By Andy Sambidge
Total of 80-90 consortia have been identified as qualified to bid to major rail contracts
Tenders for phase one of the Doha Metro project are set to be issued in the second quarter of 2012, a senior official has said.
A total of 80-90 consortia have been identified as qualified to bid for Qatar Railways Company (QRail) Doha Metro phase 1 projects.
The company had originally planned to issue the first tender by the end of this year but delayed the process to complete more detailed studies of the project.
But the company said it is still open to further expressions of interest in the 15 design and build contracts, the MEED Middle East Tunnelling 2011 Conference was told.
"We are looking to get the best number of bidders," said QRail programme director for the Metro Red Line Markus Demmler. "That will be about five bidders for each project."
Consortia were invited earlier this year to submit expressions of interest in QRail's metro civil contracts by the end of the summer.
Each will be worth between $700m to a maximum of $1.5bn, Demmler said.
Bids for the first design and build contract are scheduled to be called in the second quarter of 2012.
Demmler said that QRail plans to have conferences with qualified companies "in the next couple of months".
Demmler said that the schedule was the main challenge.
"We have a very tight time frame," he said. "We have to finish everything in phase 1 by 2020."
Phase 1 includes the Red Line which will run from the south of Doha through the city to Lusail and beyond. Phase 1 will also deal with the green line and grade and elevated parts of the metro.
Demmler said the first phase will comprise 62km of underground structures and 30km of structures that will be elevated or at grade.
Demmler said that underground work requiring tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will involve building 49km of twin tunnels.
The second phase will include the north-west of the Green Line and the Blue line. It will involve building about 110km of underground structures.
"The second phase will start in about five years," Demmler said.
"There is a double challenge. One is to do the tunnelling and the second to get the material from the tunnelling out of the city."
Demmler said that QRail has identified the sites for logistic and production areas that will support construction sites.