revenue from the world’s third-biggest natural gas reserves to transform itself into a centre for culture, education and sport. The country beat the US, Australia, South Korea and Japan to win the right to stage the 2022 World Cup at a ceremony in Zurich in December. The country pledged to build the metro and rail network as well as hotels, stadiums and roads, as part of its bid.

Qatar will invest about $88bn in infrastructure for the World Cup, Enrico Grino, Qatar National Bank’s assistant general manager and head of project finance, said last month.

State-owned Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co and German state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG formed a partnership two years ago to build the metro and rail network. The metro lines will transport fans to 12 World Cup stadiums and the long-distance rail network will link Qatar to Saudi Arabia and, via a yet-to-be-built causeway, to the island kingdom of Bahrain.

Qatari Diar and Deutsche Bahn said in 2009 that the railway project would cost $25.3bn. The budget has always been $36bn, Al Subaie said on Tuesday. The rail network will be financed by Qatar’s ministry of finance, he said.

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