By Andy Sambidge
Advance Rail Group eyes contracts for Doha Metro in partnership with Dragados
UAE-based Advance Rail Group (ARG) has formed a new partnership with Spanish construction giant Dragados to pursue rail projects in Qatar.
The companies signed a joint venture agreement to bid for railway projects that are part of Qatar Railways' multi-billion dollar rail programme, with a particular focus on the Doha Metro.
Dragados is the flagship construction arm of Spain's ACS Group, one of the world's largest construction and services conglomerates.
Warwick Georgeson, ARG general manager, said: "This strategic joint venture will ensure that Qatar has access to the very best international rail infrastructure and tunnelling expertise.
"ARG's decision to partner with Dragados was based on their unparalleled track record in rail and tunnelling and their successful completion of several high profile rail projects across the globe.
"Our initial focus will be on tunnelling opportunities related to the Doha Metro, but we are considering expanding the relationship further across the region to capitalise on the many rail opportunities available," he said.
ARG was formed in October 2010, when UAE-based Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) joined forces with Australian rail contractor John Holland, to pursue an expected $75bn in rail projects within the GCC region.
HLG is a multi-disciplined international contractor in the Middle East and North Africa, and has had a significant presence in Qatar for the past six years.
John Holland is Australia's largest rail construction and maintenance contractor and operator of railway networks.
Laurie Voyer, HLG CEO and managing director, welcomed the partnership as a positive step for the group's rail operations in Qatar.
"The agreement with Dragados is unique and demonstrates Dragados' seriousness in pursuing strategic projects in the region with our organisation," he said.
"This joint venture with an internationally-renowned rail specialist such as Dragados to bid for some of these key railway opportunities will complement our already established business in Qatar.
"Qatar is one of the most important growth markets for our business and I believe the collective experience of ARG and Dragados is without peer," he said.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.